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Maresi came to the Red Abbey when she was thirteen, in the Hunger Winter. Before then, she had only heard rumours of its existence in secret folk tales. In a world where girls aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please, an island inhabited solely by women sounded like a fantasy. But now Maresi is here, and she knows it is real. She is safe.
Then one day Jai tangled fair hair, clothes stiff with dirt, scars on her back arrives on a ship. She has fled to the island to escape terrible danger and unimaginable cruelty. And the men who hurt her will stop at nothing to find her.
Now the women and girls of the Red Abbey must use all their powers and ancient knowledge to combat the forces that wish to destroy them. And Maresi, haunted by her own nightmares, must confront her very deepest, darkest fears.
A story of friendship and survival, magic and wonder, beauty and terror, Maresi will grip you and hold you spellbound.
‘Dark, powerful and original… really stands out in a very crowded YA marketplace… Thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist’ The Bookseller
‘Where YA fantasy can start to feel a little same-y, Maresi dark,occasionally harrowing, yet always readable stands out for its startling originality, and for the frightening plausibility of the dangerous world it creates. Maria Turtschaninoff s deceptively simple, occasionally almost fairy tale-like prose is also a joy: the voice of Maresi (our first person narrator) always feels distinct and believable’ Rebecca Hawkes, Telegraph
‘A book full of courage. Dark, brave and so gripping you ll read it in one sitting with that instinctive hunch hovering over your shoulder warning you that something terrible is about happen if you turn the page. And then you turn the page…’ Laura Dockrill , author
‘A tale of sisterhood, survival and fighting against the odds that will capture the hearts of both teen and adult feminists alike and will leave you feeling extremely empowered.
I think it s a very special book and one that deserves lots and lots of attention’ Lucy Powrie, book blogger
‘A poignant, slow-burning fantasy’ Taran Matharu, author
‘A compelling read… Turtschaninoff weaves in fantasy with feminism, creating a spellbinding read that is completely unputdownable’ Guardian Children s Books
‘A great read. I’ve been trying to put into words how it made me feel, but Maresi’s voice is so different to anything else, it s taken me a little while to process.
‘Such a beautiful, haunting tale. Maresi s voice is unlike any other YA voice I ve read; her voice is strong but she shows us so many different emotions. Her relationship with Jai and the other girls felt very real, dealing with all of Jai s problems how a friend would. They were there for each other and it was great to see that. The writing is amazing; it has an almost mythical feel to it. The way it flows made it such an easy and quick read. Obviously there are darker elements to the book but that only adds to the story and the world that has been created. It s good to see these issues being used in books and drawing them to the attention of our next generation’ Fiona Hadfield , children s bookseller
‘Atmospheric, immersive and definitely original, Maresi has a quiet, urgent magic that makes her story powerful, poignant and memorable’ Jane Bradley, Founder & Director of For Books’ Sake
‘A web of strength, friendship and belief. A beautifully painted, fantastical setting like no other; this story will resonate with me for a long time’ Ben Alderson, Benjamin of Tomes
‘A few times in a life time, a book comes along that wraps you completely in its world and its characters. Wildly imaginative, vivid and filled with wonders’ Casey Daveron, Casey Ann Books
Maria Turtschaninoff was born in 1977 and has been writing fairy tales since she was five. She is the author of many books about magical worlds. She has been awarded, the Swedish YLE Literature Prize and has twice won the Society of Swedish Literature Prize. She has also been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Maresi is the first book in the three-part Red Abbey Chronicles, all of which will be published by Pushkin Press. Maresi is being published in 8 languages and won the Finlandia Junior Prize.