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.
Maresi is an originally Finish story, set on an island governed by feminism and hope. Everyone on the island is happy and safe. In a sense it's very utopian, instead of the usual dystopia I usually read. Each girl has a sad past she left to escape to the island. Whether it was a tyrannical father or a murdered sister, each girl shares a sense of hope and freedom after escaping the outside world.
Quite honestly readers I underestimated this book because of the beginning a lot. It’s not that it wasn’t good because it was, it was because it simply sounded different than what you expect it to be. The story was good, characters are likable, what more could you want? It just seemed a little plain, white yogurt plain. But then around the second chapter the author starts sending these tiny details into the story; nuts, chocolate chips, honey, and salty caramel (you get the idea) into my plain yogurt metaphor (or figure of speech? hmm). The story then proceeds to get better and better, step by step. The absolutely best part and the reason this book is unique is that you know what happens, you just don’t know when. This makes the story about a 1000 times more suspenseful. When I started reading I kind of thought the book was historically fictiony, and even though it’s not quite that it does have a middle ages feel. I feel that when I compare books you might have read to new releases, it makes you more excited about reading the new release! So here goes; Maresi and Only Ever Yours by Louise O’ Neal. Coincidentally it was also the last book before this one I reviewed. I like to think that somehow some girls escaped the academy from Only Ever Yours and escaped to the island, and soon it’s going to appear in the sequel as an awesome cliffhanger. Speaking about the sequel which is called Naondel, this expresses my excitement about finding out there’s a sequel (which I btw wasn’t expecting):