Author: Maria Turtschaninoff
Genre: Young adult, Contemporary, Fantasy;
Goodreads rating: 3.76
My ratings: 2 stars
Online Store: Awesomebooks
Sypnosis: 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.
I first discovered Maresi when I was searching for something to read that sparked curiosity in me. This is a young adult fantasy book about the Red Abbey, a place where men are forbidden and for women to seek refuge, starting a new life while also learning several skills in the company of their now “sisters”.
It follows mainly Maresi, a girl that came from a past of poverty and tragedy and also her closest friends, most with the same fate.
I was surprised when I started reading to notice that the writing felt a lot younger than I expected but halfway through the book that completely changed when some really harsh scenes started happening. A lot of times I felt confused while reading this, thinking that the history of the world and these people was not very well explained. It almost felt like I was reading a sequel in a series I just started.
After looking through some reviews I noticed that a lot of people say this book empowers women, something I don’t agree with.
Yes, the story is written to show the power of friendship, of working together and the beauty and strenght of being female. It is beautiful and the writing is gorgeous most times, making me see the story in front of me almost like a movie but I had some issues with the way both sexes were represented.
There’s this habit in this book of making all men look powerful and strong but also mean and sexist and all women look pure, innocent and fragile. And yes, the book is written mostly with the intention to show us how women are strong and capable of doing just as much as men but the world is not always this or that, positive and negative, there’s so much to an individual than just evil or just good. I honestly felt that although this book was trying to empower women it was also making ALL men look bad regarding the actions of some. Too much contrast is unrealistic.
Another thing that also made me a bit mad is the fact that the women were only strong when they had their powers and when they were left with none they were defenseless. The thing is, the women that are reading this book don’t have magical powers and by the logic in the story, they are defenseless. That is bullshit. A woman should not only be considered strong if she has some supernatural hability.
In short, I was enjoying this book. It was nice. Okay. It had a beautiful writing, a good description of food that made me want to eat and although it was boring in the beginning it was, at the same time, relaxing. But after reading the whole book I can’t give it more than two stars and I won’t continue the series.