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4,5 2.5 stars I was disappointed in this It had a ton of potential I loved the premise of a safe island for women girls only who were abused or damaged in some way and needed to heal This should have a short story there just wasn t enough here to make a novel It is the first in a series but I doubt it s one I will continue to read. 3.5 starsI don t read much YA but I felt like I needed a bit of a palate cleanser and I loved the premise of this book For me, it wasn t quite the thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist book that the blurb promised, but it was a diverting enough read I enjoyed the mythology of the Mother Maiden Crone and the descriptions of abbey life, as well as the emphasis on female friendship and co operation, but I felt that there wasn t really quite enough character development The language felt simplistic, like something written for pre teens although the themes seemed aimed at a slightly older audience I am not sure if this was the translation or the original writing, but it did jar a little I appreciate that it is narrated in the character of Maresi, a young girl, but something still felt a little off to me, though I am considerably older than the target audience of course Overall, though, I think a feminist fantasy coming of age story emphasising women s strength and friendship has to be a good thing and I probably would have loved this at age 12 or 13, although some readers that age might find it too upsetting eg there is a rape scene albeit one that is not described graphically but takes place behind a closed door and descriptions of violence. 4.5 stars This book starts off slow and descriptive, but then becomes utterly harrowing I loved the clear and innocent voice of Maresi, who narrates the story, giving it a highly personal feel It is an emotionally stirring book, which highlights the fears and strengths of the women in the story, reminding me in its feel of parts of The Mists of Avalon Highly recommended. What an enchanting read Everyone was telling me that it had fairytale vibes, and I totally agree It s perfect if you want to experience the same kind of vibes from the His Fair Assassin trilogy, or something like The Sin Eater s Daughter. DNF on page 195I went into this book completely blind I had seen some talk on Twitter about it and I was fairly excited about it Maresi is a bland character She is loyal to the Abbey and the sisters who live work there, but there isn t much I can say about her There are a lot a lot a lot of characters and some are mentioned without ever being talked about again As for the plot, it was soooooooo slooooooow There isn t any sort of conflict until it s almost over and even that seemed strained I never really got invested in the story or the characters And even though I considered DNFing 100 pages in, I kept reading view spoiler And then came the implication that young girls were going to be raped I kept reading From there, one of the Sisters offers herself up to the men and basically a line forms and Maresi talks about how the door to the altar room yep, the altar room keeps opening and closing and what that means.And I was done hide spoiler I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher This in no way impacted on my view.I first heard about this book through some bloggers via Twitter Because I trust their judgement on books, I decided to try and request a copy, and was lucky enough to receive one I had next to no knowledge what the book was actually about, other than the fact this was it s first time being published in English, rather than its native Finnish Most of reviews I ve since seen have been extremely complimentary, and I was hoping I d feel the same way unfortunately, this was not the case.Maresi is about a young girl, living in a secluded nunnery, on a female only island The only men who are allowed anywhere near are merchants delivering goods, and taking items manufactured and sold by the nunnery And, even then, they are met at a jetty, and don t disembark the ships For many years, everything has ran very smoothly Once Jai, a bedraggled young girl, arrives at the convent, things change, and not for the better Maresi and Jai become quick friends, but Jai s history soon catches up with them.I did like Maresi, but there was just something lacking She was a proper role model for young girls, both in the book and otherwise, but I never really felt the whole feminist aspect of the book that a lot of other reviewers have mentioned The nuns were really great characters, and I enjoyed how much learning was a part of the story Jai, however, I never really warmed up to I understood she d had such an awful life, and really sympathised with her for that, but I still didn t connect with her character.The book also seemed really slow, for the most part Nothing really happened for about three quarters of the book, and then when it did, it was over in a short space of time Even when I had just finished the book, I forgot pretty much all that had happened in it it just wasn t memorable, at all I m not sure whether it was just a bit too young for me.I m still glad that I read the book, though I wouldn t be in a hurry to read it again I think younger readers would probably prefer it than I did, but I know people my age, and older, have also loved it. Wow Tas bija ma iski Skaisti, dr mi un ausmino i, bet tom r ma iski T matu emm ana man v l ilgi paliks atmi. A novice at an island Abbey finds her destiny when a new arrival brings trouble in her wake.Maresi is a novice at the Red Abbey on the island of Menos where men are forbidden and where the Sisterhood reveres the First Mother Maresi is one of the older novices and will soon move onto what comes after Then Jai, a young girl with an horrific past arrives and Maresi takes her under her wing But Maresi has issues from her own past as well and it looks like there s going to be a collision between Maresi s greatest fears and Jai s very real pursuers.I was captivated by the rich detail of the Red Abbey including vivid descriptions of the physical aspects of the island, Maresi s compassionate appreciation of the Sisters and all the little details about the First Mother s religion The first half is a little slow because it gives much of this detail and sets up Maresi s choices, which all pay off beautifully as the Abbey comes under attack.This seems to be a polarizing book from looking around the other reviews All I can say is that personally this one was perfect and wonderful if harrowing in places Highly recommended. `DOWNLOAD BOOK ⇯ Maresi: Krönikor från Röda klostret ⇨ 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 SafeThen 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 HerNow 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 FearsA Story Of Friendship And Survival, Magic And Wonder, Beauty And Terror, Maresi Will Grip You And Hold You Spellbound