Goodreads Synopsis: Only women and girls are allowed in the Red Abbey, a haven from abuse and oppression. Thirteen-year-old novice Maresi arrived at the Abbey four years ago, during the hunger winter, and now lives a happy life under the protection of the Mother. Maresi spends her days reading in the Knowledge House, caring for the younger novices, and contentedly waiting for the moment when she will be called to serve one of the Houses of the Abbey.
This idyllic existence is threatened by the arrival of Jai, a girl whose dark past has followed her into the Abbey’s sacred spaces. In order to protect her new sister and her own way of life, Maresi must emerge from the safety of her books and her childish world and become one who acts.
I picked this book up on a whim, just because I liked the cover, and it was such a good choice! You know that feeling when you just accidentally stumble on a gem of a book and feel in your heart that the book gods are smiling on you? Yeah that’s the feeling I have right now. 😀
The Red Abbey Chronicles toes the line between middle grade and YA, our main character is after all only 13. Maresi is a delightful character, and I fell in love with her right away. Actually I fell in love with everything right away. The way the story is written is simple and easy to read. The world of the Abbey is magical. Maresi’s connection to her fellow novices was beautiful. I loved how they all worked together so well. And this book has the added bonus of having amazing food descriptions!
If you’re looking for a fast read, with powerful female leads, this book is for you. I gave it four stars on Goodreads and I can’t wait to read the next book in this duology.