Friday 14 April 2017

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 14th April 2017 - "Naondel (The Red Abbey Chronicles Book 2)" by Maria Turschaninoff, translated by A.A. Prime (Puskin Press)

We were left on the edge of our seats by Maresi and our Chapter Book of the Week this week picks up the tale in Book 2 of the Red Abbey Chronicles. Here's "Naondel"
If ever there was a need for a book series like this, it's right here and right now.

Maria Turschaninoff's fabulous "Maresi" laid out a fantasy tale that feels hugely allegorical for the current state of the world, and in particular the continuing struggle by feminists to put an end to the ridiculous patriarchy that still exists in far too many aspects of the modern world.

In "Maresi", Maria steadily built a hugely immersive world  where young Maresi joined the Red Abbey, and began to realise that outside the Abbey, a life of servitude and compliance was all she'd find, not a loving welcoming home.

As Maresi met Jai and their adventures began, we saw the book unfold as Jai's agressor's came hunting for her, to take her back with them to continue as their downtrodden slave.

Now as we pick up the tale in "Naondel", we learn about the opulent palace of Ohaddin, where women are made to obey, to serve, and are treated no better than objects. 

Some were brought to the palace as young girls, captured and enslaved; some were brought as servants.  Some were forced into arranged marriages but all of them must do what the Master tells them, for he wields a deadly and secret power and will not hesitate to use it on anyone who does not comply.

We soon learn, however, that the women have powers too. One is a healer. One can control dreams. One is a warrior. One is a soothsayer who can see future events and keep her sisters safe. 

In their golden prison, the women wait. They plan. They write down their stories. They dream of a refuge, a safe place where girls can be free. They dream of The Red Abbey and thus the chronicles continue.

And, finally, when the moon glows red, they will have their revenge.
We're purposely not trying to ruin the story for you but once again Maria (and her fantastic translator A.A. Prime) have put together a fantasy world that is coiled as tightly as a steel trap. The writing is so visual and immediate. With so many fantasy novels it's easy to get bogged down early on as the author lays out their characters and the world they inhabit but because so much of Maresi's world is instantly recognisable (scarily so in fact) this book is very easy to get drawn into, and if you're like us, you'll be absolutely on tenderhooks waiting for Book 3 (but that's a very good excuse to go back and read both books 1 and 2 all over again).

It's also great news to hear that "Maresi" has been optioned by Film 4 for a movie treatment. They have a fantastic track record of producing fabulous movies from books, so we'll look forward to seeing Maresi hit the big screen very soon.

"Naondel" by Maria Turtschaninoff (translated by A.A. Prime) is out now, published by Puskin Press (kindly supplied for review)