This title will be released on January 3, 2017.
Only women and girls are allowed in the Red Abbey, a haven from abuse and oppression. Maresi, a thirteen-year-old novice there, arrived in the hunger winter and now lives a happy life in the Abbey, protected by the Mother and reveling in the vast library in the House of Knowledge, her favorite place. Into this idyllic existence comes Jai, a girl with a dark past. She has escaped her home after witnessing the killing of her beloved sister. Soon the dangers of the outside world follow Jai into the sacred space of the Abbey, and Maresi can no longer hide in books and words but must become one who acts.
has been writing fairy tales since the age of five. She has been awarded the Finlandia Junior Prize, the Swedish YLE Literature Prize, and the Society of Swedish Literature Prize, the latter on two occasions. She has also been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Among her favorite authors are Diana Wynne Jones, Lloyd Alexander, Philip Pullman, Ursula K. Le Guin, and C.S. Lewis. Maria has a Master of Arts in human ecology and works full-time as a writer. She lives in Finland.
My name is Mares Enresdaughter and I write this in the nineteenth year of the reign of our thirty-second Mother. In the four years since I came to the Red Abbey I have read nearly all the ancient scriptures about its history. Sister O says that this story of mine will become a new addition to the archives. It seems strange. I am only a novice, not an abbess, not a learned sister. But Sister O says it is important that I am the one who writes down what happened. I was there. Secondhand stories are not to be trusted.
I am no storyteller. Not yet. But by the time I am and can tell the story as it should be told, I will have forgotten. So I am recording my memories now, while they are still fresh and sharp in my mind. Not much time has passed, only one spring. I can still vividly recall certain things I would rather forget. The smell of blood. The sound of crunching bones. I do not want to bring it all up again. But I have to. It is difficult to write about death. But that is no excuse not to.
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