Maria Turtschaninoff

Original title: Maresi

Author: Maria Turtschaninoff

Published: 2014

Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms

Genre: Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Pages: 180

Part of a series: Red Abbey Chronicles trilogy

Reading material:

English edition

The Red Abbey is a refuge for women and girls, where everyone pursues their own areas of interest. Maresi prefers to spend her time reading and learning. Everything changes when the frightened Jai arrives on the island. She has seen her sister get buried alive for speaking to a young man, and her father and a crew of thugs are after her. Maresi and her friends have to fight to defend both Jai and their community.


“Maresi stands out for its startling originality, and for the frightening plausibility of the dangerous world it creates” – Rebecca Hawkes, Telegraph

“It’s rare to find a YA fantasy with such polished writing… Utterly satisfying and completely different” – Booklist, starred review

“Dark, powerful and original… it really stands out in a very crowded YA marketplace. Thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist” – The Bookseller

“Beautifully written… Maresi has a touch of Katniss about her, and although the target market is different, female lovers of dystopian fantasy adventures will enjoy the journey” – The School Librarian

“It’s hard not to be impressed with Turtschaninoff’s magical world”
– The Times

”The novel is at once contemporary and timeless. Its unwavering feminism is resolutely modern, resonating with a range of texts from Ursula Le Guin’s 2001 Tales from Earthsea to Disney’s Frozen. At the same time, it feels authentically ancient and mythic.”
– The Guardian

”The first book in a very unusual fantasy/fairytale trilogy, bristling with feminism, inner darkness and intellectual questions”
– The Daily Mail

“Brutal and beautiful, Maresi walks the knife edge so thrillingly I read it in one sitting. Embued with myth, wonder, and told with a dazzling, compelling ferocity. I can hardly wait for the next instalment.” – Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars

“A rich, powerful vision – thrilling, harrowing and exhilarating by turns. It conjures up a startlingly well-fashioned world that’s different to ours, yet disturbingly familiar. It grips like a vice and enchants like a distant song. It’s tale-telling as strong, complex and admirable as its heroine, and we’re lucky to have it translated so beautifully into English.” – Jonathan Stroud, author of The Amulet of Samarkand

“A beautifully painted, fantastical setting like no other; this story will resonate with me for a long time” – Ben Alderson, booktuber

“Atmospheric, immersive and definitely original, Maresi has a quiet urgent magic that makes her story powerful, poignant and memorable” – For Books’ Sake

“A book full of courage. Dark, brave and so gripping you’ll read it in one sitting with that instinctive hunch hovering over your shoulder warning you that something terrible is about happen if you turn the page. And then you turn the page…” – Laura Dockrill

“A few times in a life time, a book comes along that wraps you completely in its world and its characters. Wildly imaginative and vivid and filled with wonders… this book makes me proud to be a woman” – Casey Daveron, booktuber (Casey Ann Books)

“A poignant, slow-burning fantasy” – Taran Matharu

“An incredible book… if you like Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours, you’ll love this. Fantastically original… [and] a very important read” – Amber Kirk-Ford, booktuber (The Mile Long Bookshelf)

“Both magical and sad, inspiring and frightening, Maresi is a fairytale for the modern world.”
5 star review, Tearaway

“I love Maresi. I really do. And it’s one of those books that I feel like everyone should read”
When You Close the Book blog

“It’s a haunting fable that resonates with the death cults and honour violence of today. ”
Financial Times

“This piece is a beautiful tale about women with a very special sisterly bond and I will gladly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.”
5 star review, LaChouette

“A story of friendship and survival, magic and wonder, beauty and terror, Maresi will grip you and hold you spellbound.”
– 5 star review, Rising Shadow

”Maresi proves to be an exact and riveting storyteller. She tells her gripping story simply and clearly, and has us hanging on her every word.”
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

“There’s so much magic in this book – on all imaginable levels.”, Germany

"Maresi will be the children's hero following Harry Potter. Feminism and fantasy are completely woven together to catch not only fun but also lessons! It's a must for children!"
- Soyeon Kim, Foreign Rights Manager, Gimm-Young Publishers

”The novel is at once contemporary and timeless. Its unwavering feminism is resolutely modern, resonating with a range of texts from Ursula Le Guin’s 2001 Tales from Earthsea to Disney’s Frozen. At the same time, it feels authentically ancient and mythic.”

– The Guardian

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Schildts & Söderströms (orig. Finland-Swedish), Tammi (Finnish)

BRAZIL: Editora Morro Branco
CANADA: Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature
CHINA: Shanghai 99 Readers' Culture
CROATIA: Naklada Ljevak
DENMARK: Turbine forlaget
ESTONIA: Varrak Publishers
FRANCE: Rageot
HUNGARY: Scolar Kiado
ITALY: Atmosphere Libri
KOREA: Gimm Young Publishers
LATVIA: Izdevnieciba Petergailis SIA
LITHUANIA: Aukso pieva
NORWAY: Bazar Forlag AS
NORWAY: Gursli Berg Forlag
POLAND: Sonia Draga
ROMANIA: Univers Publishing House
SPAIN: Editora Alfaguara I&J
TURKEY: Altin Kitaplar
UNITED STATES: Abrams Children's


Foreign covers

About author

Maria Turtschaninoff

Maria Turtschaninoff is known for crafting lyrical, historically inspired fantasy stories starring strong female protagonists. In addition to J.R.R. Tolkien, she counts Philip Pullman, Ursula K. Le Guin and C.S. Lewis among her favorite authors. She is a two-time winner of the Society of Swedish Literature Prize, winner of the Swedish YLE Literature Prize, winner of the Thank You for the Book Award, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2020-2024), and winner of the 2014 Finlandia Junior Prize.

Her Red Abbey Chronicles YA trilogy has been sold into 30 languages, while her first adult novel Inherited Land has been sold to 23 territories. Maria has a Master of Arts in human ecology and works full-time as a writer.


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