Maria Turtschaninoff

Original title: Naondel

Author: Maria Turtschaninoff

Published: 2016

Publisher: Förlaget

Genre: Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Pages: 400

Part of a series: Red Abbey Chronicles trilogy

Reading material:

English edition

An independent prequel to Maresi, Naondel tells the story of the First Sisters – founders of the Red Abbey. Imprisoned in a harem by a dangerous man, with a dark magic that grants him power over life and death, the women must overcome their mistrust of each other in order to escape. But they can only do so at a great cost, both for those who leave and those left behind.


“…complex, multilayered, and wholly believable. […]  Feminists of all ages will appreciate this positive portrayal of a matriarchy.– Booklist

”This volume is a tapestry of interwoven tales of the women. Each thread plays a role. Despite their often adversarial positions, they find strength, hope, and even friendship in one another. They unite to survive Iskan’s unspeakable cruelty and brutality. VERDICT: Highly recommended for all libraries serving older teens.” – School Library Journal

“A haunting fable.” Suzi Feay, Financial Times

Combines a flavour of The Handmaid’s Tale with bursts of excitement reminiscent of Harry Potter’s duels. Observer

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

“Epic in its scope, intimate in its observation: if Maresi felt like encountering a rare and blazing talent, Naondel is here to brand the certainty under your skin.” Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 winner The Girl of Ink and Stars

“A prequel that introduces the founding sisters of the all-female Red Abbey… their interwoven stories told with unflinching clarity, rise to a vengeful climax with the glow of the red moon, and will stay with the reader long after the book is closed. […] Turtschaninoff weaves a hypnotic spell…at once contemporary and timeless.”Guardian

“An unforgettable feminist epic, shot through with hypnotic dark charm. […]Dark, powerful and original…it really stands out in a crowded YA marketplace. Thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist.” The Bookseller

“Reading it, I felt empowered. I felt proud to be a woman, and of who I am.” – Once Upon a Bookcase

“5 Words: Power, control, feminism, survival, magic.”– Tea Party Princess

“I cannot recommend this book enough, whether you’ve read Maresi or not. If you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale or Only Ever Yours then you’ll love this. It’s tragic and painful and hopeful and empowering and I just loved it” – Maia and a Little Moore

Praise for Naondel from Scandinavia:

“A suggestive depiction of a world where girls are oppressed but have the power to break free.” – Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Sweden

“Dark, painful, sublime. […] Naondel is Turtschaninoff’s most impressive work to date.” – Kyrkpressen newspaper, Sweden

“Naondel is a strong fantasy novel, which in spite of its stark content offers an empowering read. The suffering women in the novel possess warmth and an edge, which move the reader. It’s easy to compare the book to the best of Ursula K. Le Guin’s later works.” –  Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“A source of dark power. […] It’s not often that I devour a novel these days. Most books remain words and text; seldom do the worlds and bodies stay with me. Naondel pulled me in with a dangerous power and consumed me. I came out the other side a little shaken.” – Svenska, Finland

“A unique brand of feminism in fantastic packaging.” – Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper, Finland

“In Naondel Maria Turtschaninoff keeps track of seven different voices – with verve.” – Västra Nyland newspaper, Finland

“Turtschaninoff is good, she is world class, which Naondel proves if you have not read her before.” – Enhörningen magazine, Finland

“So, this book!! It’s like Game of Thrones, though so much better. And all from a woman’s perspective!” – Prickiga Paula blog, Sweden

“An unforgettable feminist epic, shot through with hypnotic dark charm. […]Dark, powerful and original…it really stands out in a crowded YA marketplace. Thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist.”

– The Bookseller

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Förlaget (orig. Finland-Swedish)

BRAZIL: Editora Morro Branco
CHINA: Shanghai 99 Readers' Culture
ESTONIA: Varrak Publishers
FRANCE: Rageot
HUNGARY: Scolar Kiado
ITALY: Atmosphere Libri
KOREA: Gimm Young Publishers
LATVIA: Izdevnieciba Petergailis SIA
NORWAY: Bazar Forlag AS
NORWAY: Gursli Berg Forlag
POLAND: Sonia Draga
ROMANIA: Univers
SWEDEN: Berghs
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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