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Naondel: The Red Abbey Chronicles Book 2

Review

Naondel: The Red Abbey Chronicles Book 2

Kabira and Iskan seem like they’re meant to be. Iskan, the vizier’s son, appears infatuated with Kabira and she feels the same way. When she shows him the source of her kingdom’s power, however, he exploits their relationship and takes it for himself. In a matter of days, what started out as a story of secret love is twisted into one of betrayal and greed.

Kabira will not go down without a fight, though. As Iskan grows his empire using her family’s power, she assembles a team of women and confidantes to rebel against him. Readers will be at the edge of their seats to find out how this tale will unravel.

"NAONDEL offers hope and empowerment to female characters, something necessary in contemporary literature, and uses it to tell a story of resilience in times of need."

As a fan of Turtschaninoff’s first installment in the Red Abbey Chronicles, MARESI, I was pleasantly surprised by the different voice exhibited in this novel. Where MARESI focused on world-building, NAONDEL fixated on the relationships between the women being held against their will by Iskan. The feminist narrative in this novel is powerful, weaving a strong sense of female identity against all odds and as a rebellion against mistreatment from outside forces.

Feminist themes are obvious and scattered throughout the book. Even though this story is arguably a tragedy, it is also a story of finding hope in darkness, a theme I think most teens will enjoy reading. In the age of vast feminist and female empowerment-related discussion, series like The Red Abbey Chronicles are a blessing and a pleasure to read. The way this is dealt can perhaps seem a bit extreme, as Iskan, the sole strong male presence in the novel, is practically demonized throughout the story. Personally, I do not think this should cause outrage, as I understand he is being used as a plot device as opposed to a generalized demonization of men. However, I can understand someone who argues it to be so.

NAONDEL offers hope and empowerment to female characters, something necessary in contemporary literature, and uses it to tell a story of resilience in times of need. Want to read NAONDEL but haven’t read MARESI? There’s no need! I didn’t read this with MARESI fresh in my mind, and because this is a prequel, you don’t need any background information to be fully engrossed in this story.

Since this novel explicitly delves into some dark themes, I only recommend it to teens ages 16 and up.

Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member on January 29, 2018

Naondel: The Red Abbey Chronicles Book 2
by Maria Turtschaninoff

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2018
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • ISBN-10: 1419725556
  • ISBN-13: 9781419725555