The great goddess Alta creates two sister queens to rule the forces of darkness and light on Earth and challenges them to work in harmony as perfect and opposing reflections of one another. Reissue. PW.
Jenna was orphaned three times: Her mother died in childbirth, the midwife died while taking her away, and the warrior woman who adopted her was also killed. She's taken in collectively by the follows of Great Alta, a benevolent goddess. They're somewhat Amazonian -- there are no men in their "hames," they are warriors, farmers, priestesses, and everything else that they need to be.
But Jenna is different from the rest. There's a prophecy that a white-haired child who lost three mothers is the Anna, a savior who will change everything. Events are set into motion when Jenna and her friend Pynt encounter teenage prince Carum in the woods, who is being hunted by a vicious warrior. Killing the warrior and saving Carum leads to destruction for Jenna's home and family...
Jane Yolen crafts a wonderful, believable place in the Dales. Not only is it very detailed and plausible-sounding, but she also sprinkles it with songs and historical studies. While the Alta series is often labelled "feminist fantasy," there's no preaching or two-dimensional male characters. Yolen simply shows us Jenna and Pynt operating on the same level as Carum, and leaves it at that.
Her writing is earthy and has plenty of detail without bogging itself down. The concept of "dark sisters" (sort of a nighttime-only spiritual twin) is an unusual and well-crafted one.Read more ›