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White Jenna: Book Two of the Great Alta Saga [Mass Market Paperback]

Jane Yolen
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan. 5 2004 Great Alta Saga (Book 2)
World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
ALA Best Books for Young Adults

Book Two of the Great Alta Saga

Jenna was the White Queen.

Skada was the Dark Queen. She is bound to Jenna—the other half of Jenna’s self. Drawn out of a mirror by a rite of magic, a “dark sister” is confined to the dark. She vanishes in daylight. It is in this other world the dark sisters wait for moonlight or lamplight to call them forth again.

This is their story: of myths turned real, ordinary people turned heroes, a land turned inside out by the coming of White Jenna.

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From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Sister Light, Sister Dark follows Jenna into adulthood as she reluctantly fulfills the prophesy naming her the Anna, the warrior queen who will lead her people out of oppression. In the land of the Dales, conquered by the patriarchial Garunians, women living in communities known as Hames train girls to be warriors. They are able to call up their dark sisters, shadow souls who appear in the flesh with the moon or firelight to fight and work and love as their light sisters do. Jenna and two companions--Petra, a priestess in training, and Catrona, a warrior, plan to warn the other Hames of the danger from the usurping Lord Kalas. The small band joins up with the deposed king and his brother, Jenna's love Carum, whom she had rescued years before. The king uses Jenna to gain a greater following, but they are still too few. Yolen weaves a magical tale with wry, true-to-life observation, poetry and a touch of wit.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A magical tale.” —Publishers Weekly

“A strong book that will expand the horizons of its readers.” —Library Journal

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Then Great Alta looked down upon her messengers, those whom she had severed from her so that they might be bound more closely to her. Read the first page
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Heart is Quicker than the Eye Sept. 7 2002
By Plume45
Format:Paperback
Although a sequel to Sister Light, Sister Dark, this shadowy fantasy weaves a complete tapestry of chiaroscuro. Prophecies on the slant, heroic female protagonists and cruel villains compete for the Dales--an unspecified island realm consisting of two uneasily mixed races. But supernatural folk intermingle with humans, as many women were born with dark sisters (fantasy twins.) Besides the Greena (Little People)who possess curious powers, there is the image of the Great Alta herself--mother goddess to many women of Earth, ruling through a succession of priestesses.
Young teenage Jenna--reluctant to consider herself the Anna of legend--undertakes a quest to warn her sisters in some 17 Hames about the rampages of the scourge of the Dales--perpetrated by brutal soldiers of the usurper. She is joined by a very young priestess named Petra, a middle-aged mentor Sister, Catrona, and ultimately by 3 youths who will become heralds of the true king. Who will emerge at the final coronation: the vicious Toad or one of the 2 rightful heirs?
Can a mere girl effect the ruin of the Hound, the Boar, the Bull and the Cat by her own, delicate hand? Privately seeking her young prince (from Book I), Jenna dedicates her will and her body to saving her sisters and restoring peace to the land. But why do so many insist that she is the legendary Anna?
Intermingling threads of various hues (myth, legend, "History" and the story itself), the author deftly spins a web of medieval intrigue in a supernatural sphere. The plot gradually tautens around the spindle of fate, to its dramatic denouement--interspersed with folk sayings of the Dalians. Jenna blushes with maidenly modesty at veiled sexual inuendoes, but few secrets escape the twinning knowledge of Skada, her dark sister.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not Without Flaws Dec 17 2000
By Amanda M. Hayes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jane Yolen is a superbly gifted artist. In _Sister Light, Sister Dark_, she introduced us to White Jenna, the Anna of prophecy and a young woman caught up in matters beyond her understanding; the end to Jenna's story is found in this sequel, _White Jenna_. Here we see a continuation of a very intriguing, original theme: the difference between myth, legend, history, and truth, where what really happened may strike historians as the incredible thing of all.

It's a shame, though, that the story itself isn't quite as mesmerizing as the theme behind it. The large role promised to Skada on the bookflap is never actually given; rather than sister, Dark Queen, and equal, she seems more like Jenna's convenient and helpful servant, showing up only in times of trouble. Large spans of time are skipped over; the fast-forwarding through the rest of Jenna's life was particularly irritating. Most of the characters either weren't developed as fully as they could have been or seemed like clones of earlier ones--there was remarkably little difference between Pynt and Petra, given that the latter originally seemed much more serious-minded. And despite what I said earlier about the main charm of the book being its comparison of history and truth, myth and reality, Jenna really did seem to accomplish amazingly little for a woman whose coming has been foretold for centuries and who was supposed to be a Goddess's good right hand.

Still, it's not at all a bad book. People who enjoyed the first in the series should likewise enjoy this one, for even with all its flaws, Jenna is as intriguing a heroine as ever, Carum as winsome, and Skada as entertaining. I probably wouldn't advise anyone to read this unless they've already read _Sister Light, Sister Dark_, though; whoever tries to do so is likely to end up very confused.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Jenna: Book II Jan. 23 2010
By Susan M. Botich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jane Yolen weaves an intricately beautiful story that is all together a love story between a woman and a man, a woman and her people (which she comes to find are much broader in scope than she originally believed) and a woman and her inner self, her "dark sister." It is absolutely satisfying to read and wander the world that Yolen created. Her language is poetry. It flows off the tongue with grace and elegance. I thoroughly enjoyed these two books that comprise the Great Alta Saga!
Sister Light, Sister Dark: Book One of the Great Alta Saga[
[ASIN:031286258X The Books of Great Alta: Comprising 'Sister Light, Sister Dark' and 'White Jenna']]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warrior women, a goddess on earth; what more cold you want? July 20 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was a wonder! I couldn't put it down and read it in one hour flat!! The sequel to Sister Light, Sister Dark explained what it's predessor didn't and became one of my favorite books in the world!<P>I was entranced by the descriptions of how the dark sisters vanished in light and reapeared in the shadow. I as well hope a sequel comes along too
5.0 out of 5 stars i could not put it down!!!!!!!! July 12 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
this book was wonderful i finished in three days not being able to put this down !!! i want more just like it and hoping for a sequal
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel Jan. 31 2000
By Sara Laren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
You know what they say... sequels are never as great as originals. I waited for what seems like forever for this book, and it was kinda disappointing. It didn't have the same magic Sister Light, Sister Dark had. The storytelling seemed kind of rushed and Skada's role was underplayed too much. All in all, a fizzling conclusion to a good beginning.
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