Jane Yolen has created a world and a story reminiscent of some old celtic myth. In fact you may wonder as you read whether or not there exists somewhere a legend much like this one sometime in our own world's past. The story centers around a central character named White Jenna who is raised by a community of women warriors similar to the Amazons. White Jenna is prophecied of and will reunite the (Sisters) with the world. She will bring change that some Sisters embrace and some resist to the bitter end. White Jenna is rescued as a baby in the forest and raised by a Light and Dark Sister. If you want to know what a light and dark sister are you'll have to read the book. Jane Yolen explains that concept much better than I can. The first part of the book is about the early life of White Jenna and her friends growing up in the community of sisters. The book really takes off after all this when Jenna and her friends have to go out on their missions. This is similar to young american indians going out into the wild and proving their manhood, having visions, and getting their spirit names. Alot of the happenings in this book parallel legends and myths from many sources. Once Jenna sets out on her mission things start to happen and the pace of the story really takes off and seldom slows until the end. Oh but don't worry about the ending. The ending is very satisfying and unlike many books, appropriate. This book has romance, fight scenes, adventure, war, fantasy, myth, quests, and all the elements one looks for in a really great fantasy. I was enchanted and spellbound as I sacrificed sleep to find out what happens next. Jane Yolen writes mostly children's books and you get a sense of that by the way this book reads but don't let that fool you into thinking it was written for children only. This book is definitely for kids of all ages. Enjoy!
Sister Light Sister Dark and White Jenna entrap you and hold you tighy until your finished. These stories, of a young girl unable to accept her place in the world, inspire and captivate you. I couldn't put either of these books down and when I finally had to, I ran straight to the library to find out if there was a third. No such luck. I would highly suggest these tales to women of all ages. I read it when I was 14.
This book is one of the most haunting, intense and interesting with handfuls of humour thrown in, books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Ms. Yolen makes the reader actually believe in 'dark sisters', 'The Goddess Alta', 'Jenna' and several other characters and happenings of the story. I would recomend this book to anyone, young or old, male or female. I liked it so much, I took my on-line handle from my favorite character. (spelled slightly different in my case, however)
I have read a great many books in my 17 years, more than normal according to some, but the Great Alta books have drawn me back to them time and time again. Any book that I read more than once has to be a good book.