________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 38 . . . . June 4, 2010

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Jatta.

Jenny Hale.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2010
464 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0277-3.

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Laura Dunford.

*** /4

excerpt:

Her body was bulging now, flesh stretching and pulling. Sharp edges poked her from inside; the agony was like slashing knives. Something sinister was clawing at her innards. Scraping and snarling. A vicious beast bursting out. Hairy claws slashed out, spilling potion over the floor.

Her furious howl sent a chill through the palace.

 

Princess Jatta has always been small for her age, a timid teenager overlooked by the people in the palace. But as her fourteenth birthday approaches, a curse placed on her by the evil Lord Brakensith when she was a child rears it head. Suddenly, Princess Jatta is howling at the full moon and slashing her way through barricades and bodies. When Brakensith returns to take Jatta away to his kingdom to marry his son, the princess and her brother, Arthmael, flee the kingdom.

     Jatta is an ambitious and epic novel ideal for avid adolescent readers who enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Jenny Hale creates an unusual secondary world in which fairy tale elements and gothic monsters co-exist. The narrative focus moves between Jatta and Arthmael, ensuring that both male and female readers will identify with a character. The relationship between the princess and her brother is skilfully developed and, even in a world of dragons and vampires, believable. Unfortunately, the development of the other characters in the novel is neglected, which places a barrier between readers and their engagement with the story.

     While Jatta is filled with action, it would have been better suited as a duology. The plot is confused by too many events and new characters in too short a time and needs to be given room to be further developed. However, if young readers are looking for a literary adrenaline fix, they will find it in Jatta.

Recommended.

Laura Dunford is a student in the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program at the University of British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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