Jatta by Jenny Hale

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jatta is a princess in the kingdom of Alteeda, but her life is no fairy tale.

Her mother was slain by werewolves when Jatta was three years old, and the palace has been haunted by fear ever since.

Then Jatta wakes one morning, bruised and disoriented , soaked in sweat, to see her bedroom smeared with bloody paw prints …

One thing which I really loved about this novel was the main female protagonist, and the book's namesake, Jatta. She grew extraordinarily through the novel, from being shy and wealthy and not questioning the things her father told her, to being independent, able to strike out on her own. I also felt that the relationships between Jatta and the other characters - especially her older brother Arthmael, who was incredibly frustrating at times, but who was only looking out for his sister - really made this novel great.

I loved the world which Jenny Hale created in this book, were all sorts of scary and fantastic beasts existed, as well as magic. It's difficult not to give anything away, but there's a chapter a bit into the book where Jatta and Art go to see the sorcerer, and I thought it was really fantastic.

It was a bit long-winded in parts, and I felt there were a few unnecessary passages, making an already long book long. However, I'm usually more inclined to shorter books, and I'll admit to the fact that I prefer books set in the real world. If you are a person who primarily loves fantasy, this novel is in all ways a wonderful, unmissable read.

With Jatta growing so much as a character, a fair bit of the novel was made up of conversations and chapters of non-action, which were really quite refreshing when plenty of action scenes surround it. But those scenes of action were fantastic too - I found Jatta's transformation and time as a wolf to especially well-written (and such a contrast to Jatta as a girl).

In Jatta, Jenny Hale has created a fantastic mythical world and deeply enjoyable novel. I think this book will appeal to fantasy fans of all ages, and if you're interested in a magical read, you should definitely check it out.

You can read the first chapters online, and find out more on Jatta's website: http://www.jatta.com.au
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