Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Great Alta Saga

Go To

Jane Yolen's Great Alta Saga is, in many ways, typical of the feminist speculative fiction of the seventies and eighties. There are the requisite separatist societies, the requisite pairing-off of the female characters with men despite the equally requisite Les Yay, and the requisite lamentations regarding the shortcomings of modern society. That is not to say that they are bad books— only that they may seem dated to modern audiences despite being relatively recent works.

The three books in this series are, in order, Sister Light, Sister Dark (1988), White Jenna (1989), and The One-Armed Queen (1998). The first two follow the story of Jenna and her dark (or shadow) sister, Skada, as they lead a long-overdue uprising in their native land. The third novel has Jenna's foster daughter, Scillia, as its main character, and a plot that focuses on the ending of the way of life in which Scillia was brought up.

It should be noted that, though the books were originally marketed for adults (which makes sense), new editions have since been published aimed at readers "ages 13 and up" (which doesn't).

This series contains examples of:

  • Death by Childbirth - Jenna's mother; her father is too grief-stricken to raise her, so the midwife takes her to the Hame.
  • Doorstop Baby - how Jenna came to Seldan Hame
  • Lady Land: Where the women live.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Interspersed with the story "as it actually happened" are passages from later retellings that mythologize the events, and others from even further on of historians trying to piece together what actually happened based on the very slim physical evidence (and being misled by their own prejudices.)

Alternative Title(s): Sister Light Sister Dark, White Jenna, The One Armed Queen