Review - Janette's Tale

Mark Patrick

Review Bitten by Books

 

Posted under reviews by Danielle on Thursday 4 February 2010 at 3:50 am

 

Janette’s Tale is written in a rather barebones fashion yet it has an appealing narrative. Seemingly an origin story, it details young Janette’s evolution from being a simple lass of the forest, a huntress very skilled with bow and arrow, to become a powerful instrument of the Goddess.

I wasn’t exactly sure if this story was set in the real world or a made up world. A historical tale set in Medieval times, it strongly brought to mind Robin Hood, although the story is quite different.

The focus is always on Janette in this story, and she withstands such close scrutiny very well. I liked her very much. Despite the fact that she was chosen for a very special role by the Goddess and her formidable skills with a bow and arrow, along with another lethal ability endowed on her by the Goddess, she was a humble person. Kind and generous, Janette went above and beyond to help others and genuinely disliked taking lives, even though it was for her own protection. Her sense of honor was very powerful, driving her actions throughout this story. All of these traits could have led her to be perceived as annoyingly perfect, but her down-to-earth nature and wry, off-color sense of humor helped to paint her as a realistic person.

This story heavily features worship of the Goddess and delves into persecution of followers of the Old Religion in the midst of the Church’s control of society. It is never made clear if this is the Catholic Church or if this is a made-up entity for the sake of this story. However, Jesus’s name was mentioned with respect, if not reverence, so this story was not Antichristian but anti-Church instead.

There was a fairly strong romance element, although there were no sensual moments. It was very clear throughout the narrative that Janette’s future lay entwined with the Knight of the White Tower, Conrad, who saves her from rape at the beginning of this story. I enjoyed their interactions and the chemistry between them although this story focused mainly on Janette’s personal journey to becoming who she was destined to be.

This is a good story for girls who want to read about a strong heroine who is developing her sense of purpose in the world. Readers should be open-minded about other belief systems, as there is a major focus on belief in the Goddess. One possible shortcoming of Janettte’s Tale as a fantasy novel is that fact that the magic/fantastical elements are very subtle. The fantastical emphasis is found in Janette’s connection with the Goddess, the abilities to perceive through her senses at a greater level than others, her ability to heal, and the fact that the Knights of the White Tower are able to use jewels to perform supernatural feats. The last element is the most downplayed aspect in this story. However, the near constant adventure makes up for this shortcoming. I found this book a slow read at times, but the storyline, numerous action sequences, and the engaging characters kept me reading until I finished it.

This book seems to end as another chapter is beginning. Fortunately, this is merely the beginning of the Chronicles of the White Tower with more books to come. Although there is some violence and light profanity, this book is very suitable for younger teenage readers. Older readers who enjoy fantasy with a heavy dose of adventure would enjoy it as well.

 

Mind Fog Reviews

 

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010

 

Janette’s Tale by Mark Patrick

 

In Janette’s Tale by Mark Patrick I found it to be a good story with good character descriptions, a good flow, and great details. At times however, the story got “long winded”, and a few characters were brought in that didn’t make sense (the little girls). However, at the end of the book, in the author’s notes, he states that this book was originally planned as one story in a series – so maybe the parts that seemed to be “too much” in this story will be played out in the other stories in a series. I hope so!

 

Also, making his main character a young girl, who was attracted to what appeared to be an older man, was questionable. Again, this is probably a relationship that will (hopefully) be played out in other books/parts of the series.

Overall, however, I enjoyed it. The main character was interesting, the dialogue was good, and the action was vivid.  

 

I am looking forward to reading more of Janette’s Tale.  She’s got a lot to do!

 

3 Bookmarks

 

Nanci Arvizu 

 

Mind Fog Reviews

 

Clayton Clifford Bye

 

 

 

Janette is 16 years old and supporting her sick brother by working as a huntress for her village. When a mysterious knight saves her from being raped, Janette’s entire life becomes a whirlwind. First her brother dies (suspiciously), then some unpleasant people come looking for Janette or, more specifically, they come looking for a sapphire necklace her brother had passed on to her.

 

As it turns out, Janette and her sapphire are also the reason Conrad, her rescuing knight, is in the area. He explains his connection to the troubled order of the White Tower and convinces Janet to return with him to his order’s stronghold. When Janette goes to retrieve her hidden valuables within the local standing stones, she is unexpectedly visited by The Goddess and given a great gift: the power to heal through touch (laying on of hands).

 

Pursued from the very beginning of their journey, Conrad and Janette work their way toward his homeland, gathering many friends and becoming embroiled in the intense politics of the time.

 

Jannette’s Tale reads effortlessly, which is a compliment to the author, Mark Patrick. The story is also mildly reminiscent of Robin Hood, which adds a familiar flair to an otherwise original tale. The characters fit loosely into a medieval world, both of which are described in believable fashion; Patrick knows how to create characters with depth and settings that work well for the story he is telling.

 

However, Mark Patrick’s story, while interesting, feels more like a child's or a young adult's fantasy adventure. The problem is simple: Janette is given enough special abilities she becomes too powerful to ever be in real danger. In fact, in every difficulty or battle, the reader will find that Janette and friends never face any trouble they can’t easily deal with. Simply put, Janette's Tale is too nice. The piece needs a rewrite, making the battle scenes and dangers much more threatening, much more challenging to solve and much more visceral.

 

I like Janette’s Tale. Mark Patrick just needs to understand the importance of writing to his audience.

 

 

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye

You Gotta Read Reviews

 

Reviewed by: Lupa

 

Blurb:

With great power comes great adventure.

 

Janette, a young huntress, is forced into an epic journey when she’s saved by an Adepti knight from the Order of the White Tower. Instead of the usual shining armor, white horse and gleaming sword, Sir Conrad wields a mystical sapphire that imbues him with great power.

 

Chased across country by the High Inquisitor, the pair seek aid from a goddess. And when they get it, Janette finds herself gifted with beautiful but deadly powers of her own, attracting more danger than ever before.

 

Mythical artifacts, magical places and a super hot knight make Janette’s life ever so interesting in this the first volume in the Chronicles of the White Tower series.

 

Mark Patrick has woven a world filled with mystery, magic and intrigue in this fantastic story.

 

Vividly described landscapes make the world come to life as you read. Characters that evolve and develop as you read make the players of this tale endearing.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment in the series and I cannot wait to dive into the second.

Reviews of Janette's Tale