Witch World

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Witch World is a speculative fiction project of Andre Norton, inaugurated by her 1963 novel Witch World and continuing more than four decades. Beginning in the mid-1980s when she was about 75 years old, Norton recruited many other writers to the project, and some books were published only after her death in 2005.[1] The Witch World setting is one planet in a parallel universe where magic works; early in the fictional history it is performed exclusively by women. The series began as a hybrid of science fiction and sword and sorcery but for the most part it combines the latter with high fantasy.

The Lands of the Witch World, including Western and Eastern Continents.[citation needed]

Witch World begins with what is now called the Estcarp cycle. These describe the adventures of Simon Tregarth from Earth, his witch wife Jaelithe, and their three children Kyllan, Kemoc and Kaththea.

The series was expanded greatly with the High Hallack cycle, starting with Year of the Unicorn in 1965 and its sequels Jargoon Pard and Gryphon in Glory. The Dales of High Hallack are on a different continent from Estcarp and its neighboring lands.

Mostly these cycles are organized by continent, Estcarp and its neighboring countries being situated on an eastern continent and High Hallack on a western one, with a wide sea between.

The Turning sequence is about events which convinced conservative witches that men could handle magic responsibly. The Secrets sequence brings many of these story lines to a climax. Both deal with worldwide events. Except for the last Secrets book, most of these were written in collaboration with Norton's fans. The Witch World series can be considered the first romantic fantasy series, both because of the content and because these books were a primary inspiration to later romantic fantasy authors like Mercedes Lackey.

On the Witch World, magical ability is considered to be exclusively female and exercised only by virgins, with the sexual act depriving a witch of her power. Estcarp's male-dominated enemies consider rape as a convenient way of neutralising captive witches. The advent of Simon Tregarth, a man who turns out to possess some magical power and who forms a magical link with the witch Jaelithe after she becomes his wife, poses an uncomfortable challenge to the conservative witch hierarchy, which is by slow degrees forced to accept that males - and females who have relationships with them - can and do possess magic power.

In the above, Witch World is a mirror image of Ursula Le Guin's "Earthsea" series, where to begin with magic is shown as male-dominated, with women's magic despised as "weak" and "wicked", and where it is assumed that "a mage who makes love thereby unmakes his power" - with both assumptions being increasingly challenged in later books of the series and shown be derived from prejudices of a conservative male hierarchy.

Novels[edit]

Estcarp[edit]

Simon Tregarth
  • Annals of the Witch World (omnibus) (SFBC, 1994), AKA The Gates to Witch World (TOR, 2001), contains Witch World, Web of Witch World and Year of the Unicorn)
  • Witch World (1963)
  • Web of the Witch World (1964)
The Tregarth Children
  • Chronicles of the Witch World (omnibus) (SFBC, 1998, AKA Lost Lands of Witch World (TOR, 2004); contains Three Against the Witch World, Warlock of the Witch World and Sorceress of the Witch World)
  • Three Against the Witch World (1965)
  • Warlock of the Witch World (1967)
  • Sorceress of the Witch World (1968)
Others
  • Witch World: Swords and Spells (omnibus) (SFBC, 1987, contains Trey of Swords, Ware Hawk and The Gate of the Cat)
  • Trey of Swords (1977)
  • Ware Hawk (1983)
  • The Gate of the Cat (1987)
  • Ciara's Song (1998) with Lyn McConchie
  • The Duke's Ballad (2005) with Lyn McConchie

High Hallack[edit]

  • Year of the Unicorn (1965)
  • The Jargoon Pard (1974; sequel to Year of the Unicorn)
  • Spell of the Witch World (1972) collection of stories
  • Gryphon Trilogy
  • The Crystal Gryphon (1972)
  • Gryphon in Glory (1981)
  • Gryphon's Eyrie (1984) with A. C. Crispin
  • Zarsthor's Bane (1978)
  • Horn Crown (1981)
  • Were-Wrath (1984) Very Rare - Only 177 Copies Printed (Reprinted in Wizards' Worlds, 1988)
  • Songsmith (1992) with A. C. Crispin
  • Silver May Tarnish (2005) with Lyn McConchie

The Turning[edit]

  • Storms of Victory (omnibus) (1991, contains Port of Dead Ships by Andre Norton and Seakeep by P. M. Griffin)
  • Flight of Vengeance (omnibus) (1992, contains Exile by Mary H. Schaub and Falcon Hope by P. M. Griffin)
  • On Wings of Magic (omnibus) (1994, contains We the Women by Patricia Mathews and Falcon Magic by Sasha Miller)
  • Secrets of the Witch World (omnibus) (2001, contains Key of the Keplian, The Magestone and The Warding of Witch World) - released as Digital Media Only
  • The Key of the Keplian (1995) with Lyn McConchie
  • The Magestone (1996) with Mary H. Schaub
  • The Warding of Witch World (1996)

Short stories[edit]

(most are set in High Hallack)

Collections and anthologies[edit]

  • High Sorcery (1970) - collection includes "Ully the Piper")
  • Spell of the Witch World (1972) - collection (includes "Dragon Scale Silver", "Dream Smith", & "Amber out of Quayth")
  • Lore of the Witch World (1980) - collection (includes "Spider Silk," "Sand Sister" [sic], "Falcon Blood," "Legacy from Sorn Fen," "Sword of Unbelief," "The Toads of Grimmerdale," & "Changeling")
  • Tales of the Witch World (1987) - anthology edited by Norton (she wrote introduction & "Of the Shaping of Ulm's Heir")
  • Tales of the Witch World 2 (1988) - anthology edited by Norton (she wrote introduction)
  • Wizards' Worlds (1988) - collection (includes "Were-Wrath," "Falcon Blood", "The Toads of Grimmerdale", "Changeling", "Spider Silk", "Sword of Unbelief" and "Sand Sister")
  • Four from the Witch World (1989) - anthology edited by Norton (she wrote introduction)
  • Tales of the Witch World 3 (1990) - anthology edited by Norton (she wrote introduction)
  • Sisters in Fantasy (1995) - anthology (includes "The Way Wind")

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Witch World Universe series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2013-07-07. Select a title for linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.

External links[edit]