Secrets of the Witch World

~ An Omnibus for the Witch World: The Turning Series by Andre Norton


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Contains ~

  • The Key of the Keplain, written by/with Lyn McConchie (1995) Published by Warner Aspect, PB, 0-446-60220-5, $5.50, 293pg ~ cover by Kevin Johnson
  • The Magestone, written with Mary H. Schaub (1996) Published by Warner Aspect, PB, 0-446-60222-1, $5.50, 276pg, PB, ~ cover by Kevin Johnson

 

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Synopsis ~

"The Key of the Keplain"
For time beyond memory, the fire-eyed Keplian horses have lured riders to their death, sating the blood lust of the Dark Tower. All Witch World knows that the hunted, hated beasts serve Evil--all except one young woman. Fleeing her home after her beloved grandfather dies, the orphaned Navajo-Comanche girl Eleeri follows an ancient and magical trail to Witch World. When she discovers the Kepliana mare Tharna and her newborn colt in the hands of men eager to destroy them, Eleeri fights for their freedom. Running for their lives, psychic Eleeri and telepathic Tharna bond. And in a hidden canyon, they discover the awesome truth: The Keplians were created to serve Light, and to ride with humans.
"The Magestone"
They are two strangers whose people have been at war for a millennium. Mereth, a Dales trader, crosses the sea to Estcarp and the archival citadel at Lormt, seeking clues to the fate of a missing heirloom, an ancient jewel of Power. At the same time, an Alizonder hound lord, Kasarian, finds that an ancestor's key opens a magic gate to distant Lormt. Alizonders are wolfish tyrants who fight with sadistic poisons and feed fallen leaders to their dogs, but they have always abhorred the sorcery of Witch World. Now, to Kasarian's horror, a maniacal baron seeks to unleash the dark wizards of Escore--using Mereth's long-lost Magestone, stolen from Kasarian's murdered father! Two strangers, two foes suddenly share a common cause, and a legacy more dire than either could imagine. . . .
"The Warding of Witch World"
Estcarp faces apocalypse: in a battle of Powers the great ket to the gates has been lost. The portals stand open, and pan-dimensional evil is poised to invade. All of Witch World's champions must band together and dare unknown dangers in a desperate race to find and close the planet's uncharted gates. But if they succeed, Witch World will be shut off from the cosmos--forever.

 

Write-ups from fans ~

The Key of the Keplain ~ In Arizona, an old Navajo dies, leaving his half-Indian granddaughter alone, but not to the mercy of the social workers. He has made up a pack for her and given her a map of a long-forgotten trail.  She takes that trail, which apparently leads only to a steep drop-off of a cliff, pursued by the meddling social worker in a helicopter.  She sees a Gate; they see a cliff.  When she leaps through, she winds up in a desolate part of Karsten, uninhabited since Duke Pagar's Horning of the Old Race.  There she finds and befriends an old man of the Old Race, who teaches her the language of her new world, and a few little magic tricks, and gives her a talisman, a small pendant in the form of a black horse with sapphire eyes.  When he dies, she begins to wander the countryside, looking for a place to call home.  In her journeys, she comes across a village where a Keplian mare and her new-born foal are being tortured.  She rescues them and takes them with her, eventually finding a hidden valley where they can make their home.  After a time, she discovers her pendant contains the spirit of the first Keplian stallion, who had been created by "good" mages to be their friend. ~ SL

The Magestone ~ An elderly woman of High Hallack remembers the invasion of the Dales by the Hounds of Alizon.  She had to take over the family's trading business and holdings after her family was killed in the wars.  Now she sets out to retrieve a blue gemstone that her mother had always told her was her dowry.  She finds it in the hands of a young Baron of Alizon, whose father had been awarded the jewel by the "king" of Alizon for bravery during that same war.  Together they discover that it is actually the key to a Gate between Alizon and the cellars of Lormt, and that the ancestors of the Alizon people were brought to this world by that same mage in an attempt to rescue them from their own hazardous world. ~ SL

The Warding of Witch World ~ There are three prologues, each introducing a character to focus on later. The first chapters tell how the loss of the Magestone has cracked open some of the sealed gates and let forces of the DARK into the world. A decision is made to hunt out all the active gates and seal or destroy them.
From page 71 to page 230 tells of the quest through Karsten and points south. This is a fantastic group, including the witch, Mouse, an Alizondern girl, Liara, Lady Eleeri and Lord Romar and the Keplians they ride. Simon's grandson, Keris Tregarth learns, on this trip, that he is more than he thinks and has to face the ultimate peril. Then there is a six-page interlude to catch up with happenings in Lormt.
From page 227 to page 408 we follow all the trials and tribulations of Kethan, the Were-Pard, and Firdun of the House of Gryphon, Uta the large black cat who has her own secrets as they leave Arvon and traverse the Waste following the forces of DARK toward another Gate. Of course, they have to hope that the Adept Hilarion can figure out just how a Gate can be sealed or destroyed and relay the information across the ocean to this intrepid group. Then we get another six-page interlude from Es City.
From page 415 to page 583 We follow Simond, son of Koris of Gorm, his wife Trusla, the witch Frost and several Sulcars to handle the troubles in the frozen area west/northwest of Alizon. Epilogue follows. There are lots and lots and lots of action and dangers aplenty for our beloved characters to face. While this is not a book I'd recommend to anyone who has never read Norton, for her tried and true fans, it is a treat. Considering the scope of the Witch World, this is an admirable effort to tie it all together, so to any nit-pickers, I beg you to just enjoy the book. ~ PG

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2001) Published by Oxmoor House, HC, 0-759-50174-2 ~ UK printing ~ cover by unknown ~ (NOTE: this release is somewhat in question. Amazon.com lists this as an Imported Item and is currently unavailable; it is also listed at Amazon.uk.com but is unavailable. However none of the Andre Norton Collectors that I have conversed with about it have ever seen or heard of this release.)
  • (2001) Published by Twtp Assorted, HC, 0-759-52197-2 ~ UK printing ~ cover by unknown ~ (NOTE: this release is somewhat in question. Amazon.com lists this as an Imported Item and is currently unavailable; it is also listed at Amazon.uk.com but is unavailable. However none of the Andre Norton Collectors that I have conversed with about it have ever seen or heard of this release.)
  • (2001) Published by Warner, DM, 0-759-54177-9, $12.95 ~ File Size 1,079K (Palm Pilot format)
  • (2002) Published by Warner, DM, 0-759-58179-7, B00005N5IS, $12.95 ~ File Size 1,079K (Windows format)
  • (2002) Published by Warner, DM, 0-759-56174-5, B00005N5IN, $12.95, 1166pg ~ File Size 3907K (MAC format)

 

 

 

 

 

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