The Gate of the Cat

~ 7th Novel in the Witch World: Estcarp Series by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1987 dustjacket and the back of the 1988 paperback ~

Come. Step through an ancient arch in the Scottish highlands - and into a world beyond all earthly possibilities...

Where Fearsome creatures abound and witches rule supreme.

Where a sparkling jewel carries a strange and awesome power.

Where the terrifying forces of the Dark ravage the countryside.

And where a young Earth woman named Kelsie McBlair holds the key to Witch World's future. Trapped in a bizarre web of science and sorcery, she alone can pierce the savage heart of evil... by confronting the lord of Dark himself!

Thrilling and unforgettable, here is the newest chapter in one of the most exciting adventures ever written - Andre Norton's WITCH WORLD. 


Write-ups from fans ~

Kelsie McBlair a hunter, trying to save a wildcat from danger stumbles through a gate into Escore. She discovers a dying woman and a few armed men who have been killed. The woman tells Kelsie her name and hands a jewel on a chain to the cat. She is menaced by a Sarn Rider and his hound. They get rescued by Kemoc and Kyllan Tregarth and Dahaun and taken to the Green Valley. There she meets Wittle, a witch from Escarp who resents Kelsie having a dead witch's jewel. Wittle has come to Escore looking for a source of Power. Kelsie has a geas put on her to go with Wittle and Dahaun assigns Yonan to travel with them. His knowledge of flora and fauna of Escore is invaluable to their survival. The journey is fraught with danger from forces of the DARK. They get captured and manage to escape or so they think. There is an amazing battle against the forces of the Dark who are after the witch jewels and the power that they possess. ~ PG


An American woman inherits an estate in Scotland, and goes over there to claim it.  What she finds infuriates her "tree-hugger" mentality, and she intends to rescue a wildcat from the farmer hunting it down.  Instead she gets into a brawl with the guy and receives a knock on the head that rolls her into a stone archway, which turns out to be a Gate to Witch World. She lands in Escore just in time to see a Witch of Estcarp foully killed by evil beings, and is given the witch's Jewel.  It carries with it a geas to search out what the Witches hope will be a new source of Power to revitalize their sisterhood after so many had died during the Turning. ~ SL


KIRKUS REVIEW ~ Kirkus Reviews Issues: 1987
An addition to Norton's popular and long-running Witch World series. In the Scottish Highlands, young Kelsie McBlair, intent on helping an injured wildcat, falls between some standing stones, strikes her head--and wakes up in the Witch World. She's attacked by evil Sam Riders, but, fortunately, they're unable to penetrate the stone circle. Then Kensie comes upon a dying witch who gives her a strange glowing jewel. It's soon apparent that the jewel has its own ideas about what happens next, and so Kelsie, accompanied by stern, skeptical witch Wittle and young warrior Yonan, finds herself unwillingly marching off through lands haunted by various nasty creatures. Eventually the trio becomes involved in a showdown battle between good and evil. Victorious, Kelsie decides to stay on in the Witch World. A harmless distraction for Witch World fans.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1987 Kirkus Reviews
1987 by Don D'Ammassa in Science Fiction Chronicle #97, October
1988 by Tom Easton in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, April
2017 by Judith Tarr at, Sept. 11


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

With gratitude for Ingrid without whose
help this book would never have come to be.


Bibliography of English Edition ~

  • (1987) Published by ACE, HC, 0-441-27376-9, LCCN 87009137, $16.95, 243pg ~ cover by Rick Lovell {Black Paper Boards, Blue Cloth Spine, Rice Paper End Papers}
  • (1988) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-27380-7, $3.50, 219pg ~ cover by Rick Lovell
  • (2012) Published by Premier Digital Publishing, eISBN 978-1-937957-53-7, DM, $3.99, 243pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge
  • (2014) Published by Open Road Media, DM, eISBN 978-1-497656-21-5, $3.99, 223pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge ~ re-released in 2017 with new cover-art by Ian Koviak


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1991) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-708-2279-7, 238pg ~ translated by Mirosław Grabowski ~ cover by Steve Crisp ~ Polish title Brama Kota
  • (1994) Combined with "Lore of the Witch World" ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press, 5-863-14029-1, HC, 448pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev, except “The Toads of Grimmerdale” translation by K. Queen (sort story in "Lore of the Witch World") ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Кошачьи врата [Gate of the Cat]
  • (2001) Combined with "The Crystal Gryphon" translation by B. A. Segalovsky and "Ware Hawk" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-08589-3 and 5-792-10447-6, HC, 635pg ~ "The Gate of the Cat" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ cover by Luis Royo ~ Russian title Хрустальный грифон. Берегись ястреба. Кошачьи врата.


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's Conspectus ~ WW: Books - Gate of the Cat, The