Horn Crown

~ 6th Novel in the Witch World: High Hallack Series by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

Write-up from an old Amazon.com posting ~

The people of Hallack, escaping from danger threatening their race, guided by the members of the Sword Brotherhood, pass through a Gate to a new, mountainous land, which shall be remembered under the name of High Hallack. Iynne of Garn's Clan recklessly enters a place of power and is allured by the evil powers. Elron, her relative and Gathea, a young girl, an apprentice of Zabina, a wise woman, set out on a journey in an attempt to free her. They have to cross a dangerous, uncharted land and defend themselves from magical creatures of the Dark. Elron is given a goblet of the Hunter, and becomes a liege of the Horned Lord. Together with Gunnora, the Amber Lady, they have to oppose Raidhan, Lady of the Dark Moon, and her servants.


Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

When the Elder People deserted the Witch World, the cosmic Gate opened and human households migrated in. Though they found the land abandoned, the roads empty and the shrines unattended, they soon become aware the Old Gods still retained their dread powers.
Elron the Clanless and Gathea the Wise Woman were drawn unwillingly side by side into unexplored realms. Each had a separate quest but their fates were linked by the unknown. Each sought an unholy alliance; each was in conflict with the other.
Andre Norton has at last written the seminal Witch World novel - the book that tells of the first coming of mankind and which sets the basis for the entire series. Horn Crown is truly the keystone arch of the Witch World legendary.


Write-up from the front and rear flaps of the 1981 dustjacket ~

When Elron's people pass through the Gate which gives passage between worlds, they trade the memories of their old land for a future in this strange new place, known only to the Sword Brothers who had come before and scouted it. Yet while on guard duty, Elron is drawn, as though by half-dorment remembrances, to an ancient, eerie shrine of the moon.
After Elron's cousin Iynne confesses a similar attraction for the shrine, she vanishes. Later, banished by his clan - declared kinless, because he had kept Iynne's shrine-visits a secret - Elron meets Gathea, an apprentice sorceress, who claims the shrine's magic powers as her birthright. Determined to seize these powers, she joins Elron in search of Iynne, on a perilous, fast-paced journey through the strange land.
Besieged and captured by creatures of the Dark, separated and reunited, Elron and Gathea are forced to learn and employ the Old Ones' magic. For together, Elron and Gathea learn that only the powers of the Old Ones - the ancient gods, goddesses, and the Horned Hunter himself - can fend off the magical sirens and other life-threatening powers of evil. Finally, in a surprising and terrifying showdown, Elron alone must rescue Iynne from the forces of Dark - and, by restoring the balance between good an evil, determine the future of the land.
Thrilling adventure set in Norton's famed Witch World.


Write-up from a fan ~

This is a story which relates the origin of the people of the Dales in High Hallack. On another world, the people of Hallack were forced to flee their world. Their "Bards" discovered a seemingly deserted world and opened Gates so that many clans could emigrate. The area was abounded with hills and dales and so they named it High Hallack. They discovered that there were very powerful beings of both the Light and the Dark still inhabiting this new land. This is the tale of a quest by Elron, an outcast of his clan and Gathea, a renegade wise woman apprentice. They are looking for Elron' cousin who is the clan chief's daughter and has been lured away by the Dark. He wants to return her to the clan and Gathea wants to take from her some magical power that she had supposedly usurped. They run into many creatures of the Dark and get aid from unsuspected sources. Complicating the journey is the fact that they are at each other's throats. Fortunately, they have Gruu, a wise cat who is about the size of a horse, helping them survive. Great story! I had forgotten how good it is. ~ PG


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

1981 by E. Corey in Science Fiction Times (fnz)
1981 in Publishers Weekly, June 05
1981 by R. Herbert in Library Journal, August
1981 by R. Green in Booklist, September 01
1981 in Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, October
1981 by G. Cumming Jr. in School Library Journal, December
1982 by Roger Schlobin in Fantasy Newsletter #46 (fnz), March
1982 by Kendra Usack in Science Fiction Review (fnz), Winter
2017 by Judith Tarr at TOR.com, Oct. 09


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1981) Published by DAW, PB, 0-879-97635-7, $2.95 US, $3.95 Canadian, 255pg ~ cover by Michael Whelan ~ 6th printing #0-886-77051-3 1985 $2.95
  • (1981) Published by SFBC, HC, $2.95, 211pg ~ cover by Jack Woolhiser {Gray Paper Boards, # L29 on Page 210, # 5525 on Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (2012) Published by Premier Digital Publishing, eISBN 978-1-937957-41-4, DM, $3.99, 211pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge
  • (2014) Published by Open Road Media, eISBN 978-1-497656-30-7, DM, $3.99, 255pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge ~ re-released in 2017 with new cover-art by Ian Koviak


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1984) Published in Germany; by Bastei Lübbe, 34-042-0056-X, Fantasy # 20056 ~ translation by Lore Straßl ~ cover by Michael Whelan ~ German title Die Krone der Hexenwelt
  • (1993) Published in Poland; by Amber, 83-708-2248-0, 238pg ~ translation by Ewa Witecka ~ Polish title Korona z Jelenich Rogów [Crown with jelenich corners]
  • (1993) Combined with "Changeling Earth" by Fred Saberhagen, and "Another Fine Myth" by Robert Aspirin ~ Published in Tashkent, by Kaalak, 5-633-00892-8, HC, 480pg ~ cover by K. Iskanderova ~ Russian title Земля под властью волшебства [The Land Under Rule of Magic]
  • (1993) Combined with "Redline the Stars" translation by D. Arseniev and "Perilous Dreams" translation by K. Prilpko ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14020-8, HC 448pg ~ "Horn Crown" translation by K. Prilpko ~ Russian title Королева Солнца 2 [Solor Queen 2]
  • (1993) Combined with "The Jargoon Pard" and "Trey of Swords" ~ Published in Minsk, by Pelev, 9-856-01801-3, HC, 464pg ~ translation by N. Krasnoslobodsky ~ Russian title Гиацинтовый леопард [The Jargoon Pard]
  • (1993) Combined with "Unlimited Orbit" by Poul Anderson ~ Published in Chisinau, by Axular-Z, 5-885-69262-3, HC, 320pg ~ cover by C, Bucur ~ Russian title Корона из сплетенных рогов, Нелимитированная орбита [Horn Crown and Orbit Unlimited]
  • (2002) Combined with "Four From the Witch World" ~ Published in Moscow, by AST and in St. Petersburg, by Terra Fantastica, 5-170-12416-3 and 5-791-10052-7, HC, 600pg ~ translation by N. Omelyanovich ~ cover by Luis Royo ~ Russian title Рогатый Венец [Horn Crown]


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's Conspectus ~ WW: Books - Horn Crown