The Magestone

~ 5th Novel in the Witch World: The Turning Series by Andre Norton

Written with Mary H. Schaub


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of the 1996 paperback edition ~

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.


Write-up from the front and rear flaps of 1996 hardcover edition ~

They were sworn enemies compelled to join forces against a greater foe...
Mereth, a 75 year old woman from the Dales, has traveled to the famed archives at Lormt in search of her heritage. She was hoping to learn both her father's identity and the origin of an unusual jewel her mother had once given her as a betrothal gift - an ancient magestone that was stolen long ago.
Kasarian, a nobleman of Alizon, had come to Lormt unintentionally - through a glowing portal he'd found in the lowest levels of his castle.
The two had no reason to trust one another. Magic was a way of life in the Dales while the Alizonders abhorred it, and the two lands had been at war for a millennium. Yet Mereth and Kasarian discovered they had a great deal in common - and a reason to join forces.
For Kassarian was desperate to thwart the schemes of one of his countryman, an ambitious tyrant who was plotted to seize control of Alizon through an alliance with the dark wizards of Escore. And the key to his success was a strange magical device the mages possessed - Mereth's long-lost magestone.


Write-ups from fans ~

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


This is a Witch World novel. It is mainly the story of Mereth, a 75-year-old mute Dales trader and Kasarian, an Alizonder baron. Mereth travels across the ocean to Lormt to study genealogical records in hope of finding out her ancestry. She is also gifted with the power of psychometry and is a formidable fighter with her staff. Kasarian overhears another baron and his henchman plotting to overthrow the current Lord Baron and to forge an alliance with Dark Mages from Escore. Most Alizonders despise any form of magic. Kasarian feels drawn to take a special family heirloom key to a cellar room. He is transported miles away to Lormt where he is treated cautiously considering that Alizon and Estcarp are enemies. Despite her fear and hatred of Alizonders, Mereth uses her powers to discover who he is and how he got there. Among her visions, she sees a jeweled pendant that was stolen from her family during the latest Dales/Alizon wars and now in the possession of Baron Gurborian, Kasarian's mortal enemy. This powerful "Magestone" of unknown origin must not fall into the hands of the Dark Mages of Escore. The scolars of Lormt find 1000-year-old diaries of an Adept (Mage) of the Light who had the magestone taken from him. What connects the Magestone to Mereth and Kasarian and can they work together in spite of their prejudices? Will a perilous journey into the heart of Alizon spell doom for our heroes or will they prevail in their quest? This is one of two books leading into The Warding of Witch World and therefore ends abruptly. It can be a bit of a shock. ~ PG

Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

To the loving memory of my mother, Deane R. Schauli, who encouraged the writing, listened to each chapter as it emerged, and sometimes said, “That middle part could be somewhat clearer.”
—Mary H. Schaub


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1996) Published by Warner Aspect, PB, 0-446-60222-1, $5.50, 276pg ~ cover by Kevin Johnson
  • (1996) Published by SFBC, HC, # 12043, $8.98, 196pg ~ cover by Kevin Johnson {Black Paper Boards, # 12043 on Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (2001) Published by Oxmoor House, HC, 0-759-50173-4 ~ UK printing ~ cover by unknown ~ (NOTE: this release is somewhat in question. lists this as an Imported Item and is currently unavailable; it is also listed at 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, 0-759-52188-3 ~ UK printing ~ cover by unknown ~ (NOTE: this release is somewhat in question. lists this as an Imported Item and is currently unavailable; it is also listed at 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 Aspect, DM, 0-446-60222-1, $6.99, 291pg ~ cover by Kevin Johnson


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1996) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-716-9158-0, 239pg ~ translation by Ewa Witecka ~ cover by Paul Youll ~ Polish title Magiczny kamień [Magical stone]
  • (2000) Combined with "The Key of the Keplain" translation by Bela Zhuzhunava ~ Published in Moscow, by AST and St. Petersburg, by Terra Fantastica, 5-237-05273-8 and 5-792-10288-0, HC, 640pg ~ "The Magestone" translation by Cyril Pleshkov ~ cover by Ken W. Kelly ~ Russian title Ключ от Кеплиан. Магический камень.


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's Conspectus ~ WW: Books - Magestone, The 

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