~ A Novelette in the Witch World Saga by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

Hertha has bore her daughter. Yet her daughter bears the price of her brush with the Toads as her daughter was born a changeling. To save her daughter, Hertha must seal the Toads in. Can she do it?


Write-up from a fan ~

Hertha's daughter, Elfanor, is born, but with the mark of the Toads upon her face.  Hertha knows then that the Toads had not relinquished their hold upon her, with the release of Trystan, whom she had promised to deliver to them as retribution for her rape, thinking he was the guilty party.  The Dames of Lithendale have given her sanctuary until the baby was born, now they seem to turn away from her, even while continuing to give her sanctuary.  She decides that to free Elfanor from the curse, she must ride back to Grimmerdale and seal the Toad's site.  The way is long, but not hard, until the final day, when she discovers that to seal the Toads, she must move boulders onto the paths into the standing stones.  In the meantime, Trystan, after having made good his Lordship over Nordendale (which had been left without leadership during the war with Alizon), has come as promised to make her his Lady and take her to his Keep.  Given an ambiguous report by the Dames of Lithendale, he follows her in time to help her move the last big boulder, which is too large for her strength, and has fallen into a gully beside the path it is supposed to seal.  With the closing of all ways in, the mark of the Toad's curse falls away from Elfanor. ~ SL (seguel to "The Toads of Grimmerdale")


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Lore of the Witch World (1980) Published by DAW, PB, 0-879-97560-1, $1.95, 223pg ~ cover by Michael Whelan (Re-released in 2012)
  • Wizards' Worlds (1989) Edited by Ingrid Zierhut, Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-93191-3, $17.95, 500pg ~ cover by Lucy Synk (Re-released in 2012)


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's Conspectus ~ WW: ss - Changeling