Falcon Blood

~ A Short Story in the Witch World Saga by Andre Norton


Synopsis ~

What is the reason why Falconers hate all women? When a Sulcar woman and a Falconer are shipwrecked on an uncharted land, we will learn the answer to that question. But will the answer destroy them both?


Write-ups from fans ~

A woman of the Sulcars, and a Falconer are shipwrecked together on the beach of a rocky isle.  Tanree, the woman, is mostly unharmed, but the Falconer has a broken arm.  Their only hope of escape is to climb the cliffs surrounding the beach.  But with his broken arm, the Falconer can't manage that, so he has to accept the help of a hated woman.  Once at the top, they discover an ancient citadel, with men, horses, and falcons immobile in the courtyard.  Inside the Great Hall, there are more people, women included, also frozen into immobility.  The Falconer recognizes the setting as an incident out of the Falconers' past, when the Queen killed the King, under the influence of Jonkara, an evil Wise Woman who sought rulership over the entire Falconer race.  Her spirit still lives and she tries to influence Tanree into killing her Falconer companion, which would give Jonkara entre to her body and allow her to retake dominion over the Falconers.  Tanree is of stronger stuff and manages to redirect the sword blade to fall on the "stone statue" that was Jonkara.  With that blow, the figure of Jonkara crumbles into dust, taking all the others with it. ~ SL


Tanree is a young Sulcar woman stranded on a beach after a storm destroyed her ship. A young Falconer is also on the beach, and Tanree sees no signs of anyone else. The Falconer is untrusting of her, because she is a woman, but she persuades him in cooperate with her. They must climb a cliff to get away from the beach and to safety.
At the top of the cliff, they find themselves in the ruins of a strange place that the Falconer calls Salzarat. A giant falcon head guards the doorway into the stone buildings. A regiment of ancient stone men and horses and falcons face a doorway to a roofed building. This building had protected the statues from the weather. The statues were of hungry-looking women who watch their queen kill the king.
Another stone woman stands apart from the others and watches. This statue looks alive to Tanree and she cannot break eye contact with the evil red eyes. The Falconer calls the woman a she-devil and breaks the spell the holds Tanree for a moment. However, in the next moment, a voice commands Tanree to kill the man. When Tanree refuses, the voice becomes stronger and tells her that women stay together and when the blood of a man flows then she will come again into her power.
Tanree fights the power, but her body acts without her control. With the stone sword in hand, Tanree resists the urge to kill the trapped Falconer. She breaks her own bonds for a moment and strikes the statue that crumbles. The voice of the woman, Jonkara, calls her a fool and fades away. Salzarat crumbles around Tanree and the Falconer as they escape the ruins.
The Falconer explains that Jonkara controlled all women and that curse also gave her power over the men. Part of curse lifted when the queen killed the king. That is why the Falconers hated and mistrusted women so much. It also explains why they moved themselves to the mountains to live with their falcons-so that no woman could ever gain that kind of control over them again. He tells her that his name is Rivery, and he agrees with her that they must put the past curses behind them. They must face the future in the light, and they walk away together with the falcon flying overhead. ~ DB


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • Amazons! (1979) Edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Published by DAW, PB, 0-879-97503-2, 978-0-879-97503-6, $2.25 US $2.50 Canadian, 206pg ~ cover by Michael Whelan

Write-up from the back of Amazons ~

Taking the challenge of the great fantasy heroes such as Elric and Conan that only men can be sword-wielding masters of the worlds of fantasy, this is an original collection of new stories of warrior-women in combat against dragons and demons, devils and despots.

Amazons have always been with us in legend and history - and it is the amazons of the imagination we meet in this unique anthology. Here are the writers whose novels have placed them among the leaders in fantasy who have written for this volume original and exciting adventures of women who dare to pick up the sword and go a'venturing.

The cast is fabulous: Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, Tanith Lee, Josephine Saxton, Joanna Russ, Elizabeth Lynn and many more. Join us - well challenge you!


    0 • Amazons • (1978) • poem by Melanie Kaye
    7 • Introduction: Our Amazon Heritage • (1979) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
    16 • The Dreamstone • (1979) • shortstory by C. J. Cherryh
    31 • Wolves of Nakesht • (1979) • shortstory by Janrae Frank
    51 • Woman of the White Waste • (1979) • shortstory by T. J. Morgan
    61 • The Death of Augusta • (1979) • poem by Emily Brontë and Joanna Russ
    67 • Morrien's Bitch • (1979) • shortstory by Janet Fox
    84 • Agbewe's Sword • (1979) • novelette by Charles R. Saunders
    107 • Jane Saint's Travails (Part One) • [Jane Saint] • (1979) • shortstory by Josephine Saxton
    117 • The Sorrows of Witches • (1979) • shortstory by Margaret St. Clair
    126 • Falcon Blood • (1979) • shortstory by Andre Norton
    143 • The Rape Patrol • (1979) • shortstory by Michele Belling
    153 • Bones for Dulath • (1979) • shortstory by Megan Lindholm
    171 • Northern Chess • (1979) • shortstory by Tanith Lee
    188 • The Woman Who Loved the Moon • (1979) • novelette by Elizabeth A. Lynn
    204 • Additional Reading • (1979) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson and Susan Wood


  • 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)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1982) Published in Netherlands by Gradivus, Eidted by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, PB, 978-9-03175-63-4, 322pg ~ translation by Rie Neehus ~ cover by Oliviero ~ Dutch title Amazones
  • (1984) Published in Germany by Bastei Lübbe, Edited by Jessica amanda Salmonson, PB, 978-3-40424-02-34, 389pg ~ translation by Andrea Dorfmüller ~ German title Amzonen!
  • (1986) Published in Norway by Bok og Magasinforlaget / Bokklubben Nova, Edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, PB, 225pg ~ Norwegian title Amasoner!
  • (1987) Published in Italy by Enciclopedia Fanucci, Edited by Jessica Salmonson, PB, 978-8-83470-00-99, 389pg ~ translation by Maria Teresa Tenore ~ Italian title Amazonni ed Eroine
  • (1992) Combined with "Dragon Scale Silver" translation by W. Black, "The Crystal Gryphon", "The Toads of Grimmerdale", "Year of the Unicorn" and "Amber Out of Quayth" translation by T. Pronina ~ Published in Nizhny Novgorod, by Phlox, 5-871-98016-3, HC, 416pg ~ "Falcon Blood" translation by L. Deutsch ~ cover by V. Vasiliev ~ Russian title Год Единорога [Year of the Unicorn]


See Also: Write-up in The Sorcerer's ConspectusWW: ss - Falcon Blood

View the Original contract