Norton, Andre
book-date: 1965
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Jack Gaughan

Jack Gaughan (who has shown an affinity for Norton's Witch World with his covers) supplies interior illustrations, 2 of which are particularly effective: Herrel drawing a glowing sign in the air, and Gillan crossing an invisible bridge.

Year of the Unicorn - this is the 4th to appear in the "Witch World" series, but it takes place outside of the main Simon Tregarth and children sequence - the first to be set across the ocean to the west, in High Halleck. This takes place somewhat later in the series, after the men of the Dales made a pact with the Were-Riders of the Waste to drive out the Hounds of Alizon. The price of that alliance was 13 brides for the were-riders. Not all of the brides were willing, and at the last moment a secret substitution was made. Gillan, an orphan from Estcarp, disguises herself and takes the place of the least willing - to go forth with high heart to wed a shape-changer and sorcerer. She finds wonder, unexpected divisions amongst the Were-Riders, a journey to a lost land, and a greater destiny than she could have imagined.

I claim there is a set of 9 Witch World books that are the best - all of them meet her highest standards and are worth re-reading. There are as many or more other "Witch World" books as this set - not one of them is as satisfying as any of these. I'll be happy to sell as many good-condition single-copies or sets as I can find.

Witch World + Web of the Witch World - the first book in the series was a Hugo-nominee, featuring Simon Tregarth, a man of our world who passed through a gate to arrive on the Witch World, where magic worked. There an ancient nation of witches (Estcarp) is beset by Alizon to the north, and Karsten to the souith, with the worst threat coming from the Kolder - who do not seem to be native to this world. Simon's fate becomes entwined with the witch Jaelithe, and after a struggle to break the Kolder's power (the first 2 books) - they marry.

Three books feature their 3 children: one centering on each: Three Against the Witch World, Warlock of the Witch World, and Sorceress of the Witch World.

Then there are 4 books taking place overseas, in a region known as High Halleck. The Hounds of Alizon had been supported and armed by the Kolder - encouraged by them to seek conquests in any weaker land. The Hounds considered the Dales of High Halleck ripe for easy plucking, but their invasion foundered when support from the Kolder stopped. (No more high-tech tanks, and the ones they had stopped working.) The Dalesmen formed an alliance with the Were-Riders of the western Waste to drive off the invaders. Year of the Unicorn, Spell of the Witch World, The Crystal Gryphon, and The Jargoon Pard.