The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Falcon Blood

  A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Andre Norton


See Also: [Martinez ~ Glossary] [Martinez ~ Races] [Schlobin ~ Survey] [Coulson's Index]

[Expanded Reading Order] [Bibliography Page] [Read it Here[Return to Contents]


Edition Used for Analysis:
[Lore of the Witch World] (1980) Published by DAW, PB, 0-879-97560-1, 978-0-879-97560-9, No.400 #UJ1560, $1.95 ~ cover by Michael Whelan


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

Timeline Points:

  1. p95. Tanree- a Sulcar woman, crew of the Kast-Boar.
  2. p97 'Where their (Falconers') original home had been no outsider knew. Generations ago something had set them wandering, and then the tie with her [Tanree's] own people had been formed. For the Falconers had wanted passage out of the south from a land only Sulcar ships touched. They had sought ship room for all of them, perhaps two thousand—two-thirds of those fighting men, each with a trained hawk. But it was their custom which made them utterly strange. For, though they had women and children with them, yet there was no clan or family feeling. To Falconers women were born for only one purpose: to bear children. They were made to live in villages apart, visited once a year by men selected by their officers. Such temporary unions were the only meetings between the sexes.'
  3. p97-98 'They had fought shoulder to shoulder with the Borderers of Estcarp in the great war. But when, at last, a near exhausted Estcarp had faced the overpowering might of Karsten, and the Witches concentrated all their power (many of them dying from it) to change the earth itself, the Falconers, warned in time, had reluctantly returned to the lowlands.' The Turning (see: Three Against the Witch World) 'Where they might now be in relation to the lands she knew, Tanree had no idea. They had been beaten so far south by the storm that surely they were no longer within the boundaries of Karsten.'
  4. p98. 'Some men, nurtured all their lives on fighting, became outlaws; so that, though in Estcarp itself some measure of order prevailed, much of the rest of the continent was beset.' After the Turning.
  5. p102. "Salzarat!" The Falconer recognizes his homeland.
  6. p106. "Kill!" 'Tanree herself wavered under that command in her mind. Kill this one who would dare threaten her, Jonkara, Opener of Gates, Commander of Shadows.' Jonkara attempts to force Tanree to kill the Falconer.
  7. p108. 'The sword had jarred against Jonkara.' Tanree shatters the petrified Jonkara and the city crumbles.
  8. p109. The Falconer: "Her [Jonkara's] curse held us until the death of Langward, who dying, as you saw, from the steel of his own Queen, somehow freed a portion of us. He had been seeking long for a key to imprison Jonkara. He succeeded in part. Those of us still free fled, so our legends say, making sure no woman would ever hold us in bond." "My name is Rivery."

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Storms of Victory

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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