The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Sword of Unbelief

  A Novelette 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


Jervon was captured by Wolfheads. Elys comes seeking him, fearing what fate may befall him as the brigands didn't kill him. Elys was right to fear as they left Jervon in a trap of a Dark One. Can Elys save him? 

Timeline Points:

  1. p121. 1 Fury Driven
  2. p121. Elys (narrating): 'That wind which whipped at my cloak was bitter, carrying the breath of the Ice Dragon.' (Late autumn. The last month of the year, similar to our December, is called the Month of the Ice Dragon) Elys is following bandits who've captured Jervon.
  3. pp124-125. Elys (narrating): 'War had been the harsh life of this land now for so many years it was hard to remember what peace had been like. High Hallack had been over-run by invaders whose superior arms and organization had devastated more than half the Dales before men were able to erect their defense.' 'Then had come the final effort. Not only did the Dale lords unite for the first time in history to make a common cause, but they had also treated with others—out of this same Waste—the Were-Riders of legend. Together what was left of High Hallack arose with all the might it could summon to smash the Hounds of Alizon, driving them back to the sea, mainly to their own deaths therein. But a land so rent produces in turn those with a natural bent toward evil, scavengers and outlaws, ready to plunder both sides if the chance offered. Now such were the bane of our exhausted and war-worn country.' A short time after the Alizon invasion of High Hallack. (This story probably takes place in the Year of the Hornet. see: Year of the Unicorn & The Toads of Grimmerdale) That means Elys & Jervon appear here between their appearances in Gryphon in Glory & Gryphon's Eyrie.1
  4. p126. 'Once before I had fought against very ancient evil—with love—for the body and soul of a man. Then I had sought my brother Elyn trapped in a cursed place, though what I felt for Elyn, of my own blood and birth, was but a pale shadow to that which filled me when Jervon looked upon me.' (events of Dragon Scale Silver)
  5. p127. 2 The Shadow Hunter
  6. p133. 3 The Frozen Flame
  7. p136. Elys finds Jervon, bound to a chair as sacrifice to an ancient, evil god.
  8. p138. 4 Elsewhere and Elsewhen
  9. p138. Elys enters the spirit world.
  10. p140. Elys confronts the evil god.
  11. p143. Jervon's spirit arrives to help her.
  12. p144. 5 Together We Stand
  13. p146-148. Elys & Jervon fight the god with unbelief.
  14. p148. 'I opened my eyes—' Elys's spirit returns to her body, the evil god defeated.
  15. p149. Jervon awakens. Elys narrates: 'I could not believe our battle won. But before us, where we crouched together on the wide seat of that throne, the last glimmer of light died. There was no gateway now to elsewhere. Outside the outlaws of The Waste might be waiting, but we two had battled something greater than any malice of theirs, and for the moment we were content.'

1. Due to conflicting references in Dragon Scale Silver & Gryphon in Glory, this story may actually take place between those with time travel taking place at the end of this story. Check out Lore of the Witch World "Sorcerer's Notes:" section.

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: The Toads of Grimmerdale

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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