The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts


A Novella in the [Witch World Saga] by Michael D Winkle


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:
[Tales of the Witch World 3] (1989) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54757-8, 978-0-812-54757-3, $3.95, 343pg ~ cover by Victoria Poyser


Wylona is left to be the Lady of Ellskeep and leader of her people when her father goes off to war and never returns. Ellskeep is attacked in the middle of the night by bandits wearing wolf-skins and Wylona is captured. While being marched back to the bandit’s camp tied to horse she is rescued by a creature half man and half wolf. They then team up for they share an enemy that both have vowed to kill. They discover that the bandits are leagued with the Hounds of Alizon and have hound weapons. Amarrok the wolf creature resorts to weapons of the old ones to battle the bandits and hounds but he must be very cautious since the use often comes with a great price.

Timeline Points:

  1. p368. 'Throughout the Year of the Moss Wifes did we Dalesmen hear of the Hounds of Alizon and their strange allies from across the sea. That they brought war was plain to all, like storm clouds upon the horizon, yet, though each Dale's lord saw to the storing of food and the training of men, they did not ally themselves to one another until nearly too late. We are a proud, stubborn, and independent breed, and such alliances are alien to our way of thinking.'
  2. p368-369. 'Yet it chanced that Lord Torak of Ellskeep, my father, travelled south to the war front before the grudging Dales alliance. Ellsdale had known peace for many years, excepting minor skirmishes with outlaws of The Waste, and though most men long for such relative tranquility, it grated against the fiery temper of my father. There were Sulcarmen amongst his ancestors, and as one could tell with a glance at his mighty physique and bronze skin, and this, mingling with his Dale heritage, produced a man who itched for action that no hunt or sword practice could provide.'
  3. p369. 'Month of the Snow-Bird'
  4. p369. 'He turned to gaze at the portrait of Lady Amiell, my mother and his wife, dead these dozen years.'
  5. p369-370. Lord Torak: "For seventeen years I have fought the desire for battle, and I fear I can stave it off no more." (Wylona must be 16 at this point, therefore her mother died when she was 4.)
  6. p370. Lord Torak: "We have no male relatives to challenge you, and few Dale lords truly desire Ellsdale, bordering as she does The Waste on the north and west."
  7. p370. 'Month of the Frost Sprite'. After that the Hounds invade making this now spring of the Year of the Fire Troll. (see: The Crystal Gryphon & Dragon Scale Silver)
  8. p371. 'I lay abed one night, some months after the sealing of the alliance by the Lords Imgry, Savron and Wintof…'
  9. p371. Captain Kegan:"He says the metal monsters of Alizon come—from the north!" "The coast to the east of The Waste is not often visited anymore, save by scavengers. Perhaps the Hounds landed there unseen."1
  10. p374. Kegan: "The south seems our best hope—perhaps Ronansdale." "Yes," I [Wylona] said. "For Lord Ghislain of Ronanskeep was long friendly to my father."
  11. p375. "the Rats of Nore" (a reference to a tale?)
  12. p379. Bandit leader: "I shall send no more men out till we reach Dragonsback."
  13. p381. 'The bandit leader had mentioned Dragonsback, a jagged line of peaks to the north.'
  14. p389. Another description of the forming of The Waste, The. (see: The Jargoon Pard and Peacock Eyes)
  15. p402. Belita: "It is rumored that there lies a land to the north of The Waste, called Arvon, where Old Ones live in peace, protected by illusions from modern men." Amarrok: "The territory to the north was known as Arvon in my day," "That the name has survived, even in legend, gives me hope that this rumor is true." "There is only Waste between Arvon and Ellsdale, and it is not quite so terrible a barrier as it once was."


Sorcerer’s Notes:
This is probably set during the Year of the Leopard when the Hounds of Alizon still have Kolder tech. There is no mention of the Were-Riders so it's definitely before the Year of the Gryphon.

1. This section is rather bizarre. The only port this could refer to is Ulmsport, unless they consider the bordering mountains with Arvon to be part of The Waste and there is another, tiny port north of Ulmsport?

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Fenneca

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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