The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts


A Novella in the [Witch World: The Turning] by Mary H. Schaub


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:

Flight of Vengeance (1992) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-85014-X, 978-0-312-85014-2, $21.95, 383pg ~ cover by Dennis A. Nolan, Maps by John M. Ford


Exile is the story of two outcasts thrust together by a monumental feat of magic, worked b the combined force of all the witches of Escarp to move mountains, The witches stopped the invasion by Pagar of Karsten, but their effort cost the witches dearly, killing many and striking powerless man others. A great upheaval uprooted families, destroyed nations, and wreaked havoc on the face of the world, unleashing powers thou ht long dead and gone. Exile is, most of all, the tale of Nolar, a witch who couldn't find her power until all others lost theirs. Magically summoned to rescue another, she discovered an enemy who, in his mind, would become a friend.

Timeline Points:

  1. Nolar aged 20 at The Turning.
  2. p15. 'The late summer air was as clear and fresh as usual in Escarp's foothills nestled beneath the higher peaks.' (The day of the Turning) 'Nolar thrust aside the herbs she had been sorting and strode yet again to her narrow window facing south.' 'The sunrise had been clear, but during the day, an ominously dark cloud bank expanded across the southern horizon.' Summary of events of the border skirmishes with Karsten leading up to the Turning. 'Even in her remote mountain area far north of that embattled border, Nolar had heard fragmentary accounts of the struggle.'
  3. p19. 'From her earliest awareness, Nolar had known that something was wrong with her appearance. People would look at her face then quickly avert their eyes. As soon as she had seen herself reflected in the shining surface of a kettle, Nolar recognized that her face was different from other people's faces. She had been told that her birth had been long and hard; her mother died of it, while she herself had been thought likely to die for some time afterward. Whatever the cause, she had emerged branded across her face by a dark red swath, spangle-edged as if wine had splashed on the skin and could not be wiped away.'
  4. p20. When Nolar was five years old, she developed a dangerous fever that prevented her from being examined for potential Witch talent as she should have been tested according to tradition. It was about that time that her father remarried a sturdy woman of Falconer blood, to whom the presence of a deformed child was unthinkable. Although the lady herself had fled from one of the secluded villages where Falconer women were kept to bear children, she held to their harsh belief that children with defects should not be allowed to live.'
  5. p22. 'She was almost eight-years-old when she stumbled—literally—upon her singular experience of good fortune.' Nolar comes upon Ostbor's hut. 'The early winter afternoon quickly darkened toward dusk…'
  6. p23. 'Nolar's first impression was of a long, thin nose flanked by piercing eyes beneath white tufted brows. The figure then resolved into a tall old gentleman muffled in countless layers of antiquated clothing. "And who are you, hmm?" he enquired in a voice unexpectedly deep for a man of such a gangling frame.' "I am Ostbor. some call me 'Ostbor the Scholar,' which is kind of them, I'm sure."'
  7. p24. '"I am Nolar, sir, of the House of Meroney—that is, Meroney is my mother's House." Ostbor had given an encouraging nod. "And a fine House it is. I am more familiar with the branch that settled near Pethel, but I have certainly read of Meroney."'
  8. p25. 'That was the first of many nights there for Nolar. In retrospect, those few precious years with Ostbor were the happiest that Nolar had ever known.'
  9. p31. 'Nolar therefore had settled happily into the quiet routine of life at Ostbor's house. The days and months flew by.' 'Nolar was eighteen-years-old in the early spring just before Ostbor became gravely ill. There had been a late snow and days of cold, dank mist and fog.' Ostbor sets his affairs in order.
  10. p32. 'Ostbor died peacefully a week later. About a month afterward, a gnarled old man arrived with a string of pack horses. Initially, he was almost truculent, announcing that he had come from Lormt to gather Ostbor's records, but he was mollified when he found that Nolar could read the official letter he bore authorizing the removal.' 'It took them two days, and when the old man left, the house seemed woefully empty.' 'Thanta, the local Wise Woman, died early in the summer after Ostbor's death.'
  11. p33. 'Nolar was arranging pared slices of fruit to dry in the summer sun when a stranger unexpectedly rode up to her door. The message that the young man brought startled her: her father commanded her to return with this servant to his house at once for the betrothal of one of Nolar's stepsisters. They would have to hurry to be in time, for the marriage was arranged to coincide with an important Ritual Day within the week.' 'It was twelve years since Nolar had seen her father; she had never met the stepsisters.' (She is 18 now so was 6 when she was sent away.)
  12. p34. 'Upon their arrival five days later, her father's courtyard seemed both larger and smaller than Nolar had remembered it.'
  13. p35. 'She now noticed that her stepmother possessed the shining reddish hair and hawk-yellow eyes associated with the Falconers.'
  14. p37. 'Although both Witches' faces appeared relatively ageless and unlined, the Witch on Nolar's left had seemed somehow the younger of the two. One of her eyes was obscured by a milky film. If she were indeed blind in that eye, Nolar thought, her intimidating staff could be merely a necessary aid for walking. Ostbor had told her that when Witches withdrew for training, they generally renounced all personal belongings. This Witch's staff, however, was capped by a small silver bird, as if it were a House badge.' (p40 says it's a raven.)
  15. p38. 'Something in her father's tone abruptly attracted Nolar's attention. With deferential courtesy, he was inquiring about the current state of Estcarp's harried borders. The earnest concern in his voice betrayed to Nolar his intense interest. The senior Witch remarked that Facellian of Alizon appeared to be closely occupied nowadays with purely local matters. There was a dry satisfaction in her voice, Nolar suspected that the Witch knew far more than she was revealing.'
  16. p39. 'Nolar's father hastened to thank the Witch for any news of Alizon. "I am certain that your recent travels near that border must have yielded valuable information for the Council. As you must know, we here in the midlands are at a grave disadvantage, having to rely on repeated tales or mere rumours. Our trade has been grievously disrupted by the raids from Karsten. Is it true Duke Pagar has assembled a vast army? I have heard that he is actually poised to invade Estcarp at any time." The senior Witch surveyed Nolar's father with controlled scorn. "Those who invest according to rumours may find that their gold has vanished overnight. You would do well to base your judgments on more reliable facts. The Council, I assure you, is prepared to deal with Pagar. It is convening at Es Castle shortly for that very purpose."'
  17. p42. 'Nolar had to wait until midmorning to see her father, but he was distracted, and seemed not to care whether she stayed or left.' 'Her packing required little time, and before midday, she rode quietly out of the busy courtyard.' 'During the succeeding days, she slipped back into her former life pattern, gathering herbs, roots, leaves and stems to be prepared in many ways for use by any hill folk who would ask for them.'
  18. p44. 'With the twilight darkening to dusk, Nolar shivered, as much from her daunting thoughts as from the penetrating cold. There would be no visible sunset this night; the dense southern clouds had blotted out the usual channels though which the sun's last rays ordinarily shone.'
  19. p45-47. The Turning (see: Three Against the Witch World & An Account of the Turning)
  20. p46-48. Nolar receives a Sending from the half-blind Witch to got to Lormt.
  21. p51. 'On the fifth day, Nolar slowly rode through one of the narrow gates set in the massive grey-green wall encircling Es City.' (since she left Ostbor's house)
  22. p62. 'For an instant, there was silence, then she heard someone walking openly toward her over the loose gravel. She glanced up, confronting a tall young man in the dark riding dress of the Borderers.' 'He had the black hair and gray eyes of the Old Race, and although his clothing and gear appeared worn from long use, it was clean and in good repair.'
  23. p62. Nolar calls her "aunt" (the half-blind Witch with the silver raven topped staff) "Elgaret". 'The young man dipped his head. "As for myself , I am Derren, son of a forester from the south."
  24. p63-64. 'As he walked away, Derren was thinking hard. This unexpected diversion might provide the very security he needed. He had told the Estcarp woman some truth: he was the son of a forester, and he had been scouting for weeks through the border mountain lands. What he had deliberately not mentioned was that his father had been a forester to a lord in Karsten. Pagar had seized that estate in his scramble for the dukedom. Derren had prudently joined Pagar's forces, and because of his dark hair and grey eyes, as much as for his able scoutcraft, he had been sent to spy along the Estcarp border. 1
  25. p84. Kemoc left Lormt 10 days before The Turning (Three Against the Witch World)


1: This is rather odd as anyone looking like they were of the Old Race would have still automatically been Horned during this period, wouldn't they?

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Falcon Hope

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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