Lavender-Green Magic

~ 5th Novel in the Magic Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) The Magic Sequence

lavender green magic 1977 47440


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of 1974 hardcover edition ~

A world of witches, rare herbs, and a curse are quickly discovered by Holly and the twins, Judy and Crock, when they move away from their comfortable home in Boston to live with their grandparents at the rural, rundown "Dimsdale Place." Inspired by a dream - or was it some kind of supernatural command? - The three children set out to explore the neglected, overgrown garden at the edge of the property, where they find and enter a secret house - and another century! Transported back to colonial days, the three are caught up in a feud between two powerful witches, one good, one evil. The ancient curse on Dimsdale nearly brings disaster to the children's grandparents, too, in a skillfully written story which draws together two worlds and two centuries.
Interwoven with this haunting adventure are glimpses into the black children's adjustment to their new school and new town. Holly, in particular, is filled with anxieties and suspicious expectations, and the author explores these feelings with sensitivity.
Young people who are intrigued by history, as well as the excitement of a magical adventure, will enjoy this book by one of America's most distinguished writers of science fiction and fantasy. 


Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

Lavender-Green Magic is a beautifully written adventure that will enchant readers of all ages. Three youngsters from the big city move to rural, rundown Dimsdale, where they discover a dreamworld of good and evil forces, ancient curses and powerful magic. This is a classic story by one of America's most distinguished and successful authors of science fiction and fantasy.


Write-up from the rear of 2006 tradepaper edition ~

Eleven-year-old Holly Wade and her twin siblings, Judy and Crockett, are sent to live with their grandparents in the small town of Dimsdale, Massachusetts, when their father is declared missing in action in Vietnam. Dimsdale is nothing like Boston; there are only two other African American children in the entire school. Even worse, Grandpa and Grandma Wade live in old junkyard! While exploring one day, Holly, Judy, and Crockett wander into an overgrown hedge maze - and find themselves transported back in time to Dimsdale's past. Can they right an ancient wrong and free the town of Dimsdale from a witch's curse? 


Write-ups from fans ~

Three Colored big-city kids return to live with grandparents at the junkyard, while Mom returns to work as a nurse after Dad comes up missing in action.  The whole situation is unfamiliar and scary to the kids, since they're the only black kids in the small-town New England school.  While helping Grandpa clear out an old house, they find an embroidered "herb pillow."  It teaches them a way into a maze.  Once inside they discover a witch who promises to help them with their problems and does so.  Trouble is, the maze on the pillow is a mirror image on the back, and leads to a different witch, who creates more problems for the kids to have to solve.  In the end, the good witch wins out, and the father returns home.  A Juvenile novel, but still a good read. SL


With their father MIA in Viet Nam in 1970, the Wade children, Holly and her twin brother and sister, Crockett and Judy are forced to move from Boston to a small town upstate. They move into an old barn to stay with their grandparents. The kids are appalled to have to live without electricity or running water, depending on lanterns and candles for light and a fireplace for heat. The place is the town dump, and her grandparents repair broken items for resale and do other crafts to make ends meet. Holly is concerned that they will not fit in at school because they are black. There are only 3 other black kids there, so Holly is just waiting for some trouble to start, but her siblings make friends while she stays aloof so as not to be hurt.
The kids find an old heavily embroidered "dream pillow" and when Judy sleeps with it, she dreams of going through the maze which is near the barn and meeting a nice woman named Tamar. The next day the kids find an opening in the maze and when they reach the center, the actually meet Tamar, a healer-woman and herbalist. They realize that they had traveled back in time. When they get back to their own time, they discover a danger for Tamar and they plan to go back to warn her, but because of Holly's hubris and ill will toward her classmates, they wind up in a nasty maze and meet Tamar's evil sister Hagar who bends Holly's will to her own evil purposes. Her siblings must find out what is wrong with their sister, figure out what can be done, tell Tamar about her danger and get ready for the big Halloween party at school. And on top of that, they must keep their time travelling secret. An action-packed thriller and a good read for adults as well as kids. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: July 1st, 1974
   Set somewhere in the rural South of both the present and colonial days and rooted in old time herb lore, this is one of Andre Norton's more mundane and unassuming fantasies. Three children, Judy, Crock and Holly, are sent to live with their grandparents who are caretakers of the abandoned Dimsdale mansion and of the local junkyard, which seems to be a steady source of restorable antiques. One of the first old treasures Holly discovers, an embroidered herb pillow, has the power to transport the children through the old, overgrown maze garden and back several centuries where they become embroiled in the competition between two sister witches -- the virtuous Tamar and the scheming Hagar. As always, Norton weaves an ingenious plot; only one witch is remembered in the local legend and the discovery of the dual witches is made the direct outgrowth of Holly's own two-sided nature which vacillates between spitefulness and generosity. And the herbal magic and country crafts, though by now ubiquitous accessories to juvenile fiction, are satisfactorily substantial. One aspect of the story is, however, awkward and unconvincing: Judy, Crock and Holly are supposed to be black children, but this is somehow difficult to believe. Their schoolmates apparently are totally without prejudice and Holly's defensiveness (she is afraid someone will call her "black") is presented as unfounded in fact and wins her little sympathy, even among her family. If, unlike Holly, one doesn't mistrust the continually insisted upon prevailing colorblindness, then the rest is easy -- and the directions for lavender fans, rose beads and fuzzie-muzzies will make everyone want to turn herbalist. 


Booklist Review ~ 09/01/1974
When Holly Wade comes to live with her grandparents in an old New England town, she and her younger brother and sister become embroiled in a time-travel adventure that includes witches, herblore, and a magical garden maze. Besides this central plot, the story deals with Holly's odd, junk-collecting grandparents. Her adjustments to living without her father (missing in action in Vietnam) and mother (working elsewhere). And her feelings about being the only black in her class. These plentiful subthemes drop in and out of sight, but the various plot elements form an entertaining if lengthy tale.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1974 in Publishers Weekly, December 02
1975 by A. Nilsen in English Journal, April
1975 by G. Futoran in Luna Monthly #60 (fnz), December
2019 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Mrs. Lena May Lanier;
who through her stories
introduced me to the Wades


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1974) Published by Crowell, HC, 0-690-00429-X, LCCN 73021941, $5.50, 241pg ~ cover and illustrations by Judith Gwynn Brown {Purple Cloth Boards, Library Edition – Green Cloth Boards, Front Board Embossed with Floral Design}
  • (1977) Published by ACE, PB, 0-441-47440-3, $1.75, 241pg - #47441-1 1980 $1.95 241pg 2nd print - #47442-X 1982 $2.25 241pg 3rd print - #47443-8 1986 $2.75 241pg 6th print - covers by Charles Mikolaycak, illustrations by Judith Gwynn Brown (still attempting to identify 4th & 5th print)
  • (2006) Published by Starscape, TP, 0-765-35301-6, $5.99, 272pg ~ cover by Tristan Elwell
  • (2010) Published by Starscape, DM, 0-765-35301-6, $5.99, 273pg ~ cover by Tristan Elwell
  • (2015) Published by Open Road Media, DM, eISBN 978-1-504025-33-1, $6.99, 219pg ~ cover by Connie Gabbert


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1996) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 83-861-3824-6, 202pg ~ translation by Włodzimierz Nowaczyk ~ cover by Agentur Luserke ~ Polish title Lawendowa Magia [Lavenders Migic]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2002) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-040-09726-3, HC, 384pg ~ cover by Luis Royo ~ Russian title Магия лавандовой зелени [The Magic of Lavender Greens]


    • "Lavender-Green Magic" as "The Magic of Lavender Greens" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 5-214
    • "Red Hart Magic" as "The Magic of the Red Deer" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 215-382


  • (2013) Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699660315, HC, 864pgs ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Магия [Magic] ~ Limited to 5000 copies


    • "Steel Magic" as "The Magic of Steel" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 7-96
    • "Octagon Magic" as "The Magic of the Octagonal House" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 99-230
    • "Fur Magic" as "The Magic of Hairy" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 233-362
    • "Dragon Magic" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 365-532
    • "Lavender-Green Magic" as "The Magic of Lavender Greens" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 535-712
    • "Red Hart Magic" as "The Magic of the Red Deer" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 715-861


  • (2015) Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699809639, PB, 416pgs ~ cover art by Lilkar, Petronilo G. Dangoy ~ Russian title Магия лавандовой зелени [The Magic of Lavender Greens] ~ Limited to 4000 copies


    • "Lavender-Green Magic" as "The Magic of Lavender Greens" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 5-248
    • "Red Hart Magic" as "The Magic of the Red Deer" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 249-445

View the Original contract

View the 2001 Russian contract

View the 2004 Russian contract ~ have not found publishing info yet

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store

Interior Illustrations:



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