Moon of Three Rings

~ 1st Novel in the Moon Magic Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Free Traders or Moon Singer



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the back of the paperback editions ~

At the time of the Moon of Three Rings, the galactic trade ship Lydis lands on the planet Yiktor. On Yiktor, Krip Vorlund, a junior crewmember, seeks amusement at a beast show. He is strangely attracted to the owner of the show animals, a delicate and mysterious woman, Maelen. When Vorlund is kidnapped by a Combine seeking to control the planet, he learns too well the nature of Maelen’s sorcery; she transforms him into a wolfish creature, in which form he retains his own soul.
“Between them - Krip and Maelen - they spin an eerie tale of dreams and visions, of metamorphoses and extrasensory perception, of timelessness and limitlessness.
“The primitive world of Yiktor, evoked from myth and legend and ingeniously fused with the future, will be entered most receptively by readers acquainted with medieval heroes and mysticism. Even the signing prose rings with the cadence of legendary literature.” – The Horn Book


Write-up from the front flap of the dustjacket ~

"I spin from world to world because it is a way of life to which I have been born and bred. I know of none different."
This way of life was to bring Krip Vorlund, the Free Trader, to a planet called Yiktor at the time of the Moon of Three Rings. The Three Rings meant power, and those few of Yiktor who possessed it could shadow a man's life or turn it into nothingness.
Maelen, the trainer of werewolf-like animals, had this power. a Moon Singer, a sorceress, a weaver of thoughts, Maelen willed that Krip leave his body to be found and carried to the valley of the forgotten by those pursuing him for their own evil in the space race. And by her magic, Maelen "espered" the transplantation of Krip's inner being into the form of one of her own little creatures.
Now, in the guise of a predatory animal, Krip is terrorized by a fear more powerful than any he had ever known as a Free Trader of the Galaxies. For although his external characteristics have changed, his soul remains the same. To make his plight known to those outside the realm of the Moon of Three Rings is impossible. How can he, a haunted creature, retrieve his body and remetamorphosize to his natural state before it is too late?
Brilliantly told by a leading science-fiction writer, Moon of Three Rings is an absorbing space-age adventure that can be read on many levels. 


Write-ups from fans ~

The world of Yiktor comes to life under Andre's talented pen and the Thassa are one of the most interesting races she ever created.
Krip Vorlund, youngest and newest crewman of the Free Trader Lydis on leave at the great fair on Yiktor visits a "Beast Show" run by a mysterious Thassa moonsinger, Maelen. He later accompanies her to an animal dealer who has a badly-treated Barsk, a dangerous wild predator (similar to a wolfhound). The dealer tries to kill Maelen, but Krip stuns him and saves Maelen's life. Later Kirp is kidnapped and tortured by a local warlord who hoped to trade him for advanced weapons so he can take over the world. He manages to escape and is found by Maelen and her troupe. He is in bad shape and when the soldiers of the warlord are about to overtake them, she uses her magic to transfer him into the body of the Barsk. She claims that Krip's body was under a powerful curse and protection of a local god, but they take it anyway. All kinds of mayhem follows as they try to get back his body to change him back. Maelen is in deep trouble with the Thassa for all her use of their moon-powered magic on an off-worlder. Action-packed, riveting. I visit yiktor often.

NOTE: Yiktor' moon, Sotrath shows two of its rings at all time and the Thassa can draw power from it. On occasion, the third ring appears and while it is visible, their power is multiplied and greater deeds can be done. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: Aug. 1st, 1966
Moon of Three Rings is by the prolific author who can generally be counted on to do multiple rings around any of the others working in the juvenile science fiction form, and this is one of her best. Krip Vorlund, a Free Trader, was a wanderer. All of the traders were rooted only to their ships; they had no ties to any world except as places to visit and exchange goods, and their only ambition was to be able to own their own space ships. But when Krip's crew came to the medieval planet Yiktor his soul became a wanderer into different bodies. It's all because he became a pawn in a plan by off-worlders to gain control of Yiktor as a base to achieve galactic control, and to do so they had to be able to conquer the Thassas, a small group of people of Yiktor with magic powers. Maelen, a Thassa trainer of a beast show and a Moon Singer saves Krip's life, but only by exchanging his body with that of a wolfish animal, later with a Thassa man. Together, Maelen and Krip become involved in the struggle to escape from the feudal battles, to attain safety for Yiktor, and to retrieve Krip's lost body. It's a compelling pilgrimage, well worth taking for fantasy/SF fans. 


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

1967 by P. Schuyler Miller in Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, June
2014 by Patrick Reardon
2015 Review: Moon Singer Series - Patrick Reardon
2015 by James Nicoll
2017 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

To Sylvia Cochran,
who guided so many “infant" pens


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1966) Published by Viking, HC, LCCN 66006943, $3.75, 316pg ~ cover by Robin Jacques {Cream Cloth Boards}
  • (1966) Published by The Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd., HC, LCCN AC-66-10251, $4.75, 316pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover by Robin Jacques {Pictorial Boards}
  • (1967) Published by Viking Junior Literary Guild, ~ cover by Robin Jacques {Pictorial Boards}
  • (1967) Published by ACE, PB, H-33, $0.60 (020-08033-060) - cover by Jack Gaughan - #54101 1970 $0.75 256pg 2nd print - #54102 1974 $0.95 256pg 3rd print - #54103 1975 $1.25 256pg 4th print - covers by John Schoenherr ~ #54104-6 1978 $0.75 294pg 5th print - cover by Paul Alexander ~ #54105-4 1981 $2.25 294pg & $2.50 - #53899-1 1985 $2.50 294pg 12th print - #53900-9 1987 $2.95 294pg 13th print - covers by Walter Valez
  • (1969) Published by Longman Young Books, HC, 0-582-15510-X, £ 21s (£1.12), 320pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Robin Jacques {White Paper Boards}
  • Moonsinger (2006) Published by BAEN, HC, 1-416-52061-9, 464pg ~ cover by Alan Pollack ~ Omnibus containing Exiles of the Stars (1971) & Moon of Three Rings (1966)


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1969) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, OCLC: 73842694, Terra TB 166, DM2.40, 143pg ~ translation by Birgit Ress-Bohusch ~ cover by Klostermann ~ German title Das Geheimnis der Mondsänger [The secret of the moon singer]
  • (1985) Published in Munich, Germany; by Moewig, 38-118-3806-7, TB 6, DM5.80, 160pg ~ translation by Birgit Ress-Bohusch ~ cover by Nikolai Lutohin ~ German title Das Geheimnis der Mondsänger [The secret of the moon singer]
  • (1995) Published in Poznań, Poland; by Zysk i S-ka, 83-715-0011-4, 220pg ~ translation by Dorota Dziewońska ~ Polish title Księżyc Trzech Pierścieni [Moon of Three Rings]
  • (2007) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 978-5-699-23099-0, PB, 320pg ~ cover by R. Hescox ~ Russian title Луна трех колец [Moon of Three Rings] ~ Limited to 6000 copies
  • (2015)-1 Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 978-5-699-83897-4, PB, 288pgs ~ translation by O. Kolesnikova ~ Russian title Луна трех колец [Moon of Three Rings] ~ Limited to 3000 copies


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1992)-1 Published in Moscow, by Agra and Inrezerv, 5-879-94003-9, HC, 432pg ~ cover by N. Lyubeshkina ~ Russian title Космические оборотни [Space werewolves]


    • "The Puppet Masters" by Robert Heinlein translation by M. Korkin, pp. 3-230
    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of the Three Rings" ~ translation by K. Prilipko, pp. 231-423


  • (1992)-2 Published in Katerinburg, by Victory, 5-879-41001-6, HC, 448pg ~ cover by A. Kazansev ~ Russian title Луна трех колец [Moon of three rings]


    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of the Three Rings" ~ pp. 3-182
    • "Iron Cage" ~ pp. 183-348
    • "Yurth Burden" as " The Burden of the Yurts" ~ pp. 349-447


  • (1992)-3 Published in Moscow, by Reteks, 5-874-86003-7, HC, 464pg ~ translation by B. Martov ~ cover by B. Romankova ~ Russian title Поиск во времени [Time Search]


    • "Operation Time Search" as "Operation Search in Time” ~ translation by V. Martov, pp. 5-156
    • "Forerunner Foray" as "The invasion of distant ancestors" ~ translation by V. Martov, pp. 157-304
    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of the Three Rings" ~ translation by V. Martov, pp. 305-463


  • (1993) Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-86314-016-x, HC, 416pg ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Лунная магия [Moon Magic]


    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of the Three Rings" ~ translation by K. Prilipko, pp. 3-204
    • "Exiles of the Stars" ~ translation by K. Prilipko, pp. 205-412


  • (1997) Published in Tallin, by Melor and Moscow, by Symbolism, 5-870-05043-X, HC, 440pg ~ Russian title Пылающая Вселенная [Burning Universe]


    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Burning Universe" ~ translation by S. Ryzhov, pp. 3-192
    • "Iron Cage" as "Cell" ~ translation by S. Ryzhov, pp. 193-368
    • "Yurth Burden" as "Last Chance" ~ translation by S. Ryzhov, pp. 369-478


  • (2004) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-05456-1, HC, 384pg ~ cover by R. Hescox ~ Russian title Луна трех колец [Moon of three rings] ~ Limited to 7000 copies


    • "Moon of the Three Rings" as "The Moon of Three Rings" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 5-190
    • "Exiles of the Stars" as "Star Exiles" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 191-382


  • (2015)-2 Published in Moscow by Eksmo, 9785699766109, HC, 992pgs ~ cover art by A. Dubovik ~ Russian title Звёздные изгнанники [Star Exiles] ~ Limited to 3000 copies


    • "Moon of Three Rings" as "The Moon of Three Rings" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 5-220
    • "Exiles of the Stars" as "Star Exiles" ~ translation by O. Kolesnikov, pp. 221-442
    • "Voorloper" as "Wandering along the Vour" ~ translation by D. Arseniev & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 443-608
    • "Forerunner" as "The Forerunner" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 609-802
    • "Forerunner: The Second Venture" as "Forerunner: The Second Adventure" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 803-989

View the Original contract

View the 2004 Russian contract

See Also: Timeline 1 - Andre's Universe entry for this title.



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