Gryphon in Glory

~ 5th Novel in the Witch World: High Hallack Series by Andre Norton

~ Spin-off: 2nd in a secondary series called Gryphon

Nominated in 1992 Locus - Best Fantasy Novel - placed 19th

gryphon in glory


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1981 dustjacket ~

What did the Hounds of Alizon, invaders from overseas who were threatening to overrun the Dales, seek? Could it be that they hunted for some of the old Power that still existed in the Waste beyond? When Joisan set out from her Dale refuge to seek her wedded lord Kerovan, unrest filled the Dales and, in the Waste where Kerovan journeyed on a secret mission, evil was stirring. Strange forms of the Dark, long quiet, were beginning to wake. Kerovan, whose cloven hoofs instead of feet set him apart from the human folk of the Dales and manifested his mixed heritage, had renounced Joisan, wholly against her will, to free her from her bond to a man who did not know the mystery of his birth or his final destiny.
Reunited in the Waste, though Kerovan still kept his heart closed against Joisan, they soon found themselves confronted by evil powers of the Dark on every hand. Kerovan must now follow his destiny wherever it led, Joisan knew, and to win her lord again she would stay with him, whatever their final fate might be. Helped occasionally by the strange power she did not understand that came from her lord’s gift of a small crystal globe, on a neck chain, encasing a miniature gryphon, Joisan remained steadfast. Kerovan, however, haunted by strange dreams that took possession of him, strove for answers to the riddles of the Dark.
Andre Norton, an outstanding and widely honored science fiction writer, creates a strange, memorable, wholly believable world filled with extraordinary characters in this compelling tale of courage, loyalty, and danger-to-the-death, companion to the earlier book, The Crystal Gryphon.


Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

Intruder In The Waste -

The Waste was stirring and strange forms of the Dark, long quiet, began to wake as Kerovan - whose cloven hoofs marked his kinship with the Old Ones - Journeyed into the Waste on a secret mission, leaving behind the girl he loved Joisan, however, rode after him, wearing about her neck Kerovan’s gift, a small crystal globe encasing a miniature gryphon.

While Kerovan strove for answers to the riddles of the Dark, Joisan worked to unlock the power of the crystal gryphon. But only together could they hope to find the ancient Sleeper and defeat the forces of evil.


Write-ups from fans ~

How odd--a sequel and a prequel in one book. This comes after The Crystal Gryphon and is a lead into Year of the Unicorn. Kerovan has renounced his marriage to Joisan to protect her from his uncertain future. He has signed up with Lord Imgry, who sends him out to the Waste to offer alliance to anyone who could help drive the Alizon invaders out of the Dales. Joisan refuses to accept the estrangement and goes out in search of her husband. She meets up with Jervon and Elyse the blank shield wise woman from Dragon Scale Silver and they travel together to the Waste to find Kerovan. This story, like several others is told in the alternate-narrator style with each chapter told by Joisan or Kerovan. Kerovan meets the WereRiders and tells them about the invaders and how Lord Imgry was looking for allies. They said that they would think about it and sent him on his way. Along the path he meets Elys and Jervon frantically digging looking for Joisan who was dragged underground by the Thas, the evil servants of the Dark. These three go looking for Joisan until Elys gets a message forbidding her and Jervon from travelling any further and so they go back to the Dales. Kerovan eventually meets up with Joisan and winds up searching for his mysterious origin, a journey fraught with danger. What do they discover, and do they ever find the love so long denied? ~ PG


This book starts soon after The Crystal Gryphon ends. Kerovan takes Joisan and her people to the safety of Norstead Abbey. He frees Joisan from their marriage bonds even though she does not want that. He leaves to find the Wereriders to ask them to help fight the Alizon invaders. Joisan waits a few days and then follows him.
Joisan meets Elys and Jervon on the edge of the Waste. Elys is a Witch of Estcarp (and has not lost her power) and Jervon is a full-blooded Dalesman. They are a perfectly balanced couple-they work together in complete harmony and rarely need spoken communication. They agree to go with Joisan to find Kerovan. She longs to have a bond with Kerovan such as theirs.
In the Waste, Joisan, Elys and Jervon make their camp near the Wereriders’ camouflaged lands. They are only a day or two behind Kerovan. He meets with the Wereriders (a patriarchal society) who change their shapes from human to animal as they please. They agree to join the battle against Alizon, but only for a payment that they will name later.
Kerovan leaves and meets Elys and Jervon who know him at sight. They are searching for Joisan. Evil mole-like creatures called Thas pulled her underground. Kerovan feels responsible and goes after her. Elys and Jervon accompany him as far as they can into the Waste, but some Power turns them back at a certain point in the road. Kerovan must continue alone. He has dream-visions of a column-chamber and a bird- like man who sleeps.
In the meantime, Joisan tries to make her way to safety with only dim light from the crystal gryphon to guide her. The Thas attacked her a few times, but she uses the power of the gryphon globe to save herself. She overextends her power, and the globe goes dark for a time; she finally learns what the lessons of control that Elys tried to teach her. Joisan finds a strange, domed chamber with an oculus to the night sky. The ground is maze-like and covered with colored jewels or crystals in the shape of a fantastic bird. She collapses and the gryphon transports her to a strange garden. Two very large cats and a small bear sit in the garden.
The animals use mind-speech to talk with Joisan. They agree to let her stay when she tells them all that has happened to her. The garden is a place of power and Joisan feels safe there. She explores and finds a locked room. When she opens the door, every fine piece of furnishings and trinkets crumple into dust. Only a ring in the shape of a large cat remains and it fits ]oisan's finger perfectly. The cats are the guardians of the place, and they agree that the Lady who had once lived there must have meant for her to have the ring.
Kerovan readies the fortress. Joisan sees him coming and she runs out to meet him with the cats and bear in the lead. Her presence surprises him, but he is even more surprised at his reaction that she is safe. He pulls away from her to ]oisan’s disappointment.
They learn that it is time to open the Gate that they can only open together. Neevor returns, but he only gives them limited guidance. Kerovan witnesses Neevor confront one of Dark power who claims Kerovan as his, and he invents a bit about his true parentage. The Sleeper intervened when Tephana called on the Dark power; therefore, the only mark of the Dark One is Kenovan's hooves. The Sleeper and the Lord of Ulmsdale are both parts of his paternity. It is time for Kerovan to come into his birthright. He and Joisan use the key (the crystal gryphon) to open the Gate. The crystal globe shatters and releases the gryphon. They are in the same place of which Kerovan dreamed and the gryphon wakes The Sleeper. Through all this, Kerovan and Joisan wake to understand their own powers and that they belong together. Kerovan does not turn Joisan away from him again. ~ DB


Reviews ~

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

1981 by S.E. in Booklist, March 15
1981 by M. Chatham in School Library Journal, April
1981 by D. Brown in Voice of Youth Advocates, October
1981 in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December
1982 by Roger Schlobin, Fantasy Newsletter #46 (fnz), March
2017 by Judith Tarr


See Also: Teacher's Guide to the Science Fiction Adventure Series: Four Novels by Andre Norton (1984) by Robert Foster ~ page 13


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Susan, Anne. Marion, Cynthia, Carolyn
and Lisa, all of whom weave
their own enchantments at many looms.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1981) Published by Atheneum, HC, 0-689-50195-1, LCCN 80024835, $9.95, 242pg ~ cover by Jack Gaughan {Orange Cloth Boards}
  • (1983) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, PB, 0-345-30950-2, LCCN 80-24835, $2.50, 213pg - also released in Canada $3.25 ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger ~ #34243-7 1986 $2.95
  • (1986) Published by Ballantine Del Rey, TP, 0-345-34243-7, 978-0-345-34243-0, LCCN 80-24835, $11.95 ~ cover by Laurence Schwinger
  • (2012) Published by Premier Digital Publishing, eISBN 978-1-937957-38-4, DM, $3.99, 211pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge
  • (2014) Published by Open Road Media, eISBN 978-1-497656-24-6, DM, $3.99, 211pg ~ cover by Kib Prestridge ~ re-released in 2017 with new cover-art by Ian Koviak
  • As Book 4 ~ Witch World High Hallack Cycle (2021) Created by Podium Audio, Audible, length 8hrs & 53mins, $30.62 ~ narrated by Adjoa Andoh & John Lee


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1991) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-850-7993-9, 239pg ~ translation by Elżbieta Dagny-Ryńska ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Polish title Gryf w Chwale [Griffin in Glory]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1994) Published in Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-836-14024-0, HC, 382pg ~ cover by D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Грифон торжествует [Gryphon in Glory]


    • "Gryphon in Glory" as "Griffin triumphs" ~ translation by D. Saveliev & J. Saveliev, pp. 3-254
    • "Zarsthor's Bane" as "Treasure of Zarstor" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 255-380


  • (2021) Published in Moscow by Azbuca-Atticus, 978-5-389-19693-3, HC, 576pg ~ cover by O. Zacis ~ Russian title Колдовской мир. Хрустальный грифон. Грифон торжествующий. Гнездо грифона [The Witch's World. Crystal griffin. The griffin is triumphant. Griffin nest] ~ Limited to 3000 copies


    • "The Crystal Gryphon" as "Crystal Griffin" ~ translation by B. Sagalovsky, pp. 5-180
    • "Gryphon in Glory" as "Griffin triumphant" ~ translation by G. Solovyova, pp. 181-376
    • "Gryphon's Eyrie" with Ann K. Crispin as"Griffin nest" ~ translation by G. Solovyova, pp. 377-556
    • "Of the Shaping of Ulm's Heir" as  "Heir to Ulmsdale" ~ short story, translation by G. Solovyova, pp. 557-574


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2010) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Globe, (Fanzine) ~ 716pgs. ~ cover by Rodney Matthews ~ Ukrainian title Колдовской мир-3 [Sorcerer's World -3] ~ Limited to 10 copies and not released until October 2018


    • "High Hallack" as "Upper Holleck and Arvon"
      • "Horn Crown" as "A Crown of Woven Horns" ~ translation by N. Omelyanovich, pp. 5-161
      • "Year of the Unicorn" ~ translation by A. Gruzberg & O. Kolesnikov, pp. 163-269
    • "Spell of the Witch World" as "Tales of the Witching World"
      • "Dragon Scale Silver" as "Dragon bowl" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, pp. 271-326
      • "Dream Smith" as "The Smith of Visions" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, pp. 327-342
      • "Amber Out of Quayth" as "Amber from Quayt" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, pp. 343-386
    • "Gryphon" as "Griffin"
      • "The Crystal Gryphon" as "Crystal Griffin" ~ translation by B. Sagalovsky, pp. 387-525
      • "Gryphon in Glory" as "Griffin triumphs" ~ translation by D. Saveliev, & J. Saveliev, pp. 527-714

See Also: The Sorcerer's Conspectus entry for this title.

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store



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