Gryphon's Eyrie

~ 7th Novel in the Witch World: High Hallack Series by Andre Norton

Written with A. C. Crispin

~ Spin-off: 3rd in a secondary series called Gryphon



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1984 dustjacket ~

Long ago the Old Ones retreated past the misty mountains into Arvon. Yet the remnants of the forces that they controlled linger on, in the ancient Places of Power, in the strange carvings and relics of the Waste, and in the blood of humankind, some of whom have inherited a strange gift, or curse, of Power along with their mixed heritage.
Amber cats' eyes and cloven hooves are the marks of Kerovan's kinship with the Old Ones. His has been a bitter and painful heritage, He has ever wished to be as other men, fearing to claim that which is rightfully his, and resisting the call of his blood. And so, it is even now in the spell-ridden land of Arvon.
The Lady Joisan has dared to love him and to join her destiny with his. Raised to revere the Old One Gunnora, and to practice her craft of healing, Joisan has nourished her own small Power, rejoicing as it waxed that she could better aid her lord in his struggle to shape a destiny of his own devising, free of those who would use his Power for Dark purposes of their own.
Twice Kerovan and Joisan have stood in battle with the forces of the Dark, and twice they have vanquished their foes. but now, the irresistible call has returned to Kerovan, driving him to the mountains, to make his peace with his heritage. In the facing of this last and greatest test Joisan and Kerovan must summon all their courage, for they battle for the new life that Joisan carries within her, and for all the world as they know it.
The heritage of the gryphon chooses its own master or mistress.
The time of choice is now.


Write-up from the back of the paperback ~

The Heritage of The Gryphon Will Chose Its Own. The Time of Choice Is Now.

The urge within him is overwhelming, and Kerovan - he of the cloven hooves and amber eyes - is driven toward the mountains - toward the dark. With him goes the Lady Joisan, who carries within her secrets unknown to Kerovan. By calling upon the Powers within themselves, willing the forced of Light to fight against the force of the Dark, they reach their destination...only to face That Which Runs the Ridges in the final battle. Everlasting Undeath - and horror for all the world - will take them if they fail.


Write-ups from fans ~

Kerovan and Joisan, wandering through Witch World to find an unknown place (one Kerovan will know when he finds it) come across a a tribe of horsemen known as the Kioga. They are fleeing from an evil in the mountains, and searching for a new home, also.  Their shaman, a woman, is jealous of Joisan's growing Power and causes enough trouble that Kerovan and Joisan leave the tribe, rather than split it into two factions.  However, one of the young boys follows them and is with them when Kerovan begins acting strangely, riding all day in a trance and prone to forget to stop to camp at night.  What he was searching for is very near and calling him.  The place turns out to be the ancient citadel of the Adept who had encased his gryphon in crystal to save him from the evil that had defeated the Adept. ~ SL


This is the finale of the adventures of Joisan and Kerovan. For those who have not read the first two, there is a seven-page synopsis reviewing what has gone on before. This pair is travelling through Arvon and meets up with the Kioga a nomadic tribe of horse breeders. They gain friendship with most of the tribe, but Joisan falls afoul of the village shaman who is secretly of the DARK. As the book opens, Both Joisan and Kerovan are skeptical about their magical abilities. Kerovan has been feeling drawn toward the mountains and he why. Joisan struggles to keep up with him. Complicating the situation is the presence of "That which runs the Ridges" a monstrous pack of creatures that haunts the mountains that they are headed for. They have many adventures and hone their skills just in time to fight with the forces of Evil. And Joisan has a secret that she has trouble sharing with her husband. This is a definite page turner and is highly recommended. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: Nov. 15th, 1984
The latest in Norton's well-known Witch World series, of which entries have been appearing variously--sometimes in YA form--since 1963. (Collaborator Crispin is the author of Yesterday's Son and V.) Competent, comely Joisan and her wretchedly weak, vacillating husband Kerovan wander purposelessly in the wastelands--while Kerovan fights a mysterious, mystic compulsion. Then, during a sojourn with the Amerindian-like Kioga tribe, Joisan earns the enmity of Nidu, the Kioga's evil shaman. But by now Kerovan has discovered his magical powers, yielding to the compulsion: with Joisan, he comes to an ancient, sorcery- preserved citadel--where he discovers that he is a reincarnation of the powerful wizard Landisl. And eventually there'll be a showdown between Nidu (who is plotting to release the evil Adept Maleron from a magical time-loop prison) and Kerovan--who must borrow the awesome Powers of Joisan's unborn child. Some fair ideas here and there, but overall, a rather aimless performance that could use more teeth and muscle, less gauze and fluff: an about-average offering for Witch World fans.


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

1984 by S.E. in Booklist, November 01
1984 by J. Cassada in Library Journal, December
1985 by Tom Easton in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June
2017 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

This book is dedicated, with many thanks, to Hope Tickell, George Tickell and Randy Crispin, who provided invaluable assistance during its writing.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1984) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-93285-5, 978-0-312-93285-5, LCCN 85133377, $12.95, 256pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ illustrated by Judith Mitchell {Purple Paper Boards}
  • (1985) Published by SFBC, HC, # 01594, $4.98, 220pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ illustrated by Judith Mitchell {Blue Paper Boards}
  • (1985) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54736-5, 978-0-812-54736-8, $2.95, 248pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ illustrated by Judith Mitchell ~ #50360-0 1989 $3.95, #53169-8 1993 $4.99 US $5.99 Canadian
  • (2016) Published by Worldbuilders Press, DM, no ISBN, $3.99, 180pg ~ cover by Matt Forsyth
  • (2018) Published by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, PB, 978-1-680-68014-0, $9.49, 202pg ~ cover by Matt Forsyth
  • As Book 6 ~ Witch World High Hallack Cycle (2021) Created by Podium Audio, Audible, length 8hrs & 20mins, $30.62 ~ narrated by Adjoa Andoh & John Lee


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1986) Published in Germany; by Bastei Lübbe, 34-042-0088-8, Fantasy # 20088, DM8.80, 250pg ~ translation by Lore Straßl ~ cover by Manuel Sanjulian ~ German title Das Erbe der Hexenwelt [The legacy of the witch world]
  • (1991) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-850-7909-2, 207pg ~ translation by Elżbieta Dagny-Ryńska ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Polish title Gniazdo Gryfa [Griffin's nest]
  • (1998) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-716-9919-0, 207pg ~ translation by Elżbieta Dagny-Ryńska ~ cover by Steve Crisp ~ Polish title Gniazdo Gryfa [Griffin's nest] ~ (reprinted in 2001 with new cover)


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (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

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

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store



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