~ 8th Novel in the Witch World: High Hallack Series by Andre Norton

Written with A. C. Crispin



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1992 dustjacket ~

Andre Norton has been called “one of the most popular writers of our time" (Publishers Weekly) and has won virtually every award in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, including the Nebula Grand Master Award for life achievement. The author of more than forty novels over a career that spans decades, Norton is the “grand dame of science fiction"- (Life) and has for over twenty-five years enchanted readers with the most famous and popular of her works: the enthralling universe of the Witch World.
A. C. Crispin is the bestselling author of several Star Trek novels as well as being the creator of the very popular Starbridge series - and this rising star has garnered a substantial audience of her own.
Together, in Songsmith. they have created one of the best works set in Andre Norton's most beloved universe. Songsmith is the novel that Witch World fans have been waiting for: an evocative love story, filled with magic and wonder, that is destined to be one of the jewels in the Witch World cosmos. The story of Eydryth and her quest to save her father Jervon is a powerful one. This master songsmith possesses no magic herself and must travel the length and breadth of the Witch World to seek the cure for the evil that has ensnared her father's mind. With the help of her mysterious companion Alon, Elydryth discovers that there are many paths to the magic of the Witch World...and that to save her greatest love, the truest magic must come from the heart.
Songsmith is a tribute to Norton's best creation - a moving story that will enchant readers of all ages.


Write-up from the back of the TOR paperback edition ~

“One of fantasy’s most beloved and enduring creations springs to vivid life once again… This seamless collaboration is classic Witch World.” – Rave Reviews
Eydrth is a Master Songsmith...who has no magic. She will do anything to save her father from the evil that has stolen his mind. But the paths to the magic of the Witch World are many--and to save the ones you love; the truest magic must come from the heart…
Andre Norton has been called “one of the most popular writers of our time” (Publishers Weekly) and has for over twenty-five years enchanted readers with the most famous and popular of her works: the enthralling Witch World. With bestseller A. C. Crispin, Norton has woven an eternal love story, filled with magic and wonder. Songsmith is the novel that Witch World fans have been waiting for – a shining jewel in the Witch World cosmos.
“An exciting read.” - Starlog


Write-up from a fan ~

Back to the Witch World. Anne and Andre did a good job on this one. We meet Eydrth from Arvon, a songsmith on a quest to find some way to heal her father who (six years ago) was mind-blasted by old magic while looking for his wife who had been magically stolen away. She is travelling in Karsten on her way to Escarp to try to get help from the witches. They refuse to help her, but before she can leave, a young witch-in-training talks Eydrth into helping her Escape the "place of wisdom" so she can marry her sweetheart. After they get the girl back to her home, Eydrth meets Alon, a young man riding a Keplian/Torgian half breed who he uses to win a race where he is accused of cheating by using a "demon" horse. She helps him escape and he agrees to take her to Lormt to see if the scholars there can find some cure for her father. Halfway there, they were captured by a group of soldiers and a witch. The soldiers want to take Alon back to the village where he won the race, and the witch wants Eydrth to make a witch out of her and punish her for helping the young girl escape. Using magic that he has been concealing, Alon casts a spell, and they escape. Pursued by this group, they make a short stop at Lormt where they are told to visit Dahaun in the Valley of the Green Silences. On the way there, they encounter a crystal in which they see a sorceress drain all the magic power out of Denzil, an evil Adept and vowing to strip all the male magic-workers of their abilities. The sorceress then sees Alon and says that she will eventually get to him, but first she's going after Keroven. Eydrth obtains a box of Dahaun's red healing mud for her father. Alon opens a gate to Arvon where they face all kinds of peril and Eydrth discovers (to her great surprise) that there is POWER in her music. After a while they split up and she heads for Kar Garudwyn to heal her father and warn Keroven, while Alon chases after the sorceress. Will they succeed, or are they too late? Exciting adventures, dire peril and lots of magic and Love as well. Extremely good read. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Booklist Review ~ May 01, 1992

Another Witch World novel in which Norton (here with her most active collaborator) is trying to tie up various loose ends before her final departure from the series. Eydryth the Songsmith, daughter of Jervon and Elys, is seeking her missing mother and also a cure for her father, who lost his mind attempting magic in search of his wife. Her quest takes her to Estcarp and Escore and, ultimately, to success. On the way, she encounters so many characters and places from other Witch World books that new readers will likely be confused. Those who have followed this monumental fantasy, however, will be meeting old friends, rejoicing in the meeting, and hoping for Norton’s continued creativity. As indispensable an acquisition as can be imagined for just about any fantasy collection. — Roland Green


Review by Publishers Weekly ~ May 04, 1992

The further history of the Witchworld--set almost two generations after the Kolder War--is brought vividly to life by Nebula Grand Master Norton and Crispin (the Starbridge series) in their second collaboration, after Gryphon's Eyrie. Young songsmith Eydryth of Kar Garudwyn ranges far from her home of Arvon, beyond the Dales, seeking help for her brain-damaged father. but she is rebuffed by the witches of Estcarp for daring to seek aid for a man. Alon, a young horseman mounted on a much-feared Keplian steed, becomes Eydryth's ally, leading her to Escore and its healing lady. When angry witches pursue the pair, Alon reveals himself an Adept who has forsworn his psychic Power because it caused his dearest friend's death. Still to come is much greater danger, as a maddened and newly powerful witch seeks to destroy any man using the Power that the witches barred to the masculine sex. The authors have carefully refurbished Witchworld, rebuilding its glories (and its terrors) and setting the stage for adventures to come.


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

2017 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

This book is dedicated to Teresa Bigbee, friend and equestrienne extraordinaire. If anyone could really ride a Keplian she could!


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1992) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-85123-5, $19.95, 295pg ~ cover by Dennis A. Nolan {Brown Paper Boards}
  • (1993) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-51107-7, $4.99, 295pg ~ cover by Doriau and maps by John M. Ford
  • (2016) Published by Worldbuilders Press, DM, no ISBN, $3.99, 264pg ~ cover by Matt Forsyth
  • (2018) Published by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, PB, 978-1-680-68025-6, $11.99, 292pg ~ cover by Matt Forsyth


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1994) Published in Warsaw, Poland; by Amber, 83-708-2351-3, 351pg ~ translation by Ewa Witecka ~ cover by Steve Crisp ~ Polish title Tkaczka Pieśni [Song Weaver]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2002) Published in Moscow, by AST, 5-170-11020-0 and 5-792-10462-X, HC, 572pg ~ "Spell of the Witch World" translation by Sokolova ~ cover by G. Ruddell (left and top) & T. Jacobus (bottom right) ~ Russian title Сказительница. Сказания колдовского мира [Storyteller. Tales of the Witching World]


    • "Songsmith" as "Narrator" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, p. 5-332
    • "Spell of the Witch World" as "Tales of the Witching World" (collection)
      • "Dragon Scale Silver" as "Dragon Cup" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, p. 333-416
      • "Dream Smith" as "The Smith of Visions" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, p. 417-438
      • "Amber Out of Quayth" as "Amber from Quayt" ~ translation by Yu. Sokolov, p. 439-504
    • History of the Witching World (Appendix), p. 505-573


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2019) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Globe, (Fanzine) ~ cover by Rodney Matthews ~ Ukrainian title Колдовской мир-6 [Sorcerer's World -6] ~ Limited to 10 copies?


    • "Songsmith" as "Narrator" ~ translation by D. Arseniev
    • "The Key of the Keplian" as ~ "The Key to Keplian" ~ translated by B. Zhuzhunava
    • "The Magestone" as "Magic stone" ~ translation by K. Pleshkov
    • "The Outling" as "Werewolf" ~ translation by E. Golubeva

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

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store

Maps; (1993 PB only)




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