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Witch World,The(MP3)(Unabr.) [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Andre Norton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 2010 Witch World Series (Book 1)
Andre Norton enthralled readers for decades with thrilling tales of people challenged to the limits of their endurance in epic battles of good against evil. None are more memorable than her Witch World novels. Simon Tregarth, a man from our own world, escapes his doom through the gates to the Witch World. There he aids the witch Jaelithe's escape from the hounds of Alizon, only to find himself embroiled in a deeper war against an even deadlier foe: the Kolder.

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About the Author

For well over a half century, Andre Norton was one of the most popular science fiction and fantasy authors in the world. Since her first SF novels were published in the 1940s, her tales of action and adventure throughout the galaxy have drawn countless readers to science fiction. Her fantasy, including the best-selling Witch World series, has been popular with readers for decades. Andre Norton was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy Award, presented by the World Science Fiction Society in 1977 and the first woman to be named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1983.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic- Redemption for a Man and a Kingdom April 8 2004
Format:Hardcover
Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Tregarth was a man at the end of his rope. He had been unjustly cashiered from the service of his country for black market dealings that he had never engaged in. Then he had in reality been forced into that shadowy underground world when no one else would have him. But, he was a cut above the men that he had to deal with- and this inevitably made him enemies. In fact, he had eaten his final meal and resigned himself to meet the assassins that shadowed him. Time spent in combat and in prison had led him to look deeper inside himself than most men ever do - or perhaps should. He was ready to end this travesty of an existence one way or another. It was then that the infamous Dr. Jorge Petronius introduced himself....
The good doctor told Tregarth of the legend of the Siege Perilous- the seat that could judge a man, determine his true worth, and deliver him to his fate. In legend, only Percival and Galahad had ever escaped the judging unscathed. Now it was Simon's term- and he was far from a pure knight.
The world to which he found himself transported was far from a paradise. It was an ancient world truly ruled by sword and sorcery. Simon already knew how to live by the sword. In the service of the Women of Power of ancient Estcarp he came to know of sorcery. For that mysterious extra sense that had kept him alive for so long was the faint stirring of the Power. Here in this world it would thrive. Indeed, it would prove both his personal redemption and that of dieing Estcarp, for before his arrival none but women possessed the Gift.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short titles Nov. 24 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You know? You could fit five of these books, into one book written by George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) I'm now reading the second book in this series and so far, they're averaging just 200 pages. Story is standard fantasy fare. Tripping here and there and getting into fights and winning the day (and the girl).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Knight on the Siege Perilous June 6 2003
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Witch World (1963) is the first novel in the Witch World series. Once Simon Tregarth had been a Colonel in the US Army in Occupied Europe, but had been unknowingly caught up in a black market deal. On the basis of perjured testimony, he had been courtmartialed, stripped of rank, and imprisoned.

When released, he had become that of which he was falsely accused, a dealer in illegal merchandise. Then his path crossed that of Hansen and now the Organization is after him. He has been on the run for some time and has left a few dead pursuers on his back trail, but is tired and sleepy. Now he faces Sammy, who is more dangerous than the others.

Tregarth stops in a restaurant to eat a pleasant last meal and is accosted therein by Doctor Jorge Petronius, who is well know in some circles as the man who can make you disappear. Petronius offers his services in exchange for whatever remains of the $20,000 brought from San Pedro.

Tregarth accompanies Petronius to an ancient little house and is told the legend of the Siege Perilous. "One takes his seat upon the Siege and before him opens that existence in which his spirit, his mind -- his soul if you wish to call it that -- is at home." At dawn, Tregarth sits on the stone and disappears from this world.

Tregarth is spilled out to sprawl face down of the thick wiry turf of a gray-green moor. Behind him are two rough pillars of reddish rock. He walks directly away from them across the soggy turf. As the sun rises, he hears a horn calling and cautiously moves in that direction. He sees a woman pursued by thin, white hounds and then the masters riding on horses. The animals and men corner the woman and one of the men takes a weapon from a holster on his belt and raises it toward the woman. Tregarth shoots him out of the saddle.

Thus Simon Tregarth meets the Lady Jaelithe, although he was not to learn her name for some time yet, and is introduced to the Witches of Estcarp. He soon meets Koris, Captain of Estcarp's fighting men and Prince of lost Gorm. Together, these three battle an invasion of evil from another worldline: the Kolder.

Although the Witch World series is now considered fantasy, this first novel does not differ significantly from much of the author's science fiction. The "magic" powers of the Estcarp witches may just as well be psionic talents such as in the Warlock, Janus, and Forerunner series. Moreover, the "magic" exists side-by-side with technology, both native to Estcarp and imported from Earth and wherever the Kolder come from. It is difficult to find anything in this first novel that isn't just as much SF as the Pern series.

Later, the series begin to acquire characteristics of fantasy, such as shapechangers and Words of Power. Maybe the fantasy ambiance was just more exceptable than the author's soft SF environment, for this series became wildly popular within the SF/Fantasy community and then with other readers. The author had been popular with younger readers, including myself, for some time, but now started attracting wider attention among college students and older adults. She had never really published much in the magazines and thus didn't garner Hugo and Nebula nominations, but now her novels began to impress the readership enough that a special Hugo was awarded for her lifetime achievement as a Master of SF and Fantasy.

This story was first published in 1963. As such, it was written to a different standard than contemporary authors such as Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind. It is very linear, without the stylistic gimmicks of flashbacks and multiple storylines. However, it tells a story that can still enthrall a reader who is willing to put aside all expectations and just go with the flow.

This tale started Andre Norton's rise to fame. It is a must read for any Norton fan. The next volume is Web of Witch World. Read and enjoy.

Highly recommended to anyone else who might enjoy a well-crafted tale of courage, special talents, and romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of one of the world's great fantasy series Sept. 30 2005
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
How many times have you fallen asleep and dreamt you were in the fantasy world created by your favorite author? I've only had that experience once in my life and my dream took place in Andre Norton's Witch World.

This author kept me turning the pages, not only for the cliff-hangers that the hero, Simon Tregarth gets himself into, but also for glimpses of a strange new, magical landscape. She doesn't pile on the adjectives, either. Her prose is remarkably clean. Just read the lead sentence of "Witch World," which introduces us to ex-soldier, Simon Tregarth:

"The rain was a slantwise curtain across the dingy street, washing soot from city walls, the taste of it metallic on the lips of the tall, thin man who walked with a loping stride close to the buildings, watching the mouths of doorways, the gaps of alleys with a narrow-eyed intentness."

He is a hunted man, unjustly cashiered from the U.S. Army for dealing in the post-war blackmarket. Since Simon had been labeled as a crook, he figured he might as well play the game.

After seven years in the underworld, surrounded by his enemies and a gunshot away from death, Simon treats himself to a decent last meal (Andre Norton heroes and heroines NEVER whine. They assess the odds, then keep on slogging). Enter the mysterious Doctor Petronius who persuades Simon that he has nothing to lose by vanishing from his enemies' gunsights through the Siege Perilous, a Cornish megalith that is rumored to be a gate to other worlds. Simon leaves the restaurant with Petronius, almost positive that he is walking into a trap. Instead of the bullet he is expecting, our hero is transported to the foggy moors of a new world.

The action doesn't let up. The first thing Simon does is rescue a witch from a nasty bunch of snake-headed dogs and hunters (we don't learn the witch's name until the very end of the book). The next thing he knows, he's embroiled in a war where the good guys appear to be losing.

Simon allies himself with "a tall, proud-walking race with...the carriage of rulers and an odd weight of years upon them." His new home, medieval Estcarp is a matriarchate, ruled by witches, whose powers depend on their continuing virginity. Nevertheless, Simon falls in love with the witch he rescued.

The enemies that he and Estcarp must confront have invaded Witch World via a gate similar to the Siege Perilous. The alien Kolder are technically advanced, with submarines and mind-control devices that they use to command their zombie soldiers.

Estcarp's only allies are the Sulcarmen, seafaring warriors and traders who lose their main port of Gorm to the Kolder. Simon, his friend Koris of Gorm, the witch he rescued from the Hounds of Alizon, and a youthful soldier called 'Briant' tread the mysterious byways of Estcarp and its warring neighbors, in an attempt to track down and destroy the technically superior aliens.

Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton built well. There are 35 Witch World (WW) fantasies, and the count is probably still rising even though this author passed away on March 17, 2005. Many of the later WW novels were collaborations, and it wouldn't surprise me if her co-authors attempt to live on in the world that the Grand Master created. I wish them well, but so far they have not managed to penetrate the brilliantly weird landscapes of Andre Norton's imagination.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic- Redemption for a Man and a Kingdom April 8 2004
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Tregarth was a man at the end of his rope. He had been unjustly cashiered from the service of his country for black market dealings that he had never engaged in. Then he had in reality been forced into that shadowy underground world when no one else would have him. But, he was a cut above the men that he had to deal with- and this inevitably made him enemies. In fact, he had eaten his final meal and resigned himself to meet the assassins that shadowed him. Time spent in combat and in prison had led him to look deeper inside himself than most men ever do - or perhaps should. He was ready to end this travesty of an existence one way or another. It was then that the infamous Dr. Jorge Petronius introduced himself....
The good doctor told Tregarth of the legend of the Siege Perilous- the seat that could judge a man, determine his true worth, and deliver him to his fate. In legend, only Percival and Galahad had ever escaped the judging unscathed. Now it was Simon's term- and he was far from a pure knight.
The world to which he found himself transported was far from a paradise. It was an ancient world truly ruled by sword and sorcery. Simon already knew how to live by the sword. In the service of the Women of Power of ancient Estcarp he came to know of sorcery. For that mysterious extra sense that had kept him alive for so long was the faint stirring of the Power. Here in this world it would thrive. Indeed, it would prove both his personal redemption and that of dieing Estcarp, for before his arrival none but women possessed the Gift.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A World with Lovely Witches Dec 8 2006
By Patrick Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Norton started writing in the thirties, but really made a name for herself with her very competent, sometimes brilliant YA science fiction works she produced from the late forties through the early sixties, such as The Beast Master, Starman's Son, and The Last Planet (aka The Star Rangers). With this book, she took a giant step in a new direction, that of an adult fantasy, a book that spawned a veritable library of sequels and other stories set in the same universe, most written by her, but some written by others or as collaborators with her. Today it still stands as one of her best works.

Simon Tregarth is a man on the run from various shadowy ruffians, people he associated with because he was wrongly convicted of working the black market while in the military. Willing to try anything, he ends up passing through the Siege Perilous, a megalith which apparently is actually a gate to another world. There he immediately finds himself embroiled in a war between the Witches of Estcarp and the alien, technologically advanced Kolder, and somewhat in love with one of the Witches, even though she is bound to remain a virgin if she wishes to retain her powers.

The magic of this book lies not so much in the overt acts of magic that are performed as part of this war, nor even in Simon's growth into a hero with honor, but rather it is in the richness, the otherworldliness of this imagined world. From intimations of its past, highlighted by the Sulcarmen's possession of obvious high-technology devices, now totally forgotten by the rest of the world, to the realization that Estcarp is merely a small sliver of what once was a much larger nation with much greater magical powers, this world creeps into your subconscious, makes you feel its reality and uniqueness. As others have mentioned, this world really does seep into your dreams, makes you wish you could be there, have a part in its actions.

Along the way, there are questions raised about the proper roles of men and women, a theme that would recur throughout much of Norton's later works, as she consistently championed the (for its day) radical idea that people should be allowed to do whatever their capabilities fit them for, that society not only should not, but cannot force people into subservient or socially acceptable roles merely because of their gender. Determination, honesty, a sense of honor, and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds run right alongside this idea, at sharp variance with all too many `literary' books that seem to have mediocrity as their highest goal.

Perhaps this book doesn't have quite the power of Lord of the Rings, but at the same time it may be more accessible, more `believable' as a real world that you just might be able to go to - if you could only find a `gate' to take you there.

---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No. 1 in the Witch World series is still No. 1 with me! March 29 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Have you ever read a book as a young person, found it fascinating, and then re-read it as an adult only to be sadly disappointed? Witch World does not fall into that category! Even as a 12 year old, I could understand the plight of the hero, Simon Tregarth. He was a fugitive who no longer fit into society on Earth, desperately hunting a way out. Little did he know what he was getting himself into! He is dumped into a world of strange customs and peoples -- a world including the women of Estcarp, the witches. Tregarth finds himself in league with one of these witches, fighting against their enemies backed by an ancient evil. Andre Norton's characters are vivid and believable, and her storyline is gripping. It's grand adventure in the very highest tradition of fantasy, and I still love it!
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