Andre Norton’s Witch World: High Hallack, Arvon and the Waste

January 23, 2015 Andre Norton, Classic Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Fantasy - Hopeful, Favorite Authors, series, Witch World 0

High Hallack, Arvon and the Waste are located on a different continent of the Witch World than Norton’s Estcarp Cycle.

High Hallack contains the Dales – quite similar but still rather different than Karsten’s Keeps. The Dales are spread out around the land – each one holding a few hundred people on about 100+ acres of land. Hidden in little pockets around the Dales are the abandoned (and sometimes not abandoned) ruins of the homes of the Old Ones. The Old Ones – who mostly left the Witch World before it was settled by humans – are almost all Adepts of power and most of them were humanoid rather than human. Some of the Old Ones were powerful warriors of the Light while others were evil masters of the Dark.

Arvon is full of magic, both Light and Dark. People who settle in Arvon must be willing to carve out a home with their swords. The Waste is mostly unknown. It is a large and mostly unexplored desert located on the edge of the Dales and Arvon. There is evidence that the Waste used to be inhabited by Old Ones and it is littered with their relics. Enterprising people with little fear enter the Waste and bring back the treasures found there.
witch world - large
Horn CrownTitle: Horn Crown
Series Cycle: Witch World #14: High Hallack Cycle #0
Published: 1965
Status: Owned, Hardback

When the Elder People deserted the Witch World, the cosmic Gate opened and human households migrated in. Though they found the land abandoned, the roads empty and the shrines unattended, they soon became aware that the Old Gods still retained their dread powers.

Elron the Clanless and Gathea the Wise Woman were drawn unwillingly side by side into unexplored realms. Each had a separate quest but their fates were linked by the unknown. Each sought an unholy alliance; each was in conflict with the other.


year of the unicorn cvrTitle: Year of the Unicorn
Series Cycle: Witch World #3: High Hallack Cycle #1
Published: 2002
Status: Owned (omnibus edition: The Gates to the Witch World)

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.

Far from the besieged home of Simon and Jaelithe, in peaceful Norsdale, we meet Gillan, who longs to leave her dull life in a secluded country abbey. But when her wish comes true, she finds more than a little adventure. As she ventures out, not only is her life in danger, but also the power that lies within her, waiting to be discovered.


spell of the witch world cvrTitle: Spell of the Witch World
Series Cycle: Witch World #8: High Hallack Cycle #2
Published: 1972
Status: Owned, Hardback

Elys and Elyn, born in the same hour, were of the blood of Estcarp though they lived as strangers in the High Hallack among the Dalesmen. Their mother, Mistress of the Powers, had bound their fate together with her necromancy.

The Jargoon PardTitle: The Jargoon Pard
Series Cycle: Witch World #9: High Hallack Cycle #3
Published: 1974
Status: Owned, Paperback

Kethan, son of Gillan and Herrel, heir to the House of Car Do Prawn, destined to become lord of Arvon, acquires a leopard-skin belt with strange powers, its clasp a leopard’s head made from jargoon stone. Unable to take it off, Kethan becomes part man, part beast. In the perilous confrontation between his inner good and evil, he discovers his true identity and the quest he must undertake.

Zarsthor's BaneTitle: Zarsthor’s Bane
Series Cycle: Witch World #11: High Hallack Cycle #4
Published: 1978
Status: Owned, Paperback

Brixia, once the lady of a Hall in High Hallack, and her companion, the cat Uta, while scavenging for their living in the deserted Dales, are drawn into Waste where Light and Dark Magic still exist, in search of a power object, Zarsthor’s Bane. While fending off an attack by predators, Brixia discovers a place of Green Magic.

The Crystal GryphonTitle: The Crystal Gryphon
Series Cycle: Witch World #7: High Hallack Cycle #5
Sub-Series: The Gryphon Saga #1
Published: 1972
Status: Owned, Hardback

The story of Kerovan, whose cloven hooves set him apart from the human folk of the Dales, as he seeks his rights as heir to the throne of Ulm at a time when strange sea invaders are shattering the old kingdoms, and equally enigmatic manifestations of the Old Ones coming to interfere with humanity.

Gryphon in GloryTitle: Gryphon in Glory
Series Cycle: Witch World #13: High Hallack Cycle #6
Sub-Series: The Gryphon Saga #2
Published: 1981
Status: Owned, Hardback

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 fror 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…

Gryphon's EyrieTitle: Gryphon’s Eyrie
Series Cycle: Witch World #16: High Hallack Cycle #7
Sub-Series: The Gryphon Saga #3
Published: 1984
Status: Owned, Hardback

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.

Were WrathTitle: Were Wrath
Series Cycle: Witch World #20: High Hallack Cycle #8
Very Rare, only 177 copies were printed
Published: 1984
Status: Owned (Omnibus Edition: Wizards’ Worlds)

The Lady Thra and her companion Rinard are hunted down in the forest. Alone Thra comes across a building which may offer some refuge from the night. There she meets Grimclaw and Farne, neither are really what they seem. She is bewitched to assist them in a battle with those who hunted her and Rinard earlier. For Farne has been battling the hunters for ages and in the end they all have a new beginning.

The story was reprinted in the anthology Wizards’ Worlds, published in 1989.

SongsmithTitle: Songsmith
Series Cycle: Witch World #24: High Hallack Cycle #9
Status: Owned, Hardback, Needs to be Replaced

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.

silver may tarnishTitle: Silver May Tarnish
Series Cycle: Witch World #32: High Hallack Cycle #10
Published: 2005
Status: Owned, Hardback
Rating: 5 Stars

The Dales of Andre Norton’s Witch World have endured wars, natural disasters, the predations of strange creatures, and treachery. None loves the land as well as Lorcan, orphaned at birth, who has sought his birthright for as long as he can remember. Exiled from his native land when it was invaded by Alizon, he spent his youth in Paltendale where he was treated as an outsider, especially by Hogeth, an heir of that dale, who resented Lorcan’s presence when both were still young men.

When he came of age, Lorcan left to seek his own destiny. Since then, he has fought valiantly to rid the Dales of the Alizon invaders, but not even his efforts can prevent the deaths of many people, and the destruction of many keeps and garths. The war now over, he has survived, but so have those who would plunder the lands of the survivors. And among the plundering bandits is his nemesis from Paltendale, now more bitter and determined to vanquish Lorcan.

During his travels Lorcan has joined with five blank shields, who, fighting together for common cause, become his boon companions. Then he meets a young noble lass, from a dale known as Honeycoombe for its beekeeping. Her dale has been decimated by the war, but with Lorcan and his band, she will try to rebuild a home where they all can live in peace. Lorcan feels that he might at last find happiness with the valiant fair maiden. But Hogeth now leads marauders across the dales, destroying what they cannot rightfully have, and there will be no peace in the dales until Lorcan and Hogeth settle their old, bitter score.

Omnibus Editions

The Gates to Witch WorldTitle: The Gates to Witch World
Contains: Witch World #1, #2, & #3
Published: 2002
Status: Owned, Hardback

The first three legendary Witch World novels from one of the most popular authors of our time.

Few authors have achieved such renown as World Fantasy Life Achievement honoree Andre Norton. With the love of readers and the praise of critics, Norton’s books have sold millions of copies worldwide. Perhaps her best loved and most influential novels, the Witch World series have been too long unavailable to readers.

But finally, in the first of two ominibuses, Witch World, Web of the Witch World, and Year of the Unicorn, the first three novels of the Witch World, are united for the first time so readers can once again step through The Gates to Witch World.

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