Spell of the Witch World (Witch World Series 2: High Hallack Cycle, #2)

PDF-file by Andre Norton

Spell of the Witch World (Witch World Series 2: High Hallack Cycle, #2) PDF ebook download The cover blurb of my copy of Spell of the Witch World is deceptive. After three paragraphs of effusive – but general – praise and comparison to Tolkien, the final one explains “[h]ere you will meet the twins, Elys, the witch-sister, and Elyn, the warrior-brother – and the pact that drew both into perils beyond the laws of our everyday stars.” Leaving aside the over-the-top rhetoric, the deception lies in the fact that Spell comprises three novellas – “Dragon Scale Silver” (where we meet the twins), “Dream Smith” and “Amber out of Quayth” – connected only by their Witch World setting.

Elys and Elyn of “Dragon Scale Silver” are the children of Estcarp refugees who washed up on the shores of High Hallack and found refuge in a fishing village. When Alizon invades some years later (after the twins’ parents have died), Elyn goes off to fight them, and Elys flees with the other villagers to hoped-for havens inland. Through her witching abilities and aided by the village’s wise-woman and Jervon, a wounded soldier who’s sought succor with the refugees, Elys learns that her brother has been ensnared by an ancient curse and she’s the only one who can rescue him. It’s a well told if formulaic entry in the Witch World oeuvre. What puts it a bit above average is the ending, (view spoiler)