During the past three decades, millions of readers have thrilled as master storyteller Andre Norton and her collaborators have woven the immense, vibrant, and living tapestry of Witch World-that realm of untamed magic and limitless adventure, where witches make mountains dance, and sorcerous gates draw forces of good and evil from other universes. But never before has Witch World been evoked in such depth, such scope, such brilliance as in this, Andre Norton's final novel of her beloved saga. Simon Tregarth returns, leading a planet's heroes in the final war against the Dark, as the classic fantasy series rises to its monumental, breathtaking grand climax . . .THE WARDING OF WITCH WORLD The witches summon the mighty to Es: Lord Tregarth and his wife, Jaelithe; War Marshal Koris and Lady Loyse of Gorm; the famed adept Hilarion and sorceress Kaththea Tregarth; Dahaun of Green Valley; and many others of power. Allies and former enemies face a crisis greater than the Turning, a threat worse than the Kolder, an apocalypse beyond the Great Disaster. The Magestone, the Key to the pandimensional gates, has been lost to Otherspace . . .Now all the gates are open. And an infinite flood of evils is about to wash across the world. The known gates can be warded and watched. But heroes of the Light, chosen by their talents, must dare unknown dangers beyond all charted lands, seeking to close gates in a desperate race against the Dark. Traveling south of Estcarp and Escore, Keris Tregarth, Destree the Voice of Gunnora, the part-Navajo Lady Eleeri, and their companions join an alien giant to traverse deadly jungles, searching for the lost city of the First Adept . . .With Garth Howellfallen to the sway of the Dark, Ibycus the Protector, Firdun of Gryphon Eyrie, the werepard Kethan, and their small band must go west of Arvon and the Waste to battle the gate-born power of the Black Mage.
Though Norton (Elvenblood), born in 1912, often writes with a collaborator now, she flies solo in what's billed as the final entry in her most popular and acclaimed series, which began 33 years ago with the novel Witch World. When Alizondern nobles throw open the Gates to other worlds, allowing evil free access to the four corners of the Witch World globe, it is only through the combined heroic actions of all of the planet's disparate and uneasily allied forces of Light that its inhabitants may manage to save themselves. The novel ties together stories from the lives of many previously established characters, including Simon Tregarth, Destree, Jaelithe, the Keplian Mares, the Falconers and the Lady Frost. It also introduces a host of newcomers, such as Liara of Alizondern, who strives to right the tragedy her people have set in motion; Gruck, an otherworldly guardian from beyond the Gates who becomes companion to Destree; and Audha, a talented Sulcar girl who holds the key to Witch World's continued survival. The narrative interweaves various magical battles with a passionate striving for morality and good. Though the patchwork nature of the writing makes for an uneven read, readers already invested in this fabulous world and its enchanted characters should relish this last act in one of fantasy's most enduring spectacles. (Oct.)