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Witch World (Witch World Series 1: The Estcarp Cycle #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,009 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Ace (first published 1963)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat  Hooper
Dec 23, 2010 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Simon Tregarth knows he’s about to die — he’s being hunted down by a professional assassin and he has a “feeling” that it’s going to happen tonight. But then the infamous Doctor Petronius interrupts Simon as he’s savoring his last meal and offers him an escape. Dr. Petronius’s services don’t come cheap, but this expense is a no-brainer (after all, you can’t take it with you). The only downside is that neither Simon nor Dr. Petronius knows where Simon is ac
Oct 02, 2012 Terence rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA SF fans
Reread: Sept 2012
There's nothing better than a dose of Norton when in need of a comfort read.

When I was a lad growing up in St. Charles, MO, the library we frequented (a converted shop near the freeway exit, long since sacrificed to the country's love affair with shopping malls [sigh]) had two floors. The top floor catered to "adult" literature and I didn't often go there. The basement contained the YA and SF stuff, and it was there that I received my first exposure to the genre that I love to
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 31, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I don't know why the sight insists on a "1" after the title of this book as it was originally just "Witch World".... oh well.

I read this long ago and enjoyed it. It seems that for a while Andre Norton sort carried the banner for everyone who enjoyed popular (and it also might be called "teen") fantasy. She wrote many solo novels and then turned her hand to collaborations.

This is a "fun" read what I call brain candy and it's a start to one of fantasy's longest running series. Read it for fun.

May 04, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Got halfway through and could read no more. This book is just not for me.

2.5 stars

Simon Tregarth, hunted and tired, pays all he has for a guaranteed escape. He finds himself on another world, where he promptly helps a witch defeat her own pursuers, and becomes entangled in her land's troubles.

When I was growing up, I was well aware of Andre Norton, but I don't believe I read more than a couple of her books. I knew about the Witch World, but I just wasn't very interested. Decades later, I decided to give her another try. I read the Time Traders
Mar 13, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Here's how this book goes: boring, boring, boring, amazingly intense action sequence, boring, boring, zombie army attacks! Then, boring, boring, boring, interesting skinny lady betrothed to bastard, boring, boring, horrifying science experiment! And, boring, boring, ending that peters out.

There are some interesting takes on gender issues that have aged well. Written in the 1960's, the book asks questions that are still topical: how does the power differential between men and women change with ex
Timothy Darling
I confess, I did not finish it. I am finding that navigating Norton's efforts at exotic to be tedious. I'm sure that if I had read it earlier in my life I would have enjoyed it more, but I don't have a tolerance for fantasy that does not explain itself a little. I'm a quarter way through the book, a short book, and I'm still being introduced to new characters that could be likable, but I just don't know where it will stop. I'm comparing her to Moorecock or Howard who use just such unreal exotic ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Sue CCCP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My full review: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.b...

This is one of those series that I have always meant to read but has somehow never reached the top of my TBR pile. With the incentive of various challenges to encourage me, I finally decided to see if it lived up to its Hugo Award nomination. I am pleased to say that, unlike A Wizard of Earthsea, it seems to deserve its place on all those ‘Top Fantasy Series’ lists out there. It does feel a little dated now, but it is fifty years old, so th
Jim Angus
Aug 05, 2011 Jim Angus rated it really liked it
I read this first around 45 years ago. As a teen I read it for the adventure. But I find it worth reading again. Andre Norton demonstrated her maturity as a writer with this book! Although a fantasy (with ancient science thrown in) it seems better researched and composed than many of her earlier books. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

I sincerely believe that Andre Norton helped me find my moral center. As an outsider, I related to her characters and developed a similar need to
Sep 11, 2014 Dawn rated it did not like it
I have to be honest... I didn't even finish this book. I don't do that very often, especially with books this short, but it had to be done. It hadn't caught me at all by the halfway point. It was taking me forever to read each page because I'd zone out and read the same paragraph over and over again without realizing it. The characters, the story... None of it was interesting to me. I know a lot of people love this series, and I really wanted to love it too, but it just wasn't doing it for me.

Aug 24, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
I am currently re reading the Witch World series again.

I finished it and can truely say it was like reading it for the 1st time. The story seemed a little familar but I must have forgotten alot of the detail.

Anyway I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the rest of the Witchworld books.

The ending left it open for lots of possibilities without being a cliffhanger. That is probably what Andre Norton was going for.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mixed world type Sci f
Steven Ray
Jan 25, 2016 Steven Ray rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
While modestly enjoyable, I found the storyline and characters in Witch World to be exceedingly shallow throughout this book. There was almost no character building and only minimal world building, leading to a tale where I felt no connectedness or immersion which I find essential for a fantasy novel. The bits of science fiction sprinkled in didn't seem to add anything to the story, and just muddled the book without adding value or meaning. And the action was almost non-existant, with no tension ...more
This is the edition I own. I don't know how I came to review another edition.

With Norton's books, what matters about editions is mostly the cover picture. The one on this edition (the 1966 edition) is puzzling. It depicts a helmeted man (?A Falconer?) with a distorted face--not scarred, I think, but perhaps affected by a stroke?

No such character occurs in this volume, and it's not clear where the (uncredited, as far as I can discern) artist got the idea from. On the back cover is another pictur
Marilyn Hudson
Mar 26, 2014 Marilyn Hudson rated it really liked it
Reading this for the first time I was struck by several things. The high level of internal narrative, the often awkward language to give the feel of another fantasy world similar to our own medieval period, and the daring use of fantasy to paint a picture of male-female relationships.

Having said all that, let me also say that I stayed up far longer than I should have to read to the finish of this three books in one collection. Yes, I had to find out how it ended in that particular tale.

Feb 11, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't quite finished this book yet, but for those of you interested in older sci-fi, Andre Norton is/was a pro. In the book Witch World, we travel to a strange new world with a character right out of the World War era. I don't know about you, but this kind of scenario totally suits me. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.
Jan 05, 2013 Derek rated it liked it
I'm starting a massive re-read of Witch World novels (at least those I can get hold of - which seems to be 24 out of 30+). I read most of them over 30 years ago. I won't be writing major reviews, but let's just say I'm pleasantly surprised how well this one has held up compared to some of her SF novels.
Apr 11, 2014 DaveA rated it really liked it
Very good book. Not quite as enigmatic nor dark as other Norton books, but still quite enjoyable. The ending was a little anti-climatic. It built up to a big batle, and then there was no one to fight, so it ust ended. Still enjoyable, though.

The different series in the Witch World books was rather confusing to me. To assist others, here are several sites with good information:

A suggested reading order:
Although I'm not sure I'd agree with this. Publication
Sep 29, 2011 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Love, love, love this. Even though my despised ex brother-in-law first gave me a copy of this book, I couldn't resist the lure that is the Witch World.
Stephen Brooke
Nov 06, 2014 Stephen Brooke rated it really liked it
“Witch World” has long been recognized as a minor classic of fantasy, as well as a novel that bridges the gap between that genre and science fiction. As I recall, the series veered more thoroughly into fantasy in the many sequels — in time, I shall reread those.

Ms Norton’s writing can be florid (boy, that first sentence!) and sometimes veers off into overly-long descriptive passages that add little to nothing to the narrative. She was no stylist but no worse than many of her contemporaries in th
Good light fantasy a bit hampered by the florid dialogue and an abandoned second POV character whose arc opens with great promise and ends (at least for this book) in a sudden revelation that was frankly not even hinted at.

I would have liked a bit more insight into who Simon was at all let alone before his escape through the portal. How does one end up on the run from assassins if one is an honorable ex-soldier of high rank?

I enjoyed this well enough, though, and like the witches of Estcarp and
Jun 21, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I really enjoyed this book, though I was severely distracted by various life events while I was reading it, so I kept getting thrown out of the writer's world due to having to deal with the mundane. I enjoyed the writing, and the setting is marvelous. I like the planet and sorcery style, all the hints of ancient technology in a world that has become mostly medieval with the presence of witchcraft and psychic powers. It is a lot of fun and much better than some of the later Witch World stories th ...more
Erik Graff
May 06, 2009 Erik Graff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children--maybe
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I hadn't much money when little and so had to rely on the Park Ridge Public Library for much of my reading matter. The Library had two sections. Upstairs was for adults. We could enter, but we were not allowed to check out their books. Downstairs, where the washrooms were, was for kids. For a short while, just after we moved to the suburb, I used the downstairs section.

My favorite genre being science fiction, I went through that section of the children's library thoroughly. The four authors most
Caron Rider
Feb 15, 2012 Caron Rider rated it it was amazing
This is a world in which magic and science meet and clash. The witches rule their domain and they have no experience with machinery. Then enters Simon, someone from outside their world and their rules don't necessarily apply to him. I truly like Simon. He faces events with fortitude...something people seem to have forgotten just lately in this fast food generation. For instance, he thinks the end is near, so sits down to have a steak dinner as a last meal. No whining; no crying; just dinner.

I a
Travis Simmons
Oct 11, 2013 Travis Simmons rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I give this book 5 stars. And if you read it, you will know why! I don't want to give too much away, but essentially it is about this guy named Simon Tregarth. He is running from something, a thug, loan shark, someone you aren't really sure who he is, but you know if he catches up to Simon, he will kill him. Simon is approached by this scientist who tells him for a fee, he can make him vanish. Simon has heard of this man, and he knows that anyone who goes to him is never able to be found again. ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Julka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Świat czarownic, to pierwszy tom dłuższego cyklu Estcarp. Bohater powieści Simon niespodziewanie przenosi się do innej rzeczywistości. Skoro to fantastyka, to ten drugi świat jest pełen magi. Żyje na nim kilka ras ludzi różniących się wyglądem i umiejętnościami. Simon staje się obywatelem Estcarpu, tytułowego świata czarownic. Jego umiejętności byłego żołnierza nie idą na marne, bowiem nadciąga zło, klasycznie zresztą z północy. Mieszkańcy Estcarpu muszą przygotować się do wojny.

Powieść na dwa w
Mar 19, 2015 Catsalive rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Very interesting to read this first book in the series. It gets straight to the point & the story is told quickly. I thought Simon a bit slow on the uptake regarding Briant's sex but other than that he's a great action hero.

back cover:
Ex-colonel Simon Tregarth was a hunted man - and the hunt was beginning to come to its inevitable deadly end. Tregarth was desperate, and his situation required a desperate solution. His only alternative, however, was wild beyond any imagining - sorcery. Simon
Aug 05, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I enjoyed this more the second time around, since I knew it was a more sci-fi leaning fantasy and thus wasn't caught flat-footed. Parts read much like a Barsoom novel (and indeed there are obvious parallels), with a similarly steady flow of action. But the background world-building is subtly done, woven in much more like Lord of the Rings (although without the reams of actual planning!) Swashbuckling with substance, if you want a three-word recommendation.
Michaela Mitsuko Sklenářová
Jedna z mých nejoblíbenějších knih z dětství, která definovala můj budoucí pohled na fantasy příběhy.

Doplnění po re-readingu:
Znáte ten strach číst v dospělosti knížky, které jste milovali jako děti, abyste náhodou nezjistili, že nestojí za nic? Kdybych četla Svět čarodějnic až dospělá, možná bych ho označila za průměrné čtení s celkem originální zápletkou. Takhle se mi ale vybavovaly pocity a dojmy z dětství, které jsem už zapomněla.
Literárně asi nejde o nic převratného, možná i ten děj není za
Nov 08, 2015 Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread 11/8/2015 - and it is obviously a dated book, dealing with war in Europe and the cold war, but it is also timeless, in that it does not tie the story to any specific event or time, and deals with a strong hero, but also a man who can be comfortable with strong women. Again I say, an excellent book.

I first read this book 30 years ago, and it spurred my imagination. It is an excellent book!

We are introduced to an alternate reality, via a path in Europe where a disenfranchised soldier,
I've read Lost Lands of Witch World, and I think Witch World is a fun place to visit. So I read this because it's the first book in the series and gives the background information. The main character, Simon, is an earthman who gets transported to Witch World because he belongs there. Instead of seeming surprised by where he is or what goes on there, he just sees it as another battle with different types of weapons. There's a nice tomboyish girl and a not-nice girl who's too pretty. Groan. Yes, w ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Witch World by Andre Norton 1 18 May 11, 2015 11:15PM  
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Witch World: Finished (Spoilers) 1 3 May 08, 2015 10:54PM  
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Witch World Series 1: The Estcarp Cycle (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Web of the Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #2)
  • Three Against the Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #3)
  • Warlock of the Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #4)
  • Sorceress of the Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #5)
  • Trey of Swords (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #6)
  • Ware Hawk (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #7)
  • The Gate of the Cat (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #8)
  • Ciara's Song: A Chronicle of Witch World (Witch World Series 1:The Estcarp Cycle, #9)
  • The Duke's Ballad
  • Lost Lands of Witch World

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