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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,371 ratings  ·  96 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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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Fantasy Classics
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Kat  Hooper
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...more
Oct 02, 2012 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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.



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...more
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
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...more
I will be perfectly honest with you: this isn't a great work of literature or even a very good book. I read it first in middle school and it changed my life. I've re-read it since multiple times and it still holds a strange spell over me.

The characters are rather broadly sketched and the world is too. This is fantasy in the simple escapist style of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It's genre fiction in a pure form. Yet there is something, something about the Witch World that takes root inside me, and based...more
Jim Angus
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...more
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.

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...more
Marilyn Hudson
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.

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.
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
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...more
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.
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 1 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Caron Rider
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...more
Travis Simmons
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
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...more
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...more
Its been ages since I read this book but it formed part of my early love of the Fantasy genre even though, when it was written, the Fantasy genre didn't exist separate from Science Fiction.

Having said that its still a book I can go back and re-read. I like Simon Tregarth and his quiet adaptation to a new world he's been driven into by being framed for a theft he didn't commit. He found/made a home for himself. At the time I read this book finding a place to 'fit' struck a deep chord with my 6th...more
Witches must be pure, virginal souls and they must give up their powers when they marry. Men cannot have power, and if they do it's mechanical or alien.

Fine, whatever, although this is the sixties. But not much happens and it's not very well-written. It's the first of a lengthy series, so let's assume it gets better and eventually challenges social mores. Assume because I probably won't go looking for proof.
Somewhere near the end of her life, there's some evidence that Norton became uneasy about the idea that there existed implacably hostile people who could (and should) be treated with complete ruthlessness. There's no certainty that she ever completely rejected the idea, but there's some evidence she questioned it. The fact that, in one of her earlier books, the malevolent aliens are Japanese, is an indication that she probably should have questioned it earlier.

In this book, it's left unquestione...more
Ty Wilson
This is good old-fashioned fantasy. Fast paced with a fair amount of magic, swords and armor with a dollop of modern technology thrown in for good measure. It was a quick, enjoyable read and the world Andre Norton sets up is one I plan on visiting again soon.
Resembles "The Mists of Avalon," though in the "Mists" witches don't lose their power upon the first love-making.
I had to keep reminding myself of when this book was written in order to encourage me to stick it out. I have read smatterings of Andre Norton in the past and always enjoyed her, but somehow this book, despite its intriguing beginning, left me not really fully connecting with any of the characters. It reminded me of a game of Rook, somehow ( a game I never much cared for; too much strategy, too little connection).

That being said, the narration is good and there are definitely parts of this book...more
Marina Latcko
I first read this one more than 20 years ago and was truly bored reading it. Thinking I didn't get it that time, I picked it again and was even more dissatisfied with the story.
Pure escapism of course. I wanted to read this as a 12 year old, especially #3 (3 against the witch world, where there's no East...)

I find it remarkable how much story and world development Norton packs into 222 pages! Of course the characters lack much depth and development compared to any dramatic fiction. At the same time, the tight writing has as much fantasy plot arc as you'll find in contemporary books 4 times the size. You find multiple nations in conflict with ambiguities everywhere, par...more
Mark Nixon
What can one say. This is the groundbreaker for so much current fantasy. I loved it, and it's around the 5th-6th time I've read it.
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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...
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