Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1)” as Want to Read:
Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,691 Ratings  ·  160 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Witch World, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Lieran I'd say it is more YA. It was published before YA was considered a genre, but Andre Norton appeared a lot in middle and high school libraries.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random, pub-1963
The reason I (and maybe many other people but let me not make any bold claims) return to childhood and adolescence favourite reads is to access that careless (careless?) fourteen-year-old who would lose herself in the book like the real world didn’t exist and the worlds her imagination created were so powerful and absorbing she could almost touch them. However, re-reading is a futile exercise, not only can I not connect with that inner child, I don’t even know who she was anymore. She is a stran ...more
Kat  Hooper
Dec 23, 2010 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
Mar 24, 2008 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
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge and the Second Best Reading Challenge (for sci-fi/fantasy books that were nominated for awards but did not win).

Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, and Andre Norton - the forgotten triumvirate of women who moulded the science fiction and fantasy we know today. Well, also Ursula LeGuin, but for some reason people remember her. I think perhaps the difference is that LeGuin is considered a "literary writer"; not that this is something she asked for or
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 29, 2009 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.

Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
This is part of my reading challenge for 2017, to expand my woeful knowledge of women in speculative fiction by reading at least 24 books by women that were and are instrumental in our genre.

This starts as a master of intrigue. A marked man, Simon, who is or once was very capable, and once honest and a Corporal, is on the run. He expects death at every turn, and yet is still darkly witty when prompted. Having been tricked into falling on the wrong side of the law he has had to leave his old life
the gift
continuing my reading of woman-authored pulp/golden age sff: just recalled reading this many years ago (decades...) and found i had not put this on here. i remember this was one of the first 'portal fantasies' i read, though not new at the time. and this world of witches is feminist in early sff way. i did enjoy it though i do not know if i was 17 or more, but obviously not enough to follow sequels...
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten how comprehensive and detailed this story is, and how the base premise blossoms out into an array of consequences, implications, derivations, and plot hooks. You consider the idea of "matriarchy, magic powers require virginity" and see how this plays off a nearby machismo-based society, or how it affects political relations with neighbors either jealous or fearful of their power, or even showing how the idea of "women with power will probably not have children" will affect popula ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Andre Norton is well known as one of the greats of the early years of SF & Fantasy. In the recent past I've read 4 of her short SF novels and was not overly impressed with any of them. To give her a fair chance I thought I needed to read something from her well known 'Witch World' fantasy novels.

This is the first of the Witch World books and it follows a familiar pattern very common in the pulp era. (Modern man gets transported to another world.) From there on it's a familiar sword and sorce
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
Too many battle scenes and not enough world building. My mind wandered too often while reading this book
May 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Got halfway through and could read no more. This book is just not for me.
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-in-sf-f
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

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 Trader
Timothy Darling
Apr 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
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
Mar 11, 2015 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
Jim Angus
Aug 05, 2011 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
Mar 09, 2009 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
Aug 22, 2011 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2012
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.
Feb 11, 2009 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.
May 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: witch-world
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.
Dec 11, 2007 marked it as to-read-own
3/1/17 $.99 for Kindle
Sep 27, 2011 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.
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
Shannon Courser
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The story is interesting, and I like the mixture of sci-fi/fantasy. However, for me, I found the formal language a bit tedious to read through, and found myself having to reread sentences at times to get the meaning. I understand it is a part of how that world is constructed, but for some reason I struggled with it, and it kept pulling me out of the story.

As far as the characters go, I liked them well enough, but I wasn't strongly invested in them. Perhaps it was because they always seemed to ke
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle
This is a portal fantasy novel in the grand tradition of Barsoom and Three Hearts and Three Lions. Like both those other stories, our hero Simon Tregarth is in a life or death situation when he's able to escape our world for another. In this case, Simon winds up in a universe of witches and warriors. He lacks John Carter's superhuman athleticism, but makes up for it with good knowledge of warfare and tactics - plus some understanding of post-medieval technology. The latter especially comes in ha ...more
This is the first of the Witch World books and a classic. To be honest, most of the spec-fic classics I've read lately have been fairly disappointing. I thought this one bucked the trend and held up fairly well. Overall I'd give it a 3.5, rounding up for it being a classic.

We open with Simon Tregarth, our protagonist, on the run in a distinctly noir setting. It has a 1940s feel to it which probably felt like the nearly recent past when the book was released in 1963. Anyhow, we don't spend too mu
Angelika Belko
Jul 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I tried so hard not to give up on this book... I failed... I read only (or should I say as much as) half of this book and I was bored to death. I really wanted to read the whole series, but life is too short for reading books that you don't enjoy. In this case it was actually painful. I usually force myself to read till the last page, even when the book is average, however this Witch world made it impossible for me. There was too much telling instead of showing. Characters were really dull, so d ...more
Jeff Suter
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK - I'm a sucker for Andre Norton books and the Witch World series in particular. I discovered the author and Witch World about the same time as a teenager. Now normally I don't like genre-mixing novels - science fiction with fantasy. It just grates. Yet Witch World relies on the premise that there are "Gates" between worlds and the first major foe encountered are the Kolder, a race of technological beings bent on conquest. Science versus magic.

Our protagonist is Simon Tregarth, an American ex-
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Φανταστείτε Ούρσουλα ΛεΓκεν να προσπαθεί να αντιγράψει Ρόμπερτ Χάουαρντ. Το έχετε; Ναι, τόσο μέτρο.

Το βιβίο είναι παλιό και το δείχνει κάθε δεύτερη γραμμή. Κομμάντο το σκάει από δολοφόνους τηλεμεταφερόμενος σε έναν φάνταζυ κόσμο όπου υπάρχουν μάγισσες-γυναίκες (αλλά για να παραμέινουν μάγισσές πρέπει άντρας να μην της έχει πάρει, γιατί 1960 και φεμινιστικοί συμβολισμοί). Ε, εκεί σκάνε κάτι μυστήριοι εισβολείς που έχουν περίεργη μαγεία (δηλαδή τεχνολογία) και γίνονται διάφορα αλλά δεν τα παρακολο
Jennifer Taw
May 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
More than anything, this book reminded me of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars stories and it had many of the same entertainments and drawbacks, though with less to recommend it. In fact, though it was a quick read and pleasantly escapist, I won't continue with the series (unlike Burroughs', which I read through to the end). The writing in Norton's book was just choppy enough to be distracting; the adventure not quite interesting enough to captivate; the characters just not appealing eno ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Witch World by Andre Norton 1 20 May 11, 2015 02:15PM  
Classic Trash: Witch World: Finished (Spoilers) 4 3 May 09, 2015 12:53PM  
Classic Trash: Witch World: In Progress (No Spoilers) 17 6 May 09, 2015 04:18AM  
Witch World: Finished (Spoilers) 1 3 May 08, 2015 01:54PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Book #64: Witch World by Andre Norton 2 5 Jun 20, 2013 10:59AM  
  • Day of the Minotaur
  • Brain Twister
  • The Fallible Fiend (Novarian, #3)
  • Davy
  • Three Hearts and Three Lions
  • Too Many Magicians (Lord Darcy, #2)
  • The Butterfly Kid
  • The Pirates of Ersatz
  • Who?
  • Hiero's Journey (Hiero, #1)
  • The Dream Years
  • The Planet Buyer
  • Fourth Mansions
  • Dwellers in the Mirage
  • The Phoenix and  the Mirror
  • Sorcerer's Son (The Book of Elementals, #1)
  • The Whole Man
  • The Forbidden Tower (Darkover, #12)
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. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Witch World Series 1: The Estcarp Cycle (10 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

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • Gateway to Fourline (The Fourline Trilogy, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rift (Area 51: Nightstalkers, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Rebel Genius
    $6.38 $2.99
  • Time Patrol (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #4)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The King's Traitor (Kingfountain, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Moving Mars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Blood Rose Rebellion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Waking Land (The Waking Land, #1)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Timequake
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Thief's Daughter (Kingfountain, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Queen's Poisoner (Kingfountain, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00