The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Four Sorcerers ~ Elwher, Metaldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts



 A Novella in the [Witch World Saga] by Mary H. Schaub


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See Also: [Martinez ~ Glossary] [Martinez ~ Races] [Schlobin ~ Survey]

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[Updated: 09/21/2019]


Edition Used for Analysis:
[Tales of the Witch World 3] (1989) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54757-8, 978-0-812-54757-3, $3.95, 343pg ~ cover by Victoria Poyser



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Timeline Points:

  1. p323. 'Merreth had herself been something of an unexpected traveler, for nearly eighteen years earlier, at the turn of the Year of the Crowned Swan, she had been a foundling abandoned at the Abbey's door.' 'The Abbess at that time might have known or suspected something about Merreth's origins, but she died of a fever when the child was about a year old, and left no instructions other than that Merreth was to be cared for.1
  2. p324. 'Merreth was about fifteen on the winter day that the old blind wise woman [Willow] appeared at the Abbey's side gate, alone except for an equally elderly horse and a few hampers of dried herbs and parchments.' 'She [Willow] welcomed Merreth's request to learn about plants.'
  3. p325. Willow: "Let me arrange to speak with the Abbess, and do you come back before you depart. It is fitting that we should ask Gunnora's blessing upon your venture." Willow instantly sensed Merreth's discomfiture. "No, I do not mean a formal invocation service by the whole company of Dames; I suggest a quiet prayer by the two of us. It is my believe that Gunnora will hear an individual plea as well as a chorus, especially if the supplicant be sincere."2

1. That places this story after the Invasion of High Hallack (almost 18 years after the Year of the Crown Swan.) (see: The Crystal Gryphon)
2. Considering the fact that the Dames venerate the Flame, it would be strange for them to perform a "formal invocation service" to Gunnora! Mary H. Schaub seems to have gotten her religions mixed here. No wonder Merreth was uncomfortable with the idea! It's possible Willow meant for Merreth to ask the Abbess for the blessing of the Flame and her mention of Gunnora was a "speaking of blessings…" separate idea. Since the Wisewomen of High Hallack seem to have adopted Gunnora as their goddess it's fitting that Willow & Merreth would have a quiet prayer together, just the two of them. Still, this section is very awkwardly written.


The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Knowledge

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ April, 2019

Copyright ~ Elwher, Mataldragon, Indagare & Lotsawatts
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