Witch World (1963) by Andre Norton

WitchWorld1First of all, Clarke AwardAncillary Justice wins another one!

Second of all, a book about an alternate world called Witch World? How puntastic!

…but he could not accept the atmosphere of this place as anything but alien. And not only alien, for that which is strange need not necessarily be a menace, but in some manner this place was utterly opposed to him and his kind. No, not alien… but unhuman, whereas the witches of Estcarp were human, no matter whatever else they might also be (p. 182).

How could two so widely differing levels of civilization exist side by side? …Alien, alien—once more he was on the very verge of understanding—of guessing— (p. 171).

He never figures it out. At least, not in the first book of this expansive series.

And it’s odd to the see the term “alien” pop up so repetitively in a magic fantasy novel about witches, but it was a term to which I clung out of the hope that something really cool or meaningful would happen. That’s not to say I expected little green men to tromp around this world of witches (okay, maybe a little), but I hoped to extrapolate some deeper significance when considering the immigrant status of our good protagonist Simon Tregarth. It never happened. Continue reading