Web of the Witch World Author:Andre Norton "Web of the Witch World" (WWW - 1964) is the sequel to "Witch World" (WW) and continues the story of Simon Tregarth, the soldier who was transported from post World War II Earth to Estcarp, and fell in love with the witch, Jaelithe. Thematically, both WW and WWW will seem very familiar to fans of the late, great Andre Norton: a conflict between ... more »technically advanced, but soulless aliens, and courageous, sword-wielding men and women, who are attempting to make one last stand against the Powers of Evil.
The aliens have tanks and mind-control devices, but Estcarp has witches.
In WWW, Simon Tregarth and his witch-wife, Jaelithe once again find themselves in combat with the alien Kolder, who invaded Witch World through a gateway from their own dying planet. The Kolder were temporarily stymied in the WW, but Simon and his fellow warriors know that they must somehow close the gate between worlds before there will truly be an end to the alien evil.
Witch-ruled Estcarp must do battle with her own neighbors as well as the aliens. Yvian of Karsten declares open war against the witches, and they in turn believe that he has somehow been tainted by the Kolder. The Hounds of Alizon, seething with hatred against all things magical must also be tamed.
WWW is a book of battles as well as a continuation of the love stories of Simon and Jaelithe, plus pale Loyse and the sea-faring Koris of Gorm. The plot is complicated and exceptionally bloody for one of Norton's novels, but she weaves most of the plot together in the end--leaving just enough unfinished business with Alizon, the sea-faring Sulcar, Karsten, and Estcarp to bewitch the reader through many more novels.
Originally, Norton intended to make Witch World live for only one book. But she says, "once [Witch World} was finished I was plagued by more and more questions that arose in my own mind about the past, present and future of that world."
As the Witch World books continued, they became less and less technical and more and more magical. In fact, WWW is the last of the series with a really technical theme. The trilogy that follows WW and WWW ("Three Against the Witch World" (1965), "Warlock of the Witch World" (1967) and "Sorceress of the Witch World" (1968)) is entirely fantastical, and contains some of Norton's best writing.
Andre Norton was a powerful mythmaker and world-builder, and her fantasies concerning the Tregarths do not suffer in comparison with Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. In fact, my own personal preference is for Norton's Witch World.« less