THE CRYSTAL GRYPHON Author:ANDRE NORTON Witch World: — The curse of his forebears---who had looted one of the sacred places of the Old Ones, taken the forbidden treasure that glowed in the dark, and, thereafter, been visited with a painful, often fatal sickness---was handed on to Kerovan at his birth, though in a different form. His feet were not with toes, like those of other humans, ... more »but were small hooves, while his eyes were a strange butter -amber color. Yet he was his father's rightful heir to Ulm and was so brought up, albeit far away from Ulmsdale Keep since his mother had disowned him almost at birth. When he was ten, his father arranged for his marriage to a fitting bride---Joisan---though the two were not to meet until he was eighteen. Meanwhile, invaders came to Ulm by sea and through guile overran much of the kingdom.
In the disastrous times that followed, both Kerovan and Joisan, as well as their people, were uprooted from their homes and sent fleeing. A link between them was unexpectedly provided by a small and beautiful crystal sphere with a gryphon engraved therein that Kerovan had found once when exploring the vast wilderness called the Waste, and had sent to Joisan as a gift. Through incredible dangers and hardships their paths slowly begin to converge, and eventually, united, they journey to the farthest reaches of the wilderness, where only the Old Ones had lived, too save their people---and the world---from total enslavement and destruction.« less