The Warding of Witch World - Discussion
I'd agree that it works as a grand finale but it's really terrible not just in regard to the Gates, but the Magestone simply didn't work the way it was portrayed there. It's also not great for the timeline or even dealing with previously established cannon (it was pretty well-established by the end of The Jargoon Pard that Kethan no longer needed to rely on his belt to change, for instance).
I was happy to see Andre return to writing about the Witch World but I also felt like the book was kind of a rushed ending to the series.
I'd have to re-read to be sure, but, I remember that there were lots of plot holes.
(June 21st, 2021, 01:37 AM)Michael Wrote: I was happy to see Andre return to writing about the Witch World but I also felt like the book was kind of a rushed ending to the series.

It's both rushed and unnecessary. I'm reminded of what Baum tried to do with Oz.

(June 21st, 2021, 10:35 AM)Irene Wrote: I'd have to re-read to be sure, but, I remember that there were lots of plot holes.

There's so much weird stuff in it. Even the premise of it won't make sense.
I suspect Andre knew this would be her last chance to wrap up the Witch World fully (which she tried to do with The Gate of the Cat but fan demand made her open up the world to friend and mentee authors) as her health was quite frail by that point and I suspect she was going off sketchy memory, notes, and mere outlines of the stories she signed off on from other authors? It is really 3 novels in one and possibly the longest thing she ever wrote. There are some interesting and memorable moments in it and you can tell which characters gained her fondness by their prominence.

It's interesting some of the decisions she came to, like Uta from Zarsthor's Bane not being just a wise and magically intelligent cat but actually a shapeshifter trapped in cat form and Neevor from the Gryphon Trilogy actually being Ibycus from The Jargoon Pard. Speaking of The Jargoon Pard, the events of that story seem to take shortly before this one as Kethan is still dependant on his belt even though it was an important plot point that he learned he could shift without by the end of the story. She also reveals that the evil taking over Garth Howell connected to Ursilla was an evil mage named Jakata. Also the events of Sand Sister are very recent as well; as Simond & Tursla are written like newly weds, yet both those stories were written back in the 1970s and the difference in her writing styles from then to this is rather jarring in that context (though, chronology-wise, it's not too far off).

She also decided that this takes place roughly 16-17 years after the Turning going by the age of Keris, the son of Kyllan & Dahaun. This contradicts the brief amount of time since the Turning mentioned in The Magestone (3 years!), which is supposed to take place right before this story, as well as the long amount of time since the Turning (30 years!) mentioned in Songsmith, which is also supposed to take place shortly before this story.

She had so many characters and plot threads to resolve/juggle here, as well as new ones to introduce, that it's no wonder it's a bit of a jumble. And it isn't even the very last story she wrote for the Witch World. She wrote an epilogue short-story to this, Earthborne, which is a lovely farewell and well worth reading if you can find it (published in the Masters of Fantasy anthology and Tales from High Hallack vol. 1).
Andre had gotten burned out on writing for the Witch World. I remember complaining to one of my friends who was close to Andre at the time that she had handed the WW franchise over to writers who didn't share her ideas and vision. My friend looked at me in a sort of patronizing way. She said, "You do realize she's been writing these books for 40 years, right?"

Andre needed a career change (in terms of what she was writing about) and we fans wouldn't allow her to move on. But I'm glad she made that one final effort for us.

MYCode Guide

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