Web of the Witch World

By Andre Norton

Web of the Witch World is book two of Andre Norton’s Witch World series. It’s hard to review sequels in series without including spoilers for the previous books, so I’m not going to try. That way I can comment on more. So if you haven’t read book one, and think you want to, don’t read any further.

Web of the Witch World by Andre Norton

Web of the Witch World picks up a few months after the ending of Witch World. The book opens with Jaelithe and Simon waking in the night to a feeling of something being wrong. They take to the road, headed in the direction of where the warning came from, and discover that one of their companions from book one has been taken by the Karsten. Jaelithe sensing this is strange, as she surrendered her jewel and life as a witch upon marrying Simon. Her fixation with this, and thinking she hadn’t lost that part of herself, created some bad moments for Simon and some openings for the Kolder to use. At first I concerned about some of Simon’s internal thoughts about this, but it fit well into the story and I should have trusted Andre Norton. It led to a beautiful quote that I can share with you without spoiling this book:

He knew that she had those depths and silences to which she must withdraw upon occasion, that he meant none the less to her because of those withdrawals. They were a part of her and so to be accepted. No one could ever occupy all of another’s thoughts and emotions. There were parts of him that would be closed to her also. But to take without question what she did have to give, and offer in return, freely and without jealously, all he had – that was what their union meant.

While the opening kidnapping is carried out by Karsten, it soon becomes apparent that Kolder are at the root of it. This leads to us finding out just how far Kolder has tentacles within this world. At the end of book one, Kolder retreated to Yle. In book two, Estcarp and Sulcar take the fight to Yle, and the gate that brought the Kolder into this world.

I found Web of the Witch World to be just as strong as Witch World, but I did feel there were some open questions that I’m not sure are going to be answered in other books. For a reason that I can’t say here, because spoilers. It is for this reason alone that in my reading journal I rated this volume at half a star lower than book one (but still high at 4 stars). I’m definitely going to continue this series, and highly recommend it to others. Go forth and raid the second-hand bookshops 🙂.

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