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The Crystal Gryphon by Andre Norton
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
570626,492 (3.93)26
  1. 20
    Year of the Unicorn by Andre Norton (Aldrea_Alien)
    Aldrea_Alien: Though not the same characters, this story expands the background of the war that brings Gillan to the Abbey and her subsequential decision to venture forth with the bridal group.
  2. 00
    Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb (DisassemblyOfReason)
    DisassemblyOfReason: The latter part of Assassin's Quest, like part of The Crystal Gryphon, is taken up with travelling a mysterious ancient alien road through now-deserted country.

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I love the Witch World books, but particularly the Gryphon Saga. There's something special about the characters and their relationship, and how they persevere on their quest that has always stayed with me. Great stuff for early fantasy. I really enjoy Norton's use of archaic language style and the simplicity and formality of the world she portrays. Simple by today's bloated standards, but great stuff.
What struck me on re-reading this is that these books must have been an inspiration for many modern fantasy writers, but particularly Robert Jordan. You can see in the structure of the world, the striving of dark vs. light powers, the idea of cycles and possession some of the concepts that are very prevalent in the Wheel of Time series. This is much, much simpler, but I can still see the same foundation in these stories. ( )
  Karlstar | Jan 8, 2012 |
The story starts out quickly and continues moving well. You are never quite sure what is going to happen around the next bend.. but you find yourself rooting for Kerovan and Joisan all the way through the story.
And even though the book comes to a clean end, it leaves you longing to know what came next. ( )
  dragonasbreath | Dec 15, 2010 |
A good story. Again, this is one I've read so often and had as part of my life for so long that it's hard to think about it clearly. The alternating chapters are an interesting conceit, particularly when they tell the same events just slightly differently. I like both Kerovan and Joisan; they're interesting people. Kerovan had a weird upbringing; Joisan's was more conventional, for that time and place, though she came out of it with a very individual view of the world and her place in it. I love the time when they're together, with Kerovan as Lord Amber - though she forgives him for the lie rather too easily. On the other hand, she doesn't discover it until the climactic battle, so I guess she had other things on her mind. A sort-of happy ending, with Kerovan's low self-esteem clearly showing - still, it would have made an ending if she'd never gone on to write more. Enjoyed it, as always. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Dec 5, 2010 |
I must say, having read Gryphon's Eyrie first, I went into this book with a knowledge of one who has read a series and now has the prequel.
Though, as one of the main characters, Kerovan's manner is stiff and rather formal. When one places it against the foil of his upbringing - the emotional abandonment of his father; the hatred from his mother; and the eventual loss of those he'd come to know as friends - such detachment is rather human. This inner turmoil is constant in all of narrative, yet it does not overwhelm the reader in a 'poor me' attitude, instead it has an atmosphere of acceptance.
On the other side of the coin, Joisan, who we are told from the get-go is to become his wife (and shares the chapter-switch with Kerovan) is confident in herself and, though not sure of her abilities, has a wide streak of determination that goes far to make her a good and strong character.
Though set against the back-drop of an invasion (one whose origins are clearer if read in sequence with the other witch world novels), there is little in the way of political or military talk, but it's pretty clear early on that this is more about the characters inner struggle than the physical battles happening around them, yet both play an important part to make this story a fantastic read. ( )
  Aldrea_Alien | Jun 8, 2010 |
Opening volume of the Gryphon trilogy. Kerovan, our hero, has been twice cursed -- once via his father's family who stole what did not belong to them, and once via his mother's ill-omened bargain with Powers she did not fully understand. As a stigma of his mother's bargain, Kerovan is born with hooves rather than feet. He is deemed a monster by his mother, who refuses to look at him again after giving birth.

Joisan, axe-wed to Kerovan as an eight year-old, is a young woman of the Dales. Descended from a family gifted with their own powers, she has never seen her husband, and does not know him when they first encounter one another. Kerovan's bride-gift to Joisan is the crystal gryphon of the book's title.

The story is told by Keorvan and Joisan in alternating chapters that move the action forward, sometimes relating the events from only one perspective, and sometimes backing up so that both characters' perspectives are gained.

I loved the trilogy as a teenager, and have re-read it often since. The first book is not the strongest of the three, but is still definitely a good read. ( )
  SunnySD | Nov 19, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andre Nortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barr, KenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan,JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roediger, Susi-Mariasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, HughEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, HughForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wollheim, Donald A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To S.A.G.A
(Swordsmen and Sorcerers Guild of America)
In recognition of their encouragement in our chosen field of Ensorcelling.
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I was one born accursed in two ways.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Few authors have achieved such renown as World Fantasy Life Achievement honoree and Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Andre Norton. With the love of readers and the praise of critics, Norton's books have sold millions of copies worldwide. In a time and place of swords and sorcery... here begins the saga of Kerovan of Ulmsdale, born with the amber eyes and cloven hooves of the Old Ones, who seeks his rightful heritage as Lord-heir of Ulmsdale - and Lady Joisan of Ithkrypt, proxy-wed to Kerovan, who wears about her neck Kerovan's precious and powerful gift... a small crystal globe encasing a tiny gryphon. Kerovan and Joisan - each forever entwined in the other's fate - their destiny clouded by dark evils that threaten to destroy their kingdoms. Together, they seek to unlock the wondrous powers they hold within them... and the mysterious secrets of the crystal gryphon.… (more)

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