Author: Andre Norton and Mary H Schaub
Book: The Magestone (The Secrets of the Witch World #2)
Published: May 1996
Mereth and Kasarian are two strangers whose two peoples have been at war for a millennium. Mereth is an elderly, mute Dale woman who crosses the sea to Escarp’s archival citadel at Lormt. She is seeking clues to the fate of an ancient jewel of Power, an heirloom lost in the last war. Kasarian is a young hound lord of Alizon. He finds an ancestor’s key to open a magic gate to distant Lormt. Kasarian comes from a militaristic culture of intrigue, where failure can lead to being fed to their hounds. Long have they distrusted magic.
Kasarian discovers that a maniacal Alizon baron seeks an alliance with dark wizards from Escore with Mereth’s long-lost Magestone, which an enemy barron stole from his father. The former foes now have a common cause, and a legacy neither could imagine.
Andre Norton continues the theme she began in The Key of the Keplian of old enemies reconciling.
Kasarian has never liked the witches of Escarp. He likes the fact that a rival who murdered his father is making common cause with Dark Adepts even less. Andre Norton explores the culture of the Hounds of Alizon, the ancient foes of many inhabitants of The Witch World. It is a culture of intrigue and subtle poisons. Their vicious hounds are unlike any other creature on Witch World, and many have learned to fear them. Yet, Kasarian maintains a code of honor. He stands with Mereth and the sages of Lormt against those who would serve the Dark.
The second book in Secrets of the Witch World is an enjoyable tale of two enemies compelled to come together and realize that the differences between them aren’t insurmountable.