Probably should not be read as a stand alone

The Crystal Gryphon - Andre Norton

The biggest problem that I found with this book was that it turned out that it was written in the middle of a massive series of books, namely the Witch World series, of which I had no real knowledge. I have noted that quite a lot of people really enjoyed this book, and I was attracted to it by the cover where you had an army of early modern soldiers slaughtering an army of medieval soldiers. However, as I mentioned, this book sits in the middle of a larger series of books, and in a way I found it hard to follow, and pretty much got lost a third of the way through. Oh, I should also mention that this book was a present given to me by a young lady that I knew at high school, and has been sitting on my shelf ever since, namely because it was a part of a series (which is probably why she gave it to me).

Anyway, the story is sort of written in a style that has become popular with Game of Thrones, where each chapter is told from the point of view of a main character, however in this story we only have two, Kerovan and Josian. Kerovan is basically a freak. He was born in a storm after taking shelter in a building built by the old ones, has hooves instead of legs, and strange eyes. Since he is such a freak, he is rejected by his mother, and pretty much treated as an outcast, despite being the heir to Ulmsport (his father seems to accept him). Josian is the woman that has been betrothed to him and is expected to marry him. Norton writes it as if they were already married, though they had to wait until they came of age to consummate the relationship. Some have suggested that this is an interesting point, but in reality, this is the way things happened between noble families for a long time. There is nothing different between what happened in this book, and what happens with regards to arranged marriages.

To be honest, this was about the time the book lost me. I know that Kerovan went off and discovered some crystal orb which contained a gryphon, and that it was like powerful, and I also know that somehow Josian landed up with it, but really, the book did not captivate me all that much. I also know that there was some invasion pretty much destroying the land, however, I believe that the bad guy, and the plot, had little to do with this invasion, and was focused on something else. It really only acted as a background. As for the book, well, if you had read it as part of the series, then maybe it will make more sense, however for me, I am nowhere near as obsessed with fantasy as I used to be, so this will simply be thrown into my read book pile, and maybe, if I have time, I might take a second look at Witch World.