Golden Witchbreed

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Feb 23 12:34:19 EST 2000


>+ (1) the book is set on the planet Orthe.
>+ (2) The edition I was reading has in the front a one-line review by
>+     DWJ herself.
>+ (3) This edition was published before DWJ wrote Sudden Wild Magic.  Could the
>+ Pentarchian province of that name be related to this book?
> There is nothing but the name in common. Given that Gentle uses a whole bundle

Well, I was actually thinking of the Orthe (Pentarchian) as the place "where the
Other Peoples lived".  I agree there is very little in common, but I was
wondering (since DWJ read Golden Witchbreed shortly before she wrote SWM)
whether the name might have been poached.

> of very obscure names in her work (Havoth-jair, Havoth-jair, hm, oh my gods
> a Biblical place!), she and DWJ might just be using the same sources. The
> Pentarchian place has no notion of the n'ri n'suth relationship binding people
> together with familial and telestre links.

No, I didn't mean that at all!  (So it doesn't matter that I don't agree...)

> I find Golden Witchbreed a pretty good travelogue, and a good book when taken
> with its sequel, Ancient Light. The time perspective of the later book (10

Sequel?  I shall be on the lookout for that!

> years subjective, with a direct view of that ancient Empire and subsequent
> major events recorded by all the Hexenmeisters), as well as the unspeakable
> tragedy of the Golden death-obsessed nature... really well-built.
> Carrick V feels like a real world, and has real people.

Agreed.  (Why is it that you and I agree on so little?  No, don't bother to

Actually I found the title, "Golden Witchbreed", rather offputting, and nearly
didn't buy the book as a result.  Just as well I did, though...

The other thing I find offputting, since you mention it, is the use of the title
Hexenmeister.  Why this isolated German word?  (= master of witches)  Is it
supposed to be a native word - in which case why choose a German word so close
in meaning? - or a translation - in which case why German, of all languages?  It
sticks out like a sore thumb...  The only thing I can think of is that she may
be using a different Earth language as a way of showing that it is a different
Orthean language.  In which case, I see what she means - I just don't happen to
like it.


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