The Sorcerer's Conspectus:

A comprehensive view of Andre Norton's Witch World

by Lotsawatts

Peacock Eyes

A Short Story in the [Witch World Saga] by Shirley Meier


See Also: [Martinez ~ Glossary] [Martinez ~ Races] [Schlobin ~ Survey] [Coulson's Index]

[Expanded Reading Order] [Bibliography Page] [Read it Here[Return to Contents]


Edition Used for Analysis:
[Tales of the Witch World 2] (1989) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54757-8, 978-0-812-54757-3, $3.95, 343pg ~ cover by Victoria Poyser


Shallon chose to wait the change so she could have a life as as a human. When her husband is killed by the Ravenlord Shallon thens calls for the change so she can defeat the Ravenlord. Her brother is of no help in ths battle for he blames her for the delay in his changing and sides with evil. It is only the love from her husband that saves her and her Peacock Eyes.

Timeline Points:

  1. p175. Shallon (narrates:) 'Before this place was known as The Waste, before the founding of Quayth, before Flame and spirit-kindling called me to Power, I was human.' 'We lived in the village of Needle's Eye which was on the New Road to the Gate. The ruined road you now call Old.1
  2. p176. 'My [Shallon's] brother Tyrick had gone some six seasons ago. We were strangers in the village, having come out of Arvon, and I being the eldest had settled the three of us, Tyrick, Wold, and myself, here' 'My mother, before her change, had told me of a bird the first Dalesmen spoke of from beyond the Gate, a tropical bird with eyes of blue and green in its tail. A peacock, it was.2
  3. p179. 'What humans now call the Old Road leads straight on, into The Waste that the first-folk called Ravensmoore only a short time ago.3
  4. p184. 'So it was that I became not-human. The change was slow as bones shifting and my feathers itched, I recall, when they began to grow, blue and green like my eyes.' 'Neevor, who is full human and has no Choice, is learning as well.' 'Felika chose for humankind, so long ago, and Wold—or Volt, as you now call him, has yet to make his Choice.4

1. Quayth is from Amber of Quayth and the Old Road features in The Crystal Gryphon and Gryphon in Glory.
2. This implies this story takes place only a few generations after the people of Hallack (Dalesfolk) settle the Dales (High Hallack) in Horn Crown (Neevor carries his grandfather's sword so maybe 2 generations?). How and why Shallon, Tyrick & Wold left Arvon is not explained here.
3. The "first-folk" are probably the "Old Ones" referred to in other stories, or possibly the Old Race.
4. This implies that Neevor was one of the rare Dalesmen who has the Gift for magic. If the Bards hadn't died out (they're not mentioned here) I imagine he might have been trained to become one. Neevor must have used magic to extend his life span and must be the oldest member of his race! This story contradicts The Warding of Witch World where it says that Ibycus is his real name. This story must take place before Bloodspell. If Bloodspell is canon and Neevor & Ibycus were two different people, it's possible that after Neevor died Ibycus used his name to protect his own/used it when travelling in High Hallack? This also takes place before Wold makes his "Choice" and becomes Volt of the Ax, crosses to the eastern continent and adopts the people of the Tor Marsh. (Landisl and Sylvia are also bird-like people of Arvon and are probably of the same race as Shallon and Volt.)

The Sorcerer’s recommend that you read next: Plumduff Potato-Eye

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Formatted and Edited by Jay Watts ~ May, 2022

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