Read Hunting the White Witch: The Birthgrave Trilogy #3 by Tanith Lee Online


Hunting the White Witch is the concluding volume of the Birthgrave Trilogy. Rediscover this realm of brilliant cruel beauty and seductive immortal ruins, of savage war and grand conquest, of falling stars and silver gods—with these 40th anniversary editions of legendary fantastist Tanith Lee's debut book series....

Title : Hunting the White Witch: The Birthgrave Trilogy #3
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756411138
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hunting the White Witch: The Birthgrave Trilogy #3 Reviews

  • Derek
    2019-02-24 15:13

    The first part of this narrative, Book One, is magnificent. Vazkor, pursuing revenge against the woman who birthed him, comes to the city of Bar-Ibithni and immediately becomes embroiled in the intrigues of this place. It is not helped that Vazkor, newly come into his complete Power, lords his abilities over the inhabitants and cynically wields people--individuals, groups, whole ethnicities--for his purpose. And does so without remorse or empathy.In fact, his actions speak of hubris and arrogance. It all snaps together with the machine precision of Greek tragedy: his fall is a direct result of his actions, as helped by a false need for revenge, inflated sense of self-importance, and single minded purpose.His voice during all this, the narration, speaks of the same detachment as his mother Karrakaz/Uastis, tinged with a remorse and self-loathing that foretells the elaborate and many-leveled disaster.If the book had ended there, at his lowest point, I would have been satisfied. But it felt like Lee wanted to move on from this series, and had completed Vazkor's journey. It is thematically relevant but contemplative and less action-filled.

  • Pam Baddeley
    2019-03-01 08:03

    This is the third in the Birthgrave trilogy and, like book 2, is narrated by Vazkor, son of the eponymous 'White Witch' whose real name is Karrakaz. It continues where book 2 ended, with him embarking on a sea voyage to follow his mother to the southern continent, on the quest set by what seemed to him to be the spirit of his father, to murder her in revenge for his father's death at her hands. As his mother did before him, in Book 1, Tuvek/Vazkor grows into his powers. At first, he wields them in a godlike fashion, walking on water, flying, healing, killing with lightning bolts - whatever seems most pleasing at the time, rather than what is necessary. He is profligate with the lives of mortals, such as his devoted servant Long-Eye, and when it's too late feels a bit sorry, but not much. He has inherited his mother's ability to heal even from fatal injuries - she is the sole survivor of the godlike Lost Race - and so the sorrows and suffering of humanity have little impact on him.Vazkor, as he now calls himself, arrives in the main city of an empire established by the Masrimas, formerly a warrior race who conquered the older civilisation of the Hessians. The latter are now mostly slaves in the city or else inhabitants of a benighted slum, the remains of the former capital/port which has sunk into an unhealthy swamp a little way along the coast. Vazkor sets out to become notorious as a wizard by organising public mass-healing sessions for ordinary folk, and to become wealthy by charging the rich large fees to heal their illnesses. Through hubris, he becomes involved in a stunt to rejuvenate a malicious old woman and restore her to fifteen years of age. His subsequent decline of her attentions has serious repercussions (view spoiler)[when her vengeance takes in the whole city, aided by the link he has inadvertently created, enabling her to use his powers against him (hide spoiler)].As with the case of his mother, who was transformed mostly against her will into the goddess Uastis for his father's political benefit, he becomes a catalyst in the ongoing political instability whereby the emperor has set aside his first wife and her son Sorem in favour of the elder son of his second wife. Vazkor becomes Sorem's right-hand man and the secret lover of his extremely capable and beautiful mother, a secret that will ultimately lead to a falling out between the two men. In the meantime, Vazkor becomes a key player in the conflict between Sorem and his half-brother, and enables Sorem to win, though at a price. Sorem is about to become emperor when disaster strikes as a direct result of Vazkor's earlier behaviour. Surviving against enormous odds, Vazkor becomes wiser and feels old beyond his years. He travels away from the city in the company of Gyest, a wise man from an egalitarian tribe, who helps him understand his nature and convinces him not to renounce his Power but to use it for the good of humankind. Eventually, rumours of his mother lead him to a more distant land, and gradually he reaches a full understanding of the isolation from humanity that his power has forced upon him, and his obligation not to misuse his abilities. His earlier thirst for vengeance recedes, but he still wants answers and perhaps retribution for his mother's rejection. Their final face to face confrontation provides surprises for him and for the reader.

  • F.F. White
    2019-02-28 10:09

    This is one of Tanith Lee's better books, so I recommend it whole-heartedly. That said, here are the important details.This story begins with a man who solves every problem he has with magic, and that initially turned me off, as nothing seemed to be a problem. As the story progresses, he seems to use it more and more, until there are things that pose a true challenge. And then, the painful regress and a new path toward enlightenment. To get to the more thoughtful bits, you'll have to go through a lot of swordplay, sorcery, and sex, but that is very similar to a lot of Lee's work. In addition, she features a major taboo, as in Night's Master, but well toward the end. I would say this is the most sword and sorcery type of novel I've read of hers, but I cannot stress how much I enjoyed it after page 40 or so. It is also long, so makes for good reading on long journeys.Also, you do not need to read the preceding books to get this one, as I read without reading either of the first two.

  • Michael
    2019-03-03 09:04

    I've read the 2016 reissue (titled Hunting the White Which, because, I can only assume, we readers are too dense too understand the idea of a quest). The consistency of elegance in the writing, mixed with the continued renewal of imaginative thought, like flowers in constant bursts of blossom, reminds me why I go back to Lee again and again. The second two volumes of the trilogy could have been printed as one long novel. Perhaps they were imagined as such and the vagaries of the publishing world forced them into the more acceptable short novels they became.

  • JJ
    2019-02-27 15:54

    With Quest for the White Witch, Tanith Lee concludes her Birthgrave trilogy. With each book of the trilogy, Lee's writing gets stronger and stronger; Quest, then, ends up being the best of the three. Containing beautiful language and imagery, Quest is a tale of revenge that takes some unexpected detours along the way, concluding with an incident that is as disturbing as it is surprising. Quest, like the other two books in the trilogy, is rich and deep and wonderful. A very good book indeed.

  • Joe Holman
    2019-02-28 13:24

    This book is the last in the trilogy and has a fantastic surprise ending that it hindsight seems fitting.

  • Elizabeth Oluwole
    2019-02-26 13:57

    A fantastic journey in a land that's forgotten it's masters.Didn't like the main character too much. Put this one down a few times, but still pretty darn good.

  • Thomas
    2019-03-10 15:09

    Hunting the White Witch starts off immediately after the events of Shadowfire, which makes me wonder if the two books were initially intended to be just one story. Together, they make up an epic tale of a warrior on a quest for identity and revenge, going from place to place and having adventures at each location on the quest. Also, the first book was told from the perspective of one character, while the last two books were told from a different character's perspective; the last two books feel like a deviation of sorts from how Lee began this saga.On the other hand, the first two books in the series have a feminist feel to them, while the third book, at first blush, does not. By now, Vazkor, son of Vazkor (the original title of the second book makes sense to me now), has accepted his god-like powers and becomes as a god himself. The opening chapters feature him healing, calling down storms, and walking on water, so the parallels to Jesus are pretty obvious. Vazkor tries to do good, but still finds himself in the position of killing people out of revenge. He still seems to be acting toward good intentions, and he feels remorse for the killings, but he's not above manipulating people to get what he needs, and what he needs is to find his mother, whom he plans to kill. It's a complicated relationship, one which becomes even more complicated by the end of the story.This novel features strong women characters, but like in Shadowfire, they seem to exist just outside of the story, with their influence affecting Vazkor. This time, he forms a relationship with a woman who is the mother of an emperor-to-be whom he is advising. She's older, more experienced, and a stronger character than Vazkor, his advisee, or anyone else in the story. Their relationship becomes a complication, but that relationship, as the ones Vazkor had in Shadowfire, affects him enough to grow into a better person.The last two books in this trilogy are about Vazkor's development from a barbarian to someone more introspective, and Lee takes time in showing us the trials of his journey and how they affect him. From arrogant warrior to courageous leader to confident god, Vazkor's life plays out before us. Even though the shift in perspective indicates a change in theme, Lee still makes the entire series about strong women.The series isn't the easiest of reads (it demands time and patience from the reader), but it feels worthwhile. This wasn't my favorite book in the series, but the first two books are worthwhile, and it's necessary to finish the third book to get the full story of Vazkor and his mother. That Lee's style is rich and flowing makes the books even more worth reading. Anyone looking to discover Tanith Lee as an author would do well to start with this trilogy.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-13 12:04

    This was a different strand of fantasy in that the sorcerer's powers have no limit, he is without restraint, and learns relatively quickly of the disillusionment that comes with such power but finds at every turn, with no little struggle and suffering, reason to live and find interest in life. Picking up where Vazkor, Son of Vazkor left off, Quest for the White Witch is an impressive tale, beautifully written, even when what is being described is in fact horrific. Vazkor finds himself lead to the far southern continent in pursuit of his mother, and in his time there becomes embroiled in the political and spiritual intrigue between Masrimas and Bit-Hesse. The city has a rich and diverse culture, and like the great Cities of his home continent, the advent of Vazkor and his Power proves to be disastrous. His mother, as the Goddess Uastis inadvertently helped to set into motion events which would destroy the great old Cities, and likewise, his presence and actions end the lives of countless thousands through war and a truly terrible plague. Learning from this experience, the rest of his journey is comparatively quiet, although rife with inner turmoil as he comes to realize the true extent of the isolation thrust upon him by his powers, and his continuing suffering at the rejection of his mother who left him to grow among the barbarians so many years ago. Happily he meets with Gyest, a wise and generous man who helps to guide him along and sets him on the right course to find his mother. Finally locating the whereabouts of his mother, Vazkor learns of her doings in the years since she originally left their homeland. Discovering a ruin of her people around which the humans of nearby villages still produced albino children, the distant descendants of the Lost Ones who had bred with their human slaves long ago, she attempted to foster their Powers in hopes of easing her own loneliness. Unfortunately her good intentions were mislaid and the children she fostered harbored the same cruel nature which led to the downfall of the original Lost Ones. A cruelty resultant of unbridled power and a lack of sickness and death which inspires compassion and sympathy in mortal folk. The end of the tale is shocking in its way, but in the context of the story as a whole makes perfect sense. I won't bother to explain it here as it's something that must be taken in as it is laid down on the page. It does however leave one wondering what these two undying Lost descendants would have witnessed over the course of their eternal existence. A fantastic story, one which I will not soon forget.

  • Milliebot
    2019-03-09 16:19

    Tuvek, now known as Vazkor continues his quest to find and destroy his mother. Through conquered cities, across the ocean and into strange magical lands, he discovers and shapes his powers, brooding on how he will end his mother's life and avenge his father.To be honest, this book didn't hold my attention the way the previous two did. It still centered primarily around Vazkor and his journey, and while he did progress as a character, I was more interested in his mother. I found myself getting impatient, just wondering when he was going to find her. Vazkor spends a decent amount of time in book two and three in the same city and I grew bored - none of the more minor characters were very compelling. I wanted to know more about the race Vazkor and Uastis were descended from and less about the people living in the land now. I also expected the sci-fi elements to come back into play and sadly they didn't, making their appearance in the first book puzzling and mostly useless. The ending was a let down too, though there was one little twist. I don't regret reading this book but it certainly didn't live up to the quality of the first two for me.

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    2019-03-19 11:22

    This is the final book of a trilogy that started in Birthgrave, Lee's first novel. That one was a phantasmagorical journey of a woman without any memory of herself through a landscape with that pulp fiction feel of H Rider Haggard tales of lost civilizations, or perhaps even more akin, Jane Gaskell's Atlan Saga The middle book, Vazkor, Son of Vazkor, as signaled by it's title, is centered on a Conan-like character called Vazkor, son of the heroine of Birthgrave. He retraces her steps, like her tells the story in his own voice, and if the fascination of the first book lies in the mystery of her identity, the fascination of this middle lies a great deal in his so very different perspective. Vazkor is very hard to like in that book--a raping sword-swinging barbarian. But there is more to him here, as in his quest--for revenge against his mother--he increasingly comes into his powers and sees the value in others. Lee's style and her world could both be described as lush. Though along with Tanith Lee's poetic prose you're going to get a psychological complexity you're not going to find in Conan the Barbarian.

  • Andreas Manessinger
    2019-03-24 12:22

    OK, Vazkor's quest is finished, Tanith Lee turned the late and surprising success of a single Fantasy novel into a trilogy. Or so it seems.The last two books are very coherent, they slightly differ in style and, of course, they are written from the point of view of a man.I won't tell anything about the conclusion, but I will say that I enjoyed this book. It's well worth a read for everybody who is sick of the sterile, stereotypical "Yount Adult" fantasy of today. By the way, I was 16 when I first read it in German translation and I have waited ages for the English version to appear on the Kindle.It's not an action book though. There is no suspense and you won't ever fear for the life of your hero. Especially not that :)The whole trilogy features an engaging world, not as detailed as Tolkien's, but with interesting and unique circumstances. The cultures and some of the cities are definitely memorable. I know, because I remembered Bar-Ibithni for more than 30 years.Recommended!

  • Ryan
    2019-03-18 13:09

    This took me forever to get through. It dragged on and on and on and on. I get it, he's on a quest. I don't need to hear about every tree he sees and what every person is doing as he passes them. That was an issue for me. The book was decent enough though. I was really hoping for a bigger confrontation at the end. And to know what the hell was up with the saucer dudes at the end of book one! They only get a slight mention in this one. Nothing else! What was the purpose of them then? Ugh! Now that the trilogy is over I'm going to miss the world and most of the characters.

  • Ruth
    2019-02-25 12:20

    RIP, Ms Tanner. You left behind some wonderful stories. Another victim of a terrible disease. Wonderful words on your website to say goodbye "“Though we come and go, and pass into the shadows, where we leave behind us stories told — on paper, on the wings of butterflies, on the wind, on the hearts of others — there we are remembered, there we work magic and great change — passing on the fire like a torch — forever and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need no words at all.” Didn't know that she lived just down the road in East Sussex 02/06/15

  • Gary
    2019-03-23 10:09

    I don't know why I had to wait until Lee's passing and it's rerelease to read this trilogy. I've seen these books on the shelf for years. I guess for many of those year I said I did not like fantasy books, only sci-fi. Well I'm often a stupid ass. This trilogy has marvelous writing and enchanting characters, and it is dark and haunting and epic too. There are scenes here that will echo in my mind for the rest of my life. No one writes like Tanith Lee, and this trilogy proves that was the case from the very start. Highly recommended.

  • Norman Howe
    2019-03-12 11:07

    Sequel to The Birthgrave and Vazkor"," Son of Vazkor

  • Ken Baker
    2019-03-16 09:08

    Meh. Couldn't finish it.

  • Joe
    2019-03-17 07:54

    Some nice prose, but turgid plot, unlikable characters and ewww ending. In fairness, I didn't read the first two books in this trilogy, but I am really glad now.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-17 08:01

    Very well written, as always. But, thank God, it's over! The end was definitely worth the read.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-06 09:57

    Part of the Birthgrave trilogy. A good testosterone-filled journey. I suggest reading The Birthgrave first.

  • Meredith
    2019-03-08 16:10

    This is a really neat book.

  • Kerr Cuhulain
    2019-03-19 12:09

    One of my all time favorites. I've reread this countless times.

  • Peter
    2019-03-24 15:02

    I read this series once - a bit strange in places