Star Gate

by Andre Norton
Reviewed date: 2017 Oct 12
Rating: 2
188 pages
cover art
cover art

Kincar s'Rud is the Hold Daughter's son, making him the heir to throne of Styr Holding. He is unable to take that throne, though: Kincar is half Star Lord, not a full-blooded Gorthian. Many in the Holding intend to support his uncle Jord s'Wurd's claim to the throne rather than see Styr Holding ruled by a Star Lord.

Kincar escapes Styr with nothing but his larng (a Gorthian mount similar to a horse) and his mord Vorken. He also carries the Tie, a magical amulet imbued with some kind of Gorthian magic related to the three gods of Gorth: Lor, Loi, and Lys. Kincar meets up with a band of Star Lords, where he meets his Star Lord uncle: Lord Dillan is brother to Kincar's late father, Lord Rud. The Terrans, or Star Lords, came many years ago in great spaceships and settled on Gorth. Now, though, the Star Lords have decided that their influence on Gorth has been to the detriment of the native Gorthians. Their spaceships are long gone, so they intend to leave by means of a Star Gate. The Star Gate will transport them to a parallel universe, where they hope to find a Gorth that is uninhabited, upon which they can live.


They find a parallel Gorth, but it's a bad kind of mirror universe. On this Gorth, the Star Lords came and straight up enslaved the Gorthians. Worship of The Three is illegal. Our heroes decide that it's their responsibility to free the Gorthians in this universe.

Kincar volunteers to go spy on the mirror Star Lords, who are known as the Dark Ones. He is captured immediately and brought before Lord Rud--the evil mirror universe version of his own father. Mirror Lord Rud and Mirror Lord Dillan attempt to probe Kincar's mind, but he is protected by the magical Tie. He escapes, steals a flying car, and crash-lands it in the mountains where he's rescued by the good Star Lords.

Kincar and the good Star Lords plan an attack against the Dark Ones. On this Gorth, the Dark Ones still have their spaceships, and have incorporated them into the walls of their citadel. Kincar and the good Dillan wait until the Dark Ones are assembled for their annual meeting in the great hall of one of the spacecraft, then sneak aboard and fire up the rockets. The Dark Ones are blasted off into space, never to be seen again.

Lord Dillan uses the parts from the other spaceships to build a new Star Gate, and the Star Lords depart once again, to seek out another parallel universe. Gorth is for the Gorthians. The end.

There are elements of science fiction in this story: spaceships, Star Gates, alien planets. But there is also straight up magic: the Tie that protects Kincar is magic. There's no attempt at a science fiction explanation, it's just magic.

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