Despite years of reading fantasy and science fiction, I only knew Andre Norton for the award named after her, not for having read any of her work. Since we own several of her books, I decided it was time to rectify that and picked up Witch World, the first book in her Witch World series, about a parallel universe where magic works.
In Witch World, ex-military man Simon Tregarth is on the run on earth and is given the chance to escape into this new universe. He helps a woman - later revealed to be a witch of Estcarp - escape from men hunting her, and is drawn into helping her fight a war against the sinister Kolder.
In some ways, Witch World reminded me of Glory Road by Robert Heinlein. They were published almost simultaneously (WW in 1963, GR serially in 1963 and as book in 1964), too. Both are about a normal human dropped into a strange world and given a quest. But where Glory Road is fairly light-hearted and a fun read, Witch World is much more serious. It is also written in a very stylized manner - there's a lot of "and he thought they were dead. But they were not!" - common to the era it was written, I think, but not really my usual cup of tea.
That said, I'm really intrigued by the mystery of who or what the Kolder are. I think I will find book 2 on our shelf one of these days and try to find out.
Buy Witch World on Amazon.