The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

This story consists of three first-person narratives, the first told by the heroine and the second and third told by her son. Vazkor, Son of Vazkor and Quest for the White Witch may be considered as a single sequel to The Birthgrave.

In The Birthgrave, a nameless woman awakes in a cave beneath a volcano. She knows nothing of herself, her origin, or her reason for being where she is. As the volcano stirs, an enigmatic voice calling itself Karrakaz taunts her. She is evil and deserves death, it tells her. If she leaves the cave, the volcano will erupt, destroying a village and surrounding countryside. The voice adds that she is inhuman; her only kinship is with Jade. Bewildered and frightened, the woman flees to the village, where her healing powers and strange albino appearance convince the folk of her divinity. She learns that she never needs food or drink.

Soon after her arrival, the bandit Darak takes her from the village, before its destruction. She shares many adventures with him, the greatest of which is a grueling chariot race held in a town where Darak is discovered to be an outlaw. After he is hanged, the woman moves on. By now she has learned that she is immune even to mortal wounds.

In the city-state of Ezlann, she meets Vazkor, who resembles Darak. He has learned magic that is similar to her inborn talents. She hates him for using her apparent divinity to aid his greedy conquests of other towns. He impregnates her against her will. She kills him, and his empire falls.

Next, she joins a nomadic tribe and secretly bears a son at the same time that the chief’s wife bears a stillborn child. After exchanging babies, she escapes to the sea. She is attacked by a dragon but is rescued by a passing spaceship. The crew tells her that she brought the ship down herself. Aided by the ship’s computer, she...

(The entire section is 772 words.)