Leaving aside the over-the-top rhetoric, the deception lies in the fact that Spell comprises three novellas Dragon Scale Silver (where we meet the twins), Dream Smith and Amber out of Quayth connected only by their Witch World setting.
The stories contained are "Dragon Scale Silver", "Dream Smith", and "Amber out of Quayth".
Not nearly as entertaining as other Witch World books but still worth a read if you're a Norton fan.
Her world is detailed and minutely crafted and combined with her flair for prose creates superb and vivid fantasy stories which have great poise and presence.
If the invaders from Alizon were after something in the Waste, why didn't they just ask the Dalesfolk for passage?
The first Andre Norton book that I think I've ever read, and I can definitely see why he's so important in sci-fi/fantasy. I also really liked that, especially in the first story, you could really see that Andre Norton knows his stuff on magic. The series themselves are also sci-fi but if you don't already know that then these books really do come off as straight high fantasy.
Table of contents: I DRAGON SCALE SILVER Chapter I: The Coming of The Far Strangers: This story is told by Elys--but she and her twin Elyn don't come into the story right away. Chapter II: Cup Spell: The Lady Almondia, desiring children for herself and her husband, Truan, makes an appeal to relics of the Old Ones in High Hallack, although she knows the price will be very high--including, but not limited to, her life. Chapter III: Tarnished Silver: Elys and Elyn reach adolescence about the time that the Dales war begins. Jervon, who was injured and had taken refuge in the village to recover, insists on escorting Elys on her quest to succor Elyn, saying that it's (sort of) on his way, and anyway, nobody but a fool travels alone in High Hallack at this time. Chapter V: The Curse of Ingaret: Elys, having learned of the threat that Elyn has incurred, tries to reject Jervon's offer of help, for his own protection. Jervon has no powers, and the curse, after all, is potent primarily against males. Chapter VII: Silver Bright: Elys, having rescued her twin, realizes that she no longer has any real link with him. The part that locates it most clearly in the Dales is the introduction of metal from ruins of the Old Ones. Hylle makes what seems a fair offer: he will marry Ysmay, and take her away to Quayth, in exchange for a share of her birthright, which he gains access to by power apparently not much more sophisticated than gunpowder.
Andre Norton published her first novel in 1934, and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977, and won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) association in 1983. On February 20, 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which had earlier honored her with its Grand Master Award in 1983, announced the creation of the Andre Norton Award, to be given each year for an outstanding work of fantasy or science fiction for the young adult literature market, beginning in 2006. M. Cornwell and organizations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Publishers Weekly, and Time, Andre Norton wrote novels for over 70 years.