Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Although there is no universally agreed hierarchy of Magic users in fantasy, an enchantress or sorceress tends to differ from a Witch in being considerably more powerful, socially elevated, physically attractive and well dressed – though the last two attributes may be only magical Glamour. If Evil, she may heartlessly manipulate men through desire and Sex as well as Enchantment. Examples include Circe, Morgan Le Fay, the Lady of the Lake, Achren in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain sequence (and perhaps also her distant Mabinogion original, Arianrhod), and the sorceress Iris – mistress of Illusion – in Piers Anthony's A Spell for Chameleon (1977). [DRL]

see also: Lamia.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.