Novel, first published: Berkley/Putnam 1975
This amazing potpourri revolves around the protagonist, a young scholar, who is pushed into his quest by finding a manuscript in the binding of an ancient book. Pursued by an inquisitor, the scholar and his company decide to cross into the Wasteland to search for an ancient race, the Old Ones. A virgin named Mary whose parents lived in the Wasteland joins the questers and provides the love interest. After numerous encounters with the characters mentioned above, the company arrives at a library. The aim of the quest, so the Caretaker explains, is to make the three cultures converge, each having its unique knowledge to contribute, so that scholars from all over the galaxy can come to study at the library: magic from the world of the scholar and the Wasteland, technology from Jones's world, and the broader "humanistic concept" from the world of Mary's parents.
Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.108