“Destiny isn’t the judgements of providence, isn’t scrolls written by the hand of a demiurge, isn’t fatalism. Destiny is hope. Being full of hope, believing that what is meant to happen will happen.”
ebook, 352 pages.
Read from October 4, 2021 to October 17, 2021.
An 8 Sentence Review:
If you’ve played the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, this book fills in some interesting pieces of that game that aren’t mentioned or discussed, however, the plot differs in terms of the main antagonist.
Continuing from where The Tower of Swallows left off, Ciri finds herself in an unknown realm on her own. The realm is unfamiliar to her and the elf inhabitants are unpleasant and indifferent to her despite their apparent vested interest in her as the child of prophecy. She is held captive by the elves and needs to find a way to escape this realm and find her way back to Geralt, despite the dangers she still faces in her own realm both from the war that is raging and from the Bonhart, who tortured and is still chasing her.
This read was an exciting end to Geralt and Ciri’s story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Ciri’s times with the elves and the escapades it took to get her out of that realm. These last two books were the best in the series so far, next to The Last Wish (still the best Witcher book, in my opinion) and if you play the games, these books provide interesting details on characters and additional storylines that aren’t explained in the games. A solid read and a great finale to the series.
“The only plan that truly matters is the one you have for yourself.”
ebook, 174 pages.
Read September 20, 2021.
An 8 sentence review:
I won’t pretend that I always know everything that’s going on within each of the Montress volumes but with every single one I read, my body of knowledge of the world that Maika Halfwolf inhabits expands and I’m drawn further in. Further, with each one I read, I continue to be blown away by the artwork of Sana Takeda. Breathtaking beautiful, elegant, and vicious.
In this volume, the second war between the Federation and the Arcanics is in full swing and some messy sacrifices have to be made as Maika begins to show and embrace her darker side. The violence and seriousness of the plot are playfully balanced by the cuteness and resilience of Kippa, where even she too, has had to find her fierceness in the face of war.
This volume is a solid piece of work in Maika’s story and while there is little resolution by the end of this volume, it just means that the Liu and Takeda duo have more for their readers in-store, which I happily look forward to. While the collection of lore that is presented to the reader is overwhelming at times it is also one of the many reasons readers return to this world. Monstress is an acclaimed series of graphic novels for a reason and is not to be missed.
“A baptism of fire, the Witcher thought, furiously striking and parrying blows. I was meant to pass through fire for Ciri. And I’m passing through fire in a battle which is of no interest to me at all. Which I don’t understand in any way. The fire that was meant to purify me is just scorching my hair and face.”
ebook, 288 pages.
Read from March 15, 2021 to March 22, 2021.
Next to The Last Wish, this has been my favourite Witcher book in the series so far.
Geralt has found himself in quite a predicament. He almost died after the Wizard’s Guild fell and has been separated from Ciri. He is recovering from his injuries in the Brokilon forest, of which he is a rare male exemption amongst the female dryads. While Geralt is nowhere near healed, he must find Ciri as rumours are circulating of her capture and impending marriage to the Emperor. Little does he know that the Ciri in the Niflgaardian court is an imposter. The real Ciri has found the company of thieves and has managed to keep her identity a secret, for now. Despite Geralt’s desperate situation he attempts to maintain his gruff lone wolf mentality by trying to shrug off some very unique companions as well as finding himself involved in a battle he wanted no part in.
The story in this book really revived the series for me and makes me want to replay and rewatch the games and TV show (especially before the second season starts this Christmas). Geralt is a stubborn brute and I love him for it. The character work and Geralt’s internal conflict in questioning who he is a Witcher and what he stands for as well as his interactions with his new, and generally unwanted, companions that stick with him through thick and thin are what make this book one of the best in the series. His new companions are robust and dynamic characters that I fell in love with immediately and the surprise reveal of one of them really caught me and had me loving and appreciating this story even more.
The books, games and TV shows are each such innovative takes on Geralt’s path and the Witcher world. With any other series, I might be annoyed at the discrepancies and inconsistencies with character appearances and the chosen focused storylines, however, with the Witcher I’ve really enjoyed each medium’s differing takes on Geralt’s story, the characters that he meets, and the trouble he finds himself in.
A highly recommended read for fantasy lovers, it’s definitely worth reading the whole series just to get to this book. Here’s hoping the next book continues to impress.