“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.
“They are not demons, not devils…Worse than that. They are people.”
ebook, 352 pages.
Read from September 19, 2021 to October 3, 2021.
An 8 Sentence Review:
It’s been a pleasure to read this book while also playing and being completely engrossed by the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game. There are so many characters and story references that are alluded to in the video game that come from the book series that would make no sense to anyone who has not had the pleasure of reading them.
After finding the last two books in the series full of too much lore and politics, this was a much needed change of pace. Geralt can’t find Ciri, the child of prophecy, and war is erupting all around. The plot of this story focuses mostly on Ciri and how she manages to escape the capture of a terrifying bounty hunter, as well as realising how much of the prophecy involving her is true. The writing style still feels a bit clunky, similar to the others in the series, but it’s hard to determine if that’s the fault of the translator or the author. The story itself is still immensely gripping, however, and I would mark this book as my favourite next to The Last Wish. A must-read for lovers of the the Witcher series and video games.
“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.