Welcome to another Witcher book! We’ve now made it to the fifth novel in Sapkowski’s oeuvre, so let’s get started, shall we?
The Plot (according to Goodreads):
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.
But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.
While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl – Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished – until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.
Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.
This was … long. Or at least it felt that way. There wasn’t that much in this book that actually propelled the story forward, it’s more of an entire novel telling you about the characters (while still somehow managing not to give them all that much depth or reason).
It’s actually a pretty cool book, but I just really wanted to know more about the story and kept getting more and more irritated when it became clear this wouldn’t be happening in Baptism of Fire.
The reasons behind the characters’ decisions are not too clear and honestly, them banding together (except for Geralt and Jaskier) seems like a big stretch that never really gets justified.
Also, I’m not really a fan of the new Ciri and her band of comrades is just all levels of fucked up.
If I’m honest, even Jaksier is a bit of a letdown in this novel.
I really hope that with the next novel Sapkowski picks up the pace because I’m getting really annoyed over here. His story has all the potential and the world and every time I think we’re finally getting somewhere he drops a book like this one on me.
That being said, I’m am now off to read The Tower of the Swallow and shit better be going down in that one!
Did you read this book? Let me know in the comments what you think!