Publisher: Orbit Books
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Release Date: 5/1/2009
MSRP: $7.99 (Paperback, Digital), $16.99 (Hardback)
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
Geralt of Rivia finds himself stuck in a strange spot. He gives seed to a child who is the key to a throne that two sides of a country are fighting over. Of course, he finds her, takes her in, and trains her as the first female Witcher, but she is destined for more. I can’t say much more than that without giving away key details, but the story isn’t as amazing or big as you might expect.
I have to say that this book isn’t as good as The Last Wish simply because of the lack of fights and too much talking. There is a lot drier political talk, but overall there aren’t any fights with Geralt against creatures. This is what the Witcher is all about so instead we get sections of the book dedicated to different characters like Dandelion, Yennefer, Merigold, and even Zigran. While those characters are interesting, and main characters in the games, it’s all just dialog and no action. Sure it can be really entertaining at times, but the book is even lacking a lot of Geralt.
That isn’t even the biggest problem. Here you have the Nilfgaardians trying to take the throne of Cintra while there might be some sort of plot against the kings of the good guys trying to steal the throne. There never is a climax even though you think there might be one. The story feels cut right in half because it ends in a weird spot. If there wasn’t so much talking and more action maybe we could get a conclusive story like The Last Wish. There’s lots of talk about genocide from the elves, plus talk of war, but none of it ever really happens. I felt this book was the exact opposite of The Last Wish and the games. Of course, fans of the games will come looking for this book, but they probably won’t like it due to the lack of action. I counted all of two major battles in the whole book, so that’s a lot of talking in between.
Despite all this the characters shine through, and new ones that aren’t in the games are great and you will like what is here, but just don’t expect tons of action. If the book wasn’t so dry in spots, had a climax, and didn’t lead you on constantly it would be a lot better. However, hardcore fans will still dig this despite the missteps.