I’m starting to think that this is another Lord of the Rings situation, where all the books were originally supposed to be one, bigger book. I’ll need to look into that later. After I finish reviewing this one.
Picking up some time after ‘The Blood of Elves’, this book continues the tale of Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri as they try and flee from the various forces pursuing them and solve the mystery as to why. But things in the world are quickly going from bad to worse as Nilfgaard’s campaign of war continues. Can Geralt and Yennefer protect their surrogate daughter? Or will the Lion Cub of Cintra step into her own?
If you ask me, this and ‘The Blood of Elves’ should have been one book. This one has a much more satisfying conclusion that does a much better job of leaving you wanting more and the climax is far more engaging and interesting. This book feels more like a complete package than the last one.
Not the last one I reviewed, the last one chronologically. Yeah, I kinda fucked up the order of this series pretty badly.
This book has some of my favorite scenes out of any Witcher book I’ve reviewed so far! Ciri being chased by the Wild Hunt is incredibly creepy and cool! Her trek through the desert with a unicorn is a fun yet tense little set piece. Geralt’s interactions with Vilgefortz are interesting, insightful, and builds up the conflict between them perfectly. There’s a lot of stuff here to like!
Better yet, we actually get some answers to the mysteries! And better still, it doesn’t completely blow its load! It knows which ones it has to answer and which ones to leave for another day. It gives the story a genuine sense of progression, which goes a long way in keeping it engaging.
The main issue I have with this one is the pacing. Around the midway point, it speeds way the fuck up. People start slaughtering each other almost out of nowhere (it is lightly foreshadowed, so I won’t be too mean to it, but it still comes a little too far out of left field for my taste) and the story just screams “GO GO GO!!” It ultimately comes together, but it isn’t a smooth ride.
Still, this is a great read. If you enjoyed the other Witcher books, then this is yet another joyful read. And if you’re still reading these reviews and you haven’t started this series, I’d highly recommend you give it a shot. It’s one of my favorite fantasy series and I think more people should give it a chance.
Also, play Witcher 3. And give the show a chance. And play Gwent.
I might be addicted to this series, send help.