Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think some things are important to note when reviewing this book. For one, while the video game and TV series inspired by this series of books is called The Witcher, this series of books actually isn’t entitled The Witcher, and none of the books are. It’s also important to note that while this is, indeed, the first novel in the series, it’s not the first book, as there are two short story collections that you really need to read first. It’s also perhaps interesting to note that those short story collections were originally published in Poland in a different order than their English editions.

You see, while Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, is in this novel, it’s not about him. Oh, and if you think it might be about Dandelion/Jaskier from the cover of the edition I read, you’d be wrong too. He’s in it, of course, but it’s not really about him either.

It’s about Ciri.

Particularly it’s about her time at Kaer Morhen, training to be a Witcher, followed by her time at Melitele’s Temple, training to be a wizard, with Yennefer. There’s some other stuff too, some politics and a bit of subterfuge…all of it mainly involving Geralt trying to stop everyone from finding Ciri and various monarchs planning to start a war with Nilfgaard. But, mostly, this is either directly about Ciri or people looking for Ciri.

And it’s really, really good. Having thoroughly enjoyed both short story collections it’s no real surprise that I enjoyed this, but, nevertheless, I did.

If you come to this novel straight from the TV show (I can’t speak for the video games as I’ve not played them) then you’ll probably be disappointed. As I said, Geralt’s barely in this, there’s not a lot of monster hunting and there’s none of him bedding beautiful young women while secretly wishing they were Yennefer. Instead we get a group of haggard old Witchers failing to deal with an adolescent girl having her first period. So, you know, be warned.

What we also don’t get is a complete story. Which in some ways is unsatisfying, but, you know, I’m not going to knock points of for that as I’ve already ordered the next book.

But, yeah, if you’ve finished the TV series and you want MORE, then…well, read the two short story collections, which lay the groundwork for this novel and are referenced A LOT in it…and then read this novel.

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Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.75)Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was initially disappointed that this second collection of Witcher short stories included less stories that are longer…simply because I don’t get a lot of time to read prose books and found the first volume a quick and easy read because the stories were so short. I was also initially a little put off because this volume doesn’t include interludes between each story that connect the whole thing into a cohesive narrative.

And then I started reading it and discovered that I love it.

I wasn’t sure if I’d continue into the novels but the moment I finished this I ordered the first proper novel, because it left me wanting more, and certainly wanting to read more about Geralt’s bond with Ciri.

If you’ve watched the series, this book only includes one story that made it into that, but what the last couple of stories do is explain a lot of what was going on in the series (especially the Ciri stuff). I do like the series, a lot, but would definitely recommend that anyone who enjoyed watching it should read the books…they’re a lot better.

Now, I’m going to impatiently wait for my copy of Blood Of Elves to arrive…

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