Review: Baptism of Fire, Andrzej Sapkowski

Rating: 3 out of 5

I’ve left this too late… This book didn’t captivate me like the previous ones. That said, the Witcher was generally as good to follow as in the previous books, and I still enjoyed Mr Sapkowski’s attempts to lighten the mood by changing the point of the narrator. Sometimes, this hinged on providing exactly what was going to happen, but then changing the way it was mentioned; in other times, it was more a sense of foreboding. In any case, this was one of the finer aspects of this volume in the Witcher’s saga.

I haven’t much enjoyed where Ciri’s story has gone. Fortunately (?), she was not the focus of this book—instead, we get a new character to join forces with Geralt and to try and track Ciri down. This goes as well as one might expect, though the adventures of the small group of people as it ends up are noteworthy on their own. Geralt seems slightly better than in the past, but there is still too much self-righteous nonsense that doesn’t take into account how he has ended up in this situation. It looks as if there are so many events where the author shows that Geralt has learned, and yet when the reader sees this character again, he’s the same as he was when the reader first met Geralt.

There’s also an additional story that now involves a group of sorceresses who have a plan. As nefarious as it sounds, I am not certain—after reading through several meetings of their chapter—what their plan is, and how they manage to keep to their loyalties outside of it. What is very much a plan of wearing two competing hats, fighting for magic and for independent kingdoms, seems to be bound for failure (and is possibly designed as such) despite the people who are organising it to claim the opposite.

I wasn’t an inspired by this as I was by the previous volumes. Yet, I’ll carry on—though not immediately.

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