Rating: 5 out of 5
This was my continuation in the Witcher world after a few months away—and I enjoyed it. The constant sophistry that the characters engage in can become tiresome, but a short break renewed my willingness to bear it. In this case, as much of the sophistry comes from Regis, it was both elegant and delightful. However, Regis is not nearly the only one—Geralt, Yennefer, Vysogota, Ciri, Bonhart, and many others talk often is if their audience is the Academy of Sciences and not the peasant from the next village.
However, not everything about Mr Sapkowski’s style is easy to get used to. The time-jumping, an important part of every book and story thus far, was much more pronounced here. Jumps forward and backward were measured not only in years, but also decades and centuries. I don’t mind this in principle, but it would be much nicer if the sections were timestamped. Yet, I can see why the author has not gone against that: the weave of the story would be broken, and the telling would suffer. In many cases, the resultant tale, where different parts were given by completely unrelated characters from their own points of view, was made more enjoyable because of the manner of its telling.
Vysogota was clearly a major character in this episode, and I liked the interlude that he provided. Yet, I also felt that the author left as many plotlines open by the end of the book as there were at the start. Thus, this is an episode in the saga, but it is not clear how the book brings us closer to the endgame. Nevertheless, events play out their course, and though plots stay open, at least the characters develop towards the people we need to solve the big conundra that are still ahead.