Rating: 5 out of 5
There’s something about Mr Sapkowski’s style I like at present. As I’ve liked the other books, so this one was also much to my enjoyment. The story was improved by it not being linked to the main series, but allowing us to observe both Geralt and Dandelion in action at a different time. The action takes place in a principality that’s entirely unlinked to the main series (though there are references to its neighbours who we get to know quite well in those books).
The story looks simple though sorcerers, sorceresses, a witcher, a poet, and a royal family are included: yet, as many things in the Witcher world, it soon becomes more complicated than what (especially what Geralt) anticipated. The two main lines involve a stolen pair of witcher swords as one and the witcher’s services to help people as the other. Yet, these become linked because Geralt naturally finds it very difficult to do anything without his swords.
The action is much as in any Witcher book: plenty of philosophy along with some odd spots of combat; more the suspense of figuring out who is the guilty party and how they’ll be caught. I like the odd bits that Yennefer comes in at though she’s by no means a major character in the book. Coral, the chief sorceress in the book, is not as interesting—which I say because her motives are never made clear (to me, at least). Coral’s student, Mosaik, is far more interesting if only because Geralt sympathises with her to such a large degree.
Overall, a solid Witcher book that is better than the rest because it is so stand-alone: a very easy adventure to step into or out of!