Title: Time of Contempt
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Page Count: 348
Having got this far with this series, I’m starting to lose a little faith in Sapkowski. Even back when I picked up the first couple of books, I said I was a little worried that he was going to be a better short story writer than a novelist, a prophecy that looked like it was going to be true with Blood of Elves. Unfortunately, I thought the same thing here.
I think the issue for me is that the Witcher is all about morality, for me at least, and when Sapkowski is writing short story collections, he can ask more questions of his readers. The novels just feel like a drawn out short story, and so while they’re by no means bad, they’re not quite as good, either. At least in my opinion.
I think I also feel as though the looming Nilfgaardian war has been cranking up the tension book after book and yet nothing is really happening. Build up is all well and good, but if there’s no payoff at the end then it risks just feeling a little cheap. But hey, what do I know? Sapkowski has sold way more books than I have, so he must be doing something right.
The good thing here is that Ciri takes centre stage of a character and she has some pretty good quirks to her. I particularly liked the way that she subverted one of her lessons about never failing to seize an advantage by sneaking off to go and see Geralt. It said a lot about her that she did that, and it was also believable enough to feel true to character. Kind of important really, because it also helps to set up the rest of the novel.
Overall, if you’ve read this far into the series then for sure keep going, but I do still think that the short story collections were better. Oh, and I’ve never played the games. Or watched the Netflix show.