Tag: War

Andrzej Sapkowski – Time of Contempt | Review

Title: Time of Contempt

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 348

Rating: 3.5/5

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.

Learn more about Time of Contempt.

 


Andrzej Sapkowski – Blood of Elves | Review

Title: Blood of Elves

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 316

Rating: 3.5/5

The issue that I had with this book is exactly the issue that I was worried about. I think I just prefer Sapkowski as a short story writer than as a novelist, although I will admit that he’s pretty good either way and so it’s not as though I didn’t enjoy this book. It was still all right, it just wasn’t as good as the short story collections.

Other than that, though, there’s a lot here to enjoy. As always, Sapkowski does a great job of asking the reader complicated moral questions, and I like that there’s a bit of a grey area between some of the good guys and some of the bad guys that keeps you guessing about people’s intentions. It’s got a lot of great political intrigue in a similar vein to A Song of Ice and Fire, although it’s by no means a knock-off.

There was even some interesting stuff on gender, because the Witcher has an apprentice who he’s teaching, and she happens to be a girl. There’s a lot of stuff on ethics too, because Geralt faces some difficult decisions along the way. Oh, and a war with the Nilfgardians is beckoning, too.

So overall, I thought this book was just okay, and while I would recommend it, I think I’d suggest going with the short story collections first as a way to ease yourself into the world and its politics. I should also offset this review by pointing out that I felt kind of similar to this when I read the first book, and then it sat with me for a while and I realised, looking back on it, that it was fricken awesome. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing ends up happening here. So yeah, there’s that.

Learn more about Blood of Elves.

 


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