So since I’ve had to relaunch my blog and website I have to redo some of my old book reviews, luckily there’s only a handful I need to do. This is the first and only book by Andrzej Sapkowski and of the Witcher Saga. This book is actually a collection of short stories about Geralt of Rivia the main character in all the books and the video game series. I’ve played through most of the first Witcher game and played some of the second and third titles (the latter of which I need to purchase).
It’s an interesting fantasy series with familiar monsters, creatures and themes but with a different twist. There are some rarely used or creatures specific I think to Polish folklore. A theme the books and games touch on some is sometimes the human characters are the monsters and the monsters Geralt fights are actually good.
While in the games you can choose one side or the other (or be neutral), in the books he often takes an eutral stance unless forced to take a side. Overall he always tries to do the right thing but sometimes makes mistakes along the way. Due to his training and genetic experimentation his hair is completely white, he is essentially part monster, as well as being sterile. He is trained in magic but also sword fighting and hand to hand, as well as with other weapons.
He keeps interesting company whether it’s a Bard that’s also a spy and ladies man to Triss the sorceress, Dwarves and a few witches as well. Often in the books and in the video games, he has amnesia due, which from my experience with the books and games is never fully explained.
The stories range from him trying to capture an escaped genie who is slowly killing his Bard friend Dandelion, to being in a noble court, and tracking down and hunting several creatures. He’s essentially a bounty hunter for evil monsters but is often called a mutant and looked down upon as an outcast.
From his training and experimentation done on him, he has enhanced reflexes and abilities and with potions he crafts from parts of dead monsters and herbs can further enhance his abilities. These potions come at a cost though as it affects him like a medication or even alcohol does, too much and he becomes too intoxicated and can even die.
Some of these potions enhance his healing, some his fighting skills while one even allows him to see in the dark. If your a fan of fantasy that’s more in line with George R.R. Martin’s works that’s more dark and gritty you will enjoy this book (as well as others in the series). Also worth checking out is the game series, despite the first one having a weird fencing combat system, the latter two are excellent not only in combat, but plot and even graphically.