Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: The Blood of Elves

Blood Of Elves By Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher: Hachette
Release Date: April 22nd, 2009
Format: Kindle version, 324 pages
Summary via Goodreads
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over and now the races once again fight each other - and themselves: Dwarves are killing their kinsmen, and elves are murdering humans and elves, at least those elves who are friendly to humans... Into this tumultuous time is born a child for whom the witchers of the world have been waiting.

Ciri, the granddaughter of Queen Calanthe, the Lioness of Cintra, has strange powers and a stranger destiny, for prophecy names her the Flame, one with the power to change the world - for good, or for evil... Geralt, the witcher of Rivia, has taken Ciri to the relative safety of the Witchers' Settlement, but it soon becomes clear that Ciri isn't like the other witchers. As the political situation grows ever dimmer and the threat of war hangs almost palpably over the land, Geralt searches for someone to train Ciri's unique powers.

But someone else has an eye on the young girl, someone who understand exactly what the prophecy means - and exactly what Ciri's power can do. This time Geralt may have met his match.
I think I have to preface this review by saying that I love The Witcher games, so I might be a little biased when I say I like the books. Especially since I've already fallen in love with these characters. That being said, I think the developers did a pretty decent job at being loyal to the source material.

I'm not 100% sure which order you are supposed to read these books. It's also harder because these books were originally written in Sapkowski's native language of Polish and are translated to English, so sometimes I think it takes a lot longer to be translated. Some Polish speaking fans have even just taken to translating the books themselves! But, I think you are supposed to read the two short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny before reading this novel. I think it gives you more background before reading this one.

What I really like about this novel is that we get to see more of Geralt and Ciri. YAY! I love getting to see this crotchety old man really care for this strange girl that basically gets dropped into his lap. Ciri doesn't have a good relationship with her real parents, but I love the bond that she forms with Geralt. I also love when the Sorceress Triss comes to visit The Witchers at Kaer Morhen she has to explain to them that they have no idea how to raise girls!

I like that we get to see Ciri spend a lot time with Yennefer. It gave me more insight in Yenn as a character. In the short story collections she's really cold and unfeeling and she messes with Geralt's feelings a lot. Although, I think she also thinks Geralt has no feelings so she treats him like this as a way to protect herself. When Yenn is teaching Ciri about magic, there's a really strong bond between them. I loved the teasing relationship between them.

Although I loved how Sapkowski builds the foundation for this found family, there were a few things about this novel that I just couldn't get into. First of all, I'm not a fan of really long chapters, and this book had very long chapters! Maybe this was just because it's a translation, but I would have liked it to be broken up a little more. Another thing that bothered me was a chapter when all the Kings get together to talk about if Ciri is still alive. Like Geralt, I don't care about politics so I found this chapter SUPER boring!

Have you read any of The Witcher books? What do you think? Is there a certain order you need to read these in?

Happy Reads Everyone!