Thursday, May 16, 2019

#WyrdandWonder #AUDIOBOOKREVIEW: Baptism of Fire (The Witcher # 5) By Andrzej Sapkowski, narrated by Peter Kenny

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Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Release Date: October 5th, 2015
Format: Audiobook narrated by Peter Kenny
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
The wizards guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. Its an impossible situation in which to find one girl Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanisheduntil a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands. 

I am a huge fan of The Witcher games that are based off of this series by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. I have to admit that the more I read the books, the more I feel like the game developers did a pretty decent job of being true to the core of who Geralt of Rivia is. The books do have some slight differences, but I am definitely enjoying going through the backlog and reading these books.

I think the last book lost me a little bit because it was just too much into the politics of the land, so I liked this one a bit more because it dials back from theat. However, I feel like there is not enough Ciri in this book. Like so little, that I didn't really care what she was doing when the book switched to her perspective. The book deals a huge chunk with Geralt as he travels and starts to form a band that almost seems like a comical play on a D&D quest party. Some reviewers didn't like that about this book, but I loved that about it. It's also where we met Zoltan and he's the best!

Since I played the games, some of the reveals I already knew, especially about one of the characters that comes up in this novel. I actually found that a lot of fun just waiting for the rest of them to figure it out. It's one of the reasons I am a weirdo and actually like spoilers!

The book also tried to do something interesting towards the end about the commentary on a women's right to choose. Which was super interesting to me considering this book originally was published in the '90s. We think the Niflgaardians are so bad, but Cahir is very insistence that in Niflgaard the woman ALWAYS gets to make the choice. I'm not sure how I feel about what happens at the end, but I feel like it's brought up and then it just doesn't even matter due to the battle at the end.

This book also plays a lot on irony as we find out just why Geralt is called Geralt of Rivia. This made me laugh so much more at the end when Geralt meets the people who are fighting the Niflgaardians. Geralt is such a curmudgeon and it is probably why I like him and want to continue reading about him.

I like Peter Kenny's narration on this one again, he is really great about doing all the different accents for the different characters we meet. I even really like his voice for Geralt, even though I've gotten used to Doug Cockle so much. One comment is that I actually have a hard time comprehending the text on audio because of the accents, so I have to dial back the playback to 1X speed (I normally listen on 1.25X)

If you are a fan of this series and want less of the politics in it, I would recommend this one for sure.

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Happy Reads Everyone!

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