Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

It wasn’t so long ago that I reviewed The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, the book which kickstarts the legend of the Witcher. 

A Witcher, in case you hadn’t heard, is taken as a child and brutally trained to become a killer; physically and also utilising the use of magic and elixirs. Witchers are called upon to fight monsters and supernatural creatures that no other could have a hope of surviving. 

In this collection, Geralt faces a dragon, converses with mermaids, chases a changeling and braves a forbidden forest, to name but a few. The stories also feature Geralt’s complicated love interest, the sorceress Yennefer and womanising minstrel Dandelion (who also happens to be one of my favourite characters). 

On top of his treacherous assignments, Geralt has his own code to follow, which doesn’t always lead him on the easiest path. I find these stories to be very character led, and so when they are placed into extraordinary situations, it means even more to the reader that they come through unscathed (without detracting too much from the action of course!) 

My favourite of all the stories in this book was ‘A Little Sacrifice’ which is set by the sea featuring a haughty mermaid, a minstrel sing-off and it gets a little Innsmouth towards the end. Geralt is a well illustrated hero and his long term storylines (his relationship with Yennefer and his impending destiny) interwoven between his current mission that makes him all the more appealing to read of. Despite all the action, drama and mythology built in, the narrative is very easy to read and the imagery is strong without being overbearingly descriptive. 

It is no surprise that these books have spawned its own media franchise including the bestselling Witcher video games. I'm kind of intrigued to know if the games keep in line with the books or if they have a life of their own. The trailer for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is shown below, and even if you’re not a gamer, it’s still pretty cool. 

In such an imaginative genre, Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski has created unique universe and made his mark in the fantasy arena. There are endless possibilities for Geralt the Witcher and his world, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for him and his companions. 

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