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Blood Of Elves: A Surprisingly Dull Entry in an Otherwise Spectacular Series
The Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
So in my recent reviews you may have noticed I started reading The Witcher series, the source material for the popular video games are based on. I started with The Last Wish and then The Sword of Destiny. The second book I felt was not as amazing as the first but it’s still very good. And I am in love with this series and I have to see what Geralt of Rivea does next. So here’s my review of Blood of Elves.
So what is it about? The story up until this point follows Geralt in his witcher work, which means he’s a monster hunter. It picks up a while after the last book and essentially follows Geralt as he does his best to take care of his ward, Ciri, who is a tomboy princess of the battle torn Cintra. He has her in witcher training at the Witcher Keep, until she is taken to school where she is over watched by the sorcerous Yennifer. The story then has many interweaving plot lines of those who are hunting the witcher to find the location of Ciri. And Ciri is suffering from seizer like episodes where she sees a black knight on the battle grounds in visions. This leads many to investigate what may be causing this condition. Also there’s politics about the war brewing around out control characters. Also there’s a large chunk of the book where Geralt and Ciri must protect themselves at elves who want their land back.
The good? The characters and world is very well developed. The action is nice. And the story seems to be going into very interesting places.
The bad? This not such a bad thing, but the author switched to the general novel format opposed to the episodic story arc of the last two books. This would be a good thing, if the author didn’t meander so much in this novel. At times the story seems aimless. Also unlike the first two, this book does not focus only on Geralt. He pushed to the side in many parts in favor of other characters. The first two books were about the man’s personal journey as this one seemed to take a much broader approach to storytelling. Of course it’s not a big issue, but personally I didn’t like it. I felt the personal tales of Geralt made the story so different than other fantasy tales but now the story is being moved into the stereotypical high fantasy direction with this book. Also this book didn’t have a lot of action to it. In the end it felt like it was setting things up for the future books.
Overall, this is quite a jolting change compared to the previous books in storytelling format. It’s not as strong as the previous entries but at the same time is heading in a very intriguing direction. So it’s okay. The book is just very ‘meh.’ But if you love the series you should give it a read. If you’re jumping at this point of the series, please don’t. It’s a very boring start. Read the first two books before this. It’s a much better introduction to this world.
2 smoothie out of four.
Overall Ratings: A Surprisingly Dull Entry in an Otherwise Spectacular Series