Hey readers, time for me to review The Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski!
My fiancé bought me this book for Christmas before we were dating (a good move on her part I think) and I'm finally getting around to reviewing it! I finished the book quite a few months ago, one of those books that I had on my long to read list. I may be slow to start reading but let me tell you, I couldn't put this one down until I was done.
Andrzej Sapkowski wrote the series of books that inspired the Witcher games, a successful fantasy video game series about Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a Witcher, a human who has been mutated with spells and potions to fight creatures that regular humans wouldn't have a chance against. Personally I haven't played the games, but I'll admit I've lost a few hours watching some of the game-play on YouTube. It's a stunning game set in a rich fantasy world filled with dangerous creatures and people alike.
Reading the source material, it's clear to me that the game developers had a lot to work with. I jumped into the series a book in, meaning I skipped the first book in the series. But I don't think it effected my reading experience at all. The book itself is composed of six short stories that are chronologically in order, but not always related. I feel like you could jump in at any point and still enjoy the story. Each one was so complete in its own right I have to take my hat off to the author.
I'll jot down a few thoughts I have for each story down below, because they really do hold their own.
The Bounds of Reason
Geralt gets entangled in a hunt for a golden dragon, one of the creatures that Witchers don’t kill. The story has a very well designed set up and becomes more character focused than dragon hunting focused, which was interesting and unexpected. Overall an enjoyable story with an interesting ending.
A Shard of Ice
Beginning with a fight against a zeugl in a midden, this story becomes a story of romance as two character fight over a Sorceress. Again I was surprised by the character focused story, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
A shape shifting creature becomes the doppelganger of a halfling merchant and creates a whole lot of both mayhem and profit. I really appreciated this story!
A Little Sacrifice
Beginning with a nobleman trying to woo a mermaid, this story takes a romantic turn and is a little tragic. Still well written though.
The Sword of Destiny
The namesake of the entire book, this story is set in a forest ruled by dryads. It’s also the first time we meet Ciri, a white haired girl with huge importance in the Witcher universe.
Geralt battles a horde of ghouls and meets his mother for the first time since being given away as a babe. There’s also a series of flashbacks that make up another story which is well done.
At this point I have to say that I wouldn’t recommend this book to younger readers. It gets gritty in all sorts of ways.
This fantasy was well written and an good read. The stories were connected in interesting ways and the portrayal of the fantasy creatures and settings were creative and enjoyable - what else could you ask for in a fantasy?
For the Comments
What’s your favourite fantasy book?