Here is my first “review” of a fantasy book on this blog. I hesitate to call it a review, because I probably won’t get super in-depth, or convince you to buy this book or not. I can only really say what I thought about it as I read and when I was finished. Hopefully, my thoughts can help you make some kind of informed opinion.
Is that what a review is? Eh, I don’t know.
In any case, Blood of Elves is the first novel I’ve read by one of my favorite authors as of late, Andrzej Sapkowski. And yes, I always have to look up his name when I write it. Sapkowski is a Polish writer primarily known in the U.S. for his books inspiring the awesome video game series The Witcher. I may yet get to a review of Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, at some point, but for now, I’ll stick to the books.
I loved The Last Wish. As a short story collection, it totally got the kind of aesthetic I love in stories. A badass warrior who can use magic as well? Check. Cool monsters? Check. Engaging dialogue? Check. Interesting descriptions? Check. An easy to follow plot? Check.
Many, many checks.
While I really liked Blood of Elves, I rank The Last Wish a bit higher in terms of which one I like more. This is primarily because of the shift of Geralt being the main character, to being more of ensemble character.
I really enjoyed a lot the characters in Blood of Elves, especially Ciri. She shines as a sort of Arya Stark kind of character: tom-boyish, but royal, with a lot of mischief. The story is really about her growth as a witcher and her training under Geralt’s on-again, off-again flame, the sorceress Yennefer. Some of the best moments in the book are Yennefer and Ciri’s interactions.
However, I couldn’t help feeling I wanted more Geralt in the book as I was reading.
The story is compelling as it deals with politics, monster hunting, love, training, loss, all the sort of things you’d want from a great fantasy story. Sapkowski weaves a compelling tale that kept me engaged throughout. One thing I love about Sapkowski’s style is his focus on dialogue. I find a number of fantasy books focus a lot on descriptions and narrative to carry certain parts of their story. I like this style as well, but the focus on dialogue I find to be refreshing. Sapkowski does a lot with dialogue, making the book read faster and have a lot of flavor due to all the varied personalities featured.
I’m excited for the next book A Time of Contempt. It feel like we’ll get more of Ciri developing as a witcher and more Geralt kicking ass.
Overall, I give Blood of Elves two dragon thumbs up. Great book by a great author.
If you have any questions or thoughts about Blood of Elves or Andrzej Sapkowski in general, feel free leave me a comment below.
Thanks, and remember, all fantasy, all the time!