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4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum remember being thrilled when I discovered that The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkowski was available in audio format As a big fan of the video games which were adapted from this series, I was of course interested in reading the books, but as waiting for the English translation from its original Polish already required a bit of patience, I never really dared hope that the audiobooks would be coming too.As of this writing though, English versions of The Last Wish, Blood of Elves are available in audio with The Time of Contempt coming soon In time it would be amazing to see the entire saga get the same treatment, and not least because I think the books stand up quite well in this format They ve chosen a very good narrator in Peter Kenny, whose voice lends itself perfectly to telling this type of story His performance style can be described as almost bard like , which really highlights the book s opening scene in which the charming minstrel Dandelion holds a crowd rapt by reciting the heroic exploits of the legendary Witcher, Geralt of Rivia.As a Witcher, Geralt is part of a society of enhanced fighters and monster slayers Taken as children, they are subjected to intensive training and a ruthless regimen of alchemical and mutagenic compounds intended to alter their physiology and prepare them to hunt their prey Although Witchers are meant to remain neutral in matters of politics, Geralt has taken an orphan princess named Ciri into his protection, hiding her from spies and assassins sent to find her He believes that she is the prophesied child meant to bring great change to the world, not only because of her royal heritage but also because of the magic that flows in her veins the blood of elves.The narrative follows Geralt and Ciri on various adventures The young princess, taught sword fighting and other martial arts by Geralt and other Witchers, learns about supernatural monsters and how to kill them She also begins training in magic with the sorceress Triss Merigold But on the way to a school were Ciri will receive a normal education, the party encounters all kinds of obstacles, including illness, encounters with monsters, Scoia tael ambushes, and attacks from Nilfgaardian agents As Ciri s magical potential becomes powerful, Geralt realizes he will need the aid of some friends and unexpected allies in order to continue protecting and training her.It s important to note that while Blood of Elves is advertised as the first of the series, it is technically preceded by two short story collections in terms of chronology The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny It s not really necessary to read either before tackling Blood of Elves, though it would probably help fill in a lot of the background information The book is very heavy on world building elements, and while Geralt is arguably the star of the series, he doesn t appear as much as you would expect His character is often seen through the eyes of others, or is talked about in others perspectives On top of this, the switching points of view and various flashbacks may make this story feel confusing and disjointed Having read The Last Wish as well as played The Witcher video games might have familiarized me with a lot of the characters and the setting because I managed to follow without getting too lost, but it might pose a challenge for readers going in blind It s probably worth considering The Last Wish as a starting point instead.In spite of this, the plot was wildly entertaining One can never be sure how much is lost in translation, but there is some humor that managed to come through Also, the author sometimes employs an interesting storytelling style where entire scenes are almost completely made up of dialogue, and it often amazed me how much of the atmosphere and plot came through via conversation alone Again, this is where Peter Kenny s narration shines, because someone less skilled with differentiating voices would probably have a lot of trouble pulling off these scenes.Sapkowski definitely has a flare for writing adventure and action, even experienced through the lens of translation The pacing is strong, despite various breaks in the plot to focus on character development or to explain the political situation The highlights were of course the scenes of Geralt fighting off enemies and monsters The book does leave us hanging a bit, but this is after all the first full length novel in the series and does spend a lot time establishing the premise and setting things up nicely for the next one, The Time of Contempt I ll have to seek that out very soon.If you re a fan of the games and can t get enough of Geralt of Rivia, I highly recommend these books They could also be good for fantasy readers looking for a somewhat different kind of sword and sorcery The translation is decent, but what I was really impressed with was the way the narrator read for this audiobook Can t wait to experience the rest of the series. The era of the sword and axe is nigh, the era of the wolf s blizzard The Time of the White Chill and the White Light is nigh, the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt Tedd Deire dh, the Time of End The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun It will be reborn of the Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown A seed which will not sprout but will burst into flame Ess tuath esse Thus it shall be Watch for the signs What signs these shall be, I say unto you first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of ElvesCintra is burning.The legions of the Nilfgaardian Empire have crossed the Yaruga again, and the independent future of the Northern Kingdoms is in grave peril It is against this backdrop that the story opens The story of Cintra, the orphaned princess with a mysterious destiny Of the great struggle between the free kingdoms of the north and their overwhelming imperial adversary And of the lone witcher known as Gwynbleidd, the White Wolf.And so it begins.After introducing Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf himself, in a set of stunning short stories, Sapkowski kicks the main story off with a bang as Blood of Elves introduces a somewhat different, yet astounding, fantasy epic.I first read Blood of Elves many years ago now, after having played the first game and read the absodamnlutely amazing short story collection The Last Wish While I would seriously consider that book a masterpiece of the fantasy genre, this one is of a traditional series novel It focuses on the actual storyline, which is quite fortunately intriguing enough to pull you in and never let go.The world of the Witcher, most recently broadcasted in The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, undoubtedly one of the most immersive and beautiful video games ever presented to the public, is shown just as stunningly on the pages of the Witcher books, as they take the reader from the burning city of Cintra to the ancient Witcher fortress of Kaer Morhen and beyond.While it is relatively unknown by comparison to the giants of the genre as a result of coming from a non English speaking country , I would not hesitate to call this one of the most impressive series in fantasy.Witcher reviews 1 The Last Wish 2 Sword of Destiny 3 Blood of Elves @DOWNLOAD EPUB õ Krew elfów ⛑ Prvn St S Gy O Zakl Na IGeralt, Ciri, Yennefer, Triss Ranuncul, Yarpen Zigrin A Dal Zn M A Obl Ben Hrdinov Ze Sapkowsk Ho Pov Dek Poprv Na Str Nk Ch Rom Nu, V N M Se Odehr V Boj O Osud Sv TaZakl Na Pe Uje O Plamen, Kter M E Zap Lit Cel Sv T Geralt of The Last Wish, where art thou Do I need to call the puny human authorities and tell them to issue an AMBER alert Have the obnoxious aliens abducted you again, as I suspect they did in book 2 Or is it that the Evil Russians are holding you hostage until I surrender my East Siberian Sea dominion That very well could be The Fluffy Siberian Bunnies FSB can get bloody shrimping devious like that sometimes Then again, I don t think that this is what happened here You know what I think, my Little Barnacles I think Geralt decided to bolt Why, you ask Seems pretty obvious to me the previous instalment nearly did him in First things first, the guy s Monster Slaying Quota MSQ dropped dramatically Second things second, he was viciously attacked by brutal waves of utter boredom and blah blah blah And third things third, he had to endure some major Lovey Dovey Drama Crap LDDC I m telling you, my Lovely Arthropods I would have pulled the Now You See Me Now You Don t Stint NYSMNYDS too, had I been in his place Yes, that is indeed my little self very discretely pulling a NYSMNYDS.Okay, I know what you Annoying Decapods are going to tell me but, gloriously nefarious Sarah we are in such awe of, Geralt hasn t gone anywhere Geralt is right here In this book Na ve, na ve, Little Barnacles I m afraid you ve been had like a bunch of provincial krill It s not Geralt we re dealing with in this instalment It s gErAlT, his duplicitous, evilly evil twin You have no idea how shrewd and calculating the guy is And bloody shrimping presumptuous, too He actually had the nerve to come up with his very own precepts for this book Don t believe me Check this out The Outrageously Outrageous Witcher Commandments According to Garp gErAlT OOWCAtGG Violently butcher monsters you shall refrain from.Yes, this is kinda sorta awkward when supernatural beast slaying is kinda sorta your calling and day job But what s a guy to do to get PETA off his back See the tiny predicament here The only solution is obviously for you to do the Pest Control Thing PCT once in a while per book tops, so that your street cred doesn t get thoroughly ruined and stuff Your life will no longer have a meaning, but that really is quite an insignificant price to pay in the grand scheme of things, is it not See, the Libidinously Mustached Duo LMD doesn t think it s a big deal, either. Only a few pages told from your POV your slightly hysterical fans you shall provide with.Because you are of the erroneously wrong opinion that absence makes the black, withered heart grow fonder and stuff Well, some People of the Forever Right Opinion PofFRO happen to think absence makes the pincers get sharper But hey, to each their own and all that fish Much needless blah blah blah crap let your fellow cast members gleefully indulge in you shall.In the meantime a well deserved nap most joyfully you will enjoy while thinking muahahahaha and stuff to your smug little self Bored Slightly uninterested readers be damned and all that If they can t appreciate coma inducing goodness kindly brought to them by a bunch of queens kings rulers whatever, it s their problem, not yours Besides, if they think this book is the cure to insomnia, they should try and read The Lies of Locke Lamora If they re lucky they ll only end up with an acute case of narcolepsy So QED and stuff It s time for a little Smug gErAlT Muahahahaha ing SGM again Deceitfully bring in a disgustingly kidnap worthy little kid to sneakily soften the tougher shrimps out there you shall Make her all sorts of revoltingly cute with huge ass kicking potential and wondrous smartass abilities to weaken your intended victim s reinforced, titanium coated exoskeleton Cunningly hint at the possibility that said brat might one day be a greater character than your little self This is far from the truth, of course No one is, or ever will be, greater than your astonishingly fabulous and yet so humble little self This is naught but a diabolically Machiavellian scheme to make sure some crustaceans will continue reading Ciri s your most fascinating adventures Hook, line and sinker, the bloody shrimping shrimps are bloody shrimping done for Mission accomplished and stuff Told you gErAlT was nothing like Geralt Ha. And the moral of this What the Fishing Fish is Fishing Going On with this Series I Demand Both and Explanation and a Formal Apology Crappy Non Review WtFFiFGOwtSIDBaEaaFACNR is dear Mr Sapkowski, give Geralt back NOW And I don t mean gErAlT, I mean bloody shrimping Geralt As in my super hot sexey badass monster slaying boyfriend from The Last Wish Puny humans might get hurt somewhat painfully and also suffer a slightly excruciating fate, by the way if you don t comply But hey, no pressure and stuff Book 1 The Last Wish Book 2 Sword of Destiny Book 4 The Time of Contempt Pre review nonsense Geralt, Geralt, GeraltWhat to do with you I hope you do realize that I ve only ever kicked one boyfriend out of my High Security Harem before Surely you do not want to suffer the same fate Especially since the boyfriend in question was Wimpish Happy Dresden WHD shudders Pretty sure you d hate to receive the same treatment as this substandard puny human, huh Yep, that s what I thought Well you know what If you want to stay safely locked up in the Harem, you re going to have to work for it I m giving you one last bloody shrimping chance, so don t screw things up in The Time of Contempt, or else Full Not Even A Full Chapter Written From Geralt s POV This is Outrageous This is Unacceptable This Cannot Be This Will Not Do We are Not Amused Crustaceans at the Ready and Stuff Crappy Non Review NEAFCWFGPOVTiOTiUTCBTWNDWaNACatRaSCNR to come P.S Geralt dear, butchering monsters is always a plus Think about that for a minute or two, will you Blood of Elves , the third book in The Witcher series, is the first full length novel I recommend reading the two short story collections first The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny as they are linked together to form the background for this book It will also give you a feel of the writing style and pacing of the whole series This is not an action pack, high stakes thriller This is a very slow, character driven tale where the enjoyment is taken from world building escapism I m not saying it s boring, but if you re use to modern western fantasy stories, you may not enjoy the slow pace Though there is plenty of Geralt to go around, you ll realize that this is really Ciri s story It primarily offers some insight to her childhood after she s taken in by Geralt, showing the early relationships she had with the other characters The backdrop, of course, is a distinctly sociopolitical tragedy It mostly sets the scene of two enemy countries, on the brink of war, and how Geralt of Rivia is stuck in the middle, with both countries and numerous independent guilds after him and those he loves I won t spoil anything but there s a scene that speaks loudly to the futility and toll of war that very little is gained from killing in the end Like the previous books, Blood of Elves is mostly based on dialogue using the characters words or thoughts to set the scene This does, at times, make it feel a bit rushed and shallow but not enough to detract you from the story The characters are memorable, the prose is far sophisticated than in most fantasy, and the world Andrzej Sapkowski created is deeply compelling I loved almost everything about it from the sharp dialogue to the complex and multifaceted treatments of racism, sexism, colonialism and other socio political issues that affect us in the real world I particularly appreciated the way the book managed to operate simultaneously as serious fantasy and as a tongue in cheek deconstruction of the genre s tropes and cliches That, of course, is in part because the characters are just ridiculously good I think Geralt is one of the most fully realized protagonists in fantasy He s powerful, but reluctant to use his power in a way that might play into the world s terrible politics He d like nothing than to opt out completely and go about his business killing monsters for coin, but he can t, and is inevitably dragged into affairs of war and peace He s quiet, yet thoughtful violent yet only hesitantly so hard yet shows a greater capacity for empathy than anyone else in his world.The powerful enchantresses he is romantically involved with, Yennefer of Vengerberg and Triss Merigold, are no less compelling Any scene with Yennefer is pure gold She s prideful, antagonistic and fierce Yet, beneath the hard exterior undoubtedly caring and sympathetic exactly the kind of complex, independent female character that male writers often have trouble writing Her tortured relationship with Geralt is one for the ages, and works because she is his equal in every way Blood of Elves serves as an introductory chapter to the overall story arc, and while it isn t the most exciting or plot driven story I ve read it excels in delivering interesting, fleshed out characters that you can t help but want to learn about and sets the stage for the rest of the series The ending is not an ending at all, but of a lead into A Time of Contempt Patience is required If you ever want a realistic approach to a fantasy world where politics of the realms have a larger impact on the world than a single character The Witcher is worth the effort. For anyone who s played The Witcher games, or anyone who has not but is interested in dark fantasy, I encourage you to consider reading The Last Wish, which is the first of The Witcher books, an anthology of short stories Read it before this, and Sword of Destiny too They re good, and you ll thank yourself for it later when you re not trying to decipher the backstory behind this one The Blood of Elves is the first full length novel in the series, and I was not disappointed It s even made it onto my favourites shelf.The general concept is that Geralt, a Witcher created through elixirs and brutal mutilation as a child, hunts and kills monsters for pay This volume is about the child Ciri, who we meet in the short stories of The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny, and her training in both magic and witching I don t know if that s what the Witcher craft is called but hey I used it The other part of this is the brewing war between the Nilfgaardians and the countries on the other side of the river.Character relationships are complex and full of history They re so tied together by destiny, yet so emotionally stunted towards each other that at some point it s just sad Poetic and lovely, and not pathetic enough to become angsty and melodramatic Ciri is kind of the light in the dark, probably to her detriment She s the one to which Triss s longing for Geralt, and Yennefer s pain over him, is actually put into words This is the first book in which Triss appears and while I was geared up to immediately feel bitterness towards her, none of Sapkowski s characters end up deserving that All that said, this isn t a sappy romance love fest, and is very much story oriented.Sapkowski s sense of humour is exactly within my tastes too cynical and quippy, as well as a little mean Yennefer and Triss both have that sharp tongue that made me laugh out loud a few times, and Ciri is just comical by nature.And here s a less reviewy part and of a collection of my thoughts At this point, I m not sure if Ciri being destined for Geralt means she s meant to eventually be his partner, or of a daughter, and I have not played the games to know Also no spoilers, please Yennefer s initial resentment towards Ciri would be justified either way, either as a woman with a past with Geralt, or as a woman unable to bear her own children In this volume at least, Ciri is his ward, and he trains her in Kaer Morhen to be a witcher Her early training in magic and how to survive puberty, let s be honest is carried out by Triss Merigold, whom I adored for being one of the only characters who just said what they were feeling, and later by Yennefer Yennefer s interactions with Ciri were my favourite part of the book, ultimately In my opinion, Sapkowski writes the relationships between a young girl and her older female mentors with sincerity and impressive believability.I usually struggle with fantasy not making me truly feel things, but there s plenty of heart torture for me in these I loved it like I knew I would It was well worth the wait, and I can not wait until the next installment For some reason, my wife and I were possessed by the title and now run around the house doing some ridiculous call and response thing Me from downstairs, yelling black metal voice BLOOD OF ELVES Her from upstairs, shrieking black metal voice BLLLLLLLLLLOOOOD OF EELLLVVVVEEES There are worse reactions a book can inspire. REVIEW IZ 2018 Jenefer je carica 3REVIEW IZ 2014 ta sve donosi epska fantastika Vilenjake, patuljke, magiju, seksi arobnice Koje sve motive mo ete o ekivati od epske fantastike Pa, zasigurno neko Proro anstvo, pojavljivanje Odabranog, najmanje jednog super frajera mra ne pro losti i slomljenog srca, koji se pretvara da to je isto srce odavno skamenjeno.I dete.Slatko, pametno, armantno do bola dete, koje, samo kako to deca umeju i znaju, svojom prostodu no u, brbljavo u, radoznalo u i hrabro u, le i to srce pretvoreno u kamen Suma sumarum sve ono to od epske fantastike ve o ekujete i znate da ete dobiti, ali bez suvi nog davljenja da, D ordane, ni mrtvog ne u prestati da te prozivam. Blood of Elves is chronologically the 3rd entry within The Witcher saga Whereas previously all the short stories followed Geralt of Rivia working on certain monster assassination assignments, within Blood of Elves he is one of 3 or 4 main characters that we share the minds of For the novels, you can start here but I wouldn t recommend it I found that I completely loved the groundwork I d put in with the previous narratives and then hearing about the past stories mentioned of which I d already read such as recollecting thought regarding meeting the Golden Dragon and about the macabre events that happened at the downfall of Cintra It was also an excellent feeling meeting familiar characters often a bit too spontaneously that we d briefly crossed paths with within the previous books I can t state it enough that this book is so much deeper and enjoyable if you ve read what comes beforehand The important side characters from the recent stories are prominent here, most notably Ciri and Yennefer I m gutted we don t see of one of my favourite characters, the womanising troubadour Dandelion The tale starts at a safe haven underneath a giant tree where Dandelion and his apprentice tell the epic poem of Geralt We know the stories if we ve read the previous entries but the poetry and the action is accentuated for the audience and is picturesque, beautiful, and heightened in this form Dandelion is the finest bard in the land who causes the ladies to swoon, the lords to be jealous and the brothel owners to panic The ensemble of all assembled then discuss what happened at the end of the depicted action Was Geralt murdered Did the Child of Destiny, the Princess Ciri escape Did her and Geralt meet up as was prophecised It s a really intriguing beginning and sets the action up expertly Geralt is an extremely famous Witcher whose name is world renowned Everyone claims to know him and his exploits but he s not been witnessed in two years so how much is a mere fabrication to attract the attention of revelers in a bar on a weekend evening In this outing, Ciri, the child of Destiny is essentially the main character with Geralt being of a shadowy father figure who aids her development as an upcoming Witcher although she also has magical capabilities she does not understand He is the infamous Witcher, Yennefer is an enchantress and will they won t they love interest and although not the biological child of the aforementioned she seems like a perfect mix of arguably the other two main characters This tale was much deeper than what had come beforehand and as I ve previously mentioned I wish to read all of these before the Netflix series is released The first 30% is mainly focused on Ciri s training at the Witcher halls of Kaer Morten under the watchful gaze of the remaining handful of Witchers but also sorceresses Triss and Yennefer who are both former love interests of Geralt Geralt does love Ciri as a father would and their relationship is complex, loving in a lack 0f emotion way from Geralt s perspective He s a complex character as he s been genetically mutated to be a heartless monster killer but he has extreme morals and will not take sides in any sort of debacle One persons right is another ones wrong and he shouldn t take sides and that s not what he has been manipulated for.Honestly, there isn t too much action throughout this novel, but that s fine This is the foundation of what will no doubt be an exceptional next five books The main drama is caused by a fire scarred magical wielding individual who has an unknown vendetta against Geralt and wants Ciri Imagine if the Queen on a chessboard was infinitely valuable and in the eyes of the soon to be warring nations this even though they don t know if she s alive 12 year old young lady has a very important part to play Child of Destiny isn t a title that everyone is able to flaunt after all Blood of Elves is very conversation heavy Sometimes, with players having similar and confusing names it does get a bit over bearing Often a conversation will have eight contributors but it doesn t always make it obvious who is saying what so in these scenes I found my mind bouncing around thinking who said that who was that to etc The vibe and the point of the scene are expressed well but it s not always easy to keep a perfect picture of progression I loved the majority of the short stories and only a few remain weak and uninteresting in my mind This seemed like a well constructed but quite safe progression to the novel side of things It didn t really have an exciting finale The only event that could be considered as such was a confrontation at the eighty percent mark and then we were gifted a Ciri training session to conclude This series isn t perfect yet However, I am really enjoying following this interesting and multi layered cast This could go on to being one of my favourite fantasy series At this point I believe I ve only witnessed the tip of the iceberg and Ciri s destiny and the Witcher s influence is amazingly intriguing I can t wait to read the next one. This book signifies a sharp departure from the previous two The first and second ones were collections of short stories mostly told from Geralt the Witcher POV This time this is a full length novel with multiple POVs Actually we only see Geralt s POV in just one chapter and a shortish one too In my opinion the book still shows its origins in short story format as the transitions between the chapters are mostly not continuous Instead they start with a jump in time to give a flashback to connect the events between the previous chapter and current time As to the plot it is quite easy to outline The last story of the second book left Geralt stuck with supposedly his destiny namely a child not his The poor Witcher was doing all he could and even to prove that destiny does not exists at least in his case, only to fail spectacularly Coming back to destiny s child oops sorry, wrong picture It turns out everybody and their brother want to find the poor kid I mean it literally it was easier to count the number of named characters of the novel who could not care less about Geralt s prot g than the searchers I also need to mention some of them were so insistent they would not hesitate to leave a dead body or ten if somebody happened to be in their way Now Geralt needs to provide the protection He also wants to remain neutral in the intensifying political games and this task turns out to be practically impossible unlike disposing of hired thugs I have some complaints about the book Geralt is supposed to be a monster hunter first and foremost Well he hunted exactly one monster in here none others bothered even to show up There is something to be said about the evil created by humans being the biggest monster of them all, but I seriously missed a tentacled multi headed poison tailed chitin ard creature waiting for its butt to be kicked by a skilled professional Now that I finished the book, I cast my mind back and realize that not much actually happened here a lot of talks, a lot of politics, but by the end most of the characters remained right where they started Things were brewing, but had not come to boiling point yet For all the slowness the book has charm I cannot quite put my finger on it, but somehow I was never bored reading and the read itself was quite fast For this reason I give the higher rating than I usually do for such book 4 stars.