Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Time of Contempt

Andrzej Sapkowski
Completed 5/6/2016, reviewed 5/8/2016
4 stars

This is the second book of “The Witcher” series.  It continues the saga of Geralt, the Witcher, and Ciri, the young girl who is an apprentice mage and witcher.  In this book, the tale picks up with Yennifer the sorceress taking Ciri to a school to learn to tame and expand her magical abilities.  Of course, Ciri does not want to go to a school and runs off to find Geralt.  She does, which has the side effect of bringing Geralt and Yennifer back together.  They have a history which is hinted at in the first book.  But amongst all this, there is a coup in the magic world, putting everyone in danger. 

This book was another easy read.  It’s fun, fast, and loaded with action.  Ciri is still the brightest spot of the story.  She’s a strong-willed, stubborn young girl who has a tremendous amount of inner strength, and of course, a penchant for getting into trouble. The series may be named after Geralt, but the star is really Ciri.  In a particularly good sequence, she’s abandoned and has to survive in a desert.  The whole chapter demonstrates what a remarkable and strong character Ciri is.  It was probably my favorite part of the book.

Geralt has a little more page time in this story as well, killing monsters and fighting the bad guys.  One thing about him that’s worth mentioning is his neutrality.  He has always been neutral in the wars and conflicts.  However, this time, he is dragged into it because it has to do with Yennifer and Ciri.  I think that’s an important point because in a lot of Fantasy, and even general literature, there are good guys and bad guys, and there is often moral ambiguity.  But here, the question is about Geralt being neutral and then having to make a conscious decision to take a side. 

Once again, the biggest problem with the book is that there are a lot of characters thrown at you.  This time, it’s during the magician’s coup.  It was hard to keep track of who’s who and on which side they are.  There were so many characters through this section that I’m concerned I’ll be lost when they show up in third book. 

Despite the plethora of characters, I give this book four stars out of five.  I’m really loving this series and looking forward to the final book, as well as the prequels.  

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