24 July 2013

Blood of Elves

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski 
Translator: Danusia Stok 
Series: The Witcher Saga, book 1
Year published: 1994 in Polish, 2008 in English
Pages: 314
Time It Took To Read: A day
I am really pissed off at Gollancz, who have the publishing rights to this series. I hate waiting, and after a three year delay, the second book of the series was published a few weeks ago. The next isn't due til next year. This is apparently because of legal difficulties. For gawd's sake, everyone ELSE in Europe has had translations. Get on it! Gollancz are also responsible for the fact that I have to wait A YEAR for the last True Blood book to be published in paperback. Who wants that many bloody books in hardback? They don't make you wait a year for the kindle edition!
Anyway, this book begins the Witcher Saga properly. The short story collections (The Last Wish, and The Sword of Destiny, which hasn't been officially translated yet) were written first, and this book refers to several incidents in these books. But it's not essential to have read the short stories first. 
The story revolves around Geralt, the witcher and his ward, Ciri. Ciri begins the story being trained as a witcher as well, but her magical ability needs a wizard's touch. This is recognised first by Triss Merigold, and later Ciri's care and training is given to Yennefer.  Meanwhile, everyone and his dog is after Ciri, for reasons that aren't completely clear in this book. 
If you've played the game, it's interesting to see Triss in a position of such weakness, and to see Yennefer at all as she's AWOL by the time the game starts. Dandilion, the bard, makes a welcome appearance as well. The descriptions of battle are among the best I've read, but this series has a gentler side as well. I really want to read the rest of the series. Would anyone like to teach me Polish? It'll probably be quicker than waiting for Gollancz to pull their finger out.

Book count: 34/50

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