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  • Season of Storms

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski, David A French - translator
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,575
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,469
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,458

Enter the world of The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski, New York Times best-selling author and winner of the world fantasy award for lifetime achievement. Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, one of the few capable of hunting the monsters that prey on humanity. A mutant who is tasked with killing unnatural beings. He uses magical signs, potions, and the pride of every Witcher - two swords, steel, and silver. But a contract has gone wrong, and Geralt finds himself without his signature weapons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another masterpiece from Sapkowski

  • By JJ on 06-10-18

Fun but relatively underwhelming Witcher return

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-01-18

I was really excited to come back to the world of The Witcher with this side novel being translated to English.
It is entirely stand-alone and doesn't require knowledge of the rest of the novels to comprehend but if you're not already familiar with Geralt and The Witcher series I would not start here if it can be helped.

It's not a bad book, and has some really wonderful writing in it, but overall falls really flat compared to the rest of the series, and honestly that just seems weird.
There's really no stakes this time around. Geralt is traveling through the land and relinquishes his swords to a group of guards upon entering a closely guarded and regulated kingdom. Everything seems fine until he finds that he is (of course) getting embroiled in a conspiracy revolving around the throne of the kingdom, as well as the lodge of sorceresses. He ends up defenseless in all this because his swords are stolen.
The real driving plot of the novel is not the court conspiracy and sorceresses because Geralt, (and the reader) couldn't give less of a shit about all of that but really about Geralt trying to reclaim his swords.
There is a through-plot about a group of sorcerers using magical experiments to make deadly magical creatures which is cool and right up Geralt's ally but most of this book is boring and very low tension.

This is probably unfair to the novel but the fact that the crux of the novel is Geralt reclaiming his swords is even weirder if your introduction to the character was through the game series, since magical swords are like candy in there.

The novel's climax also ends up being this (seemingly magical) flash flood that decimates the kingdom. I didn't understand where it came from or what the significance of it was. Maybe I'm missing something important lore-related about this, but it was just bizarre.

Overall, if you want more of a Witcher fix like I did then it's not a terrible book to pick up, but compared to the short story collections and the main novel series it definitely falls flat.

  • The House on the Borderland

  • By: William Hope Hodgson
  • Narrated by: Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 139

While on a fishing trip two men discover the ruins of an old house perched on the very edge of a cliff. In the ruins they discover an old manuscript that seems to suggest the house was once involved in something super natural, and horrific.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the greatest stories I have ever heard

  • By mark martin on 11-09-15

Interesting but anitquated

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-17

I can kind of understand why this was so important to so many writers. The cosmic, hallucinatory kind of horror was pretty much unexplored at the time, and so it was really breaking new ground. But the writing itself is very boring, and not at all cohesive. I don't understand why the narrator was selected for this either. The protagonist is meant to be an old man but the narrator sounds very young and effeminate, which is really jarring with the tone of the novel.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Kings of the Wyld

  • By: Nicholas Eames
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,835
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,825

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help - the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Locke Lamora Meets the Blues Brothers

  • By Matthew on 03-07-17

Its all part of my rock 'n roll fantasy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-17

Am I the only one to think of using that headline for this book? It's very fitting.

This is not a fantasy novel you read if you want depth and long drawn out lore and worldbuilding with character family trees and lineages to research, maps to pore over, etc. This is a callback to fantasy novels where it's all just about some rollicking barbarians breaking shit and hitting things with a sword. Drinking, carousing, fighting, loving, etc. At the same time, the twist is, (and the running joke throughout the novel) is that this fantasy universe takes a lot of cues from the history of American rock music and these mercenaries are "getting the band back together."

So, Clay Cooper and his friends used to be the baddest, toughest band of mercs the world had ever seen. They were legends in their own time and accomplished feats most thought to be utterly impossible. And then they retired. Now, they're all in their 50s, washed up and burnt out, until their old leader Golden Gabe, comes by with a request for one last journey into dangerous territory, that he can only trust his old bandmates to accomplish.

Most of the novel is the band coming back together, reconnecting, and rediscovering their old skills, but the latter part of the novel (and the most interesting in my opinion) mostly details their journey through the HeartWyld, which is this mysterious magical forest which is supposed to be the most dangerous place on earth, as it's filled with monsters and magic and cannibal tribes. The actual finale of the book, which I don't want to spoil, ended up being very quick and almost rushed in my opinion, but still satisfying.

The rock and roll references aren't too heavy, but they're still apparent in some places. They get attacked by a group of bounty hunters with their faces painted like KISS for example. This novel is fun. But don't let that distract you from the real emotional depth with some of these characters. As well as there being a really good core story about a group of washed up heroes trying to remember what made them so great in the first place. And Clay Cooper, the focus of the novel, is really the moral cornerstone of the whole thing, and an infinitely likeable character.

If you're just looking for a light, fun fantasy read, this would definitely get my recommendation. If you feel like you need to learn a new language and memorize tables of lore to understand a magic system, it might not be for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Lady of the Lake

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,004
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,759
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,751

After walking through the portal in the Tower of Swallows while narrowly escaping death, Ciri finds herself in a completely different world...an Elven world. She is trapped, with no way out. Time does not seem to exist, and there are no obvious borders or portals to cross back into her home world. But this is Ciri, the child of prophecy, and she will not be defeated. She knows she must escape to finally rejoin the Witcher, Geralt, and his companions - and also to try to conquer her worst nightmare.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I constantly find myself saying poor Ciri!

  • By Mr. Bobinski on 08-08-17

A satisfying conclusion to an epic series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-17-17

So, after so long I've finally completed this saga of The Witcher novels. There is one other Witcher novel in print, but unfortunately it has no English translation, but that should be happening next year.

The thing that I was worried about with much of this series is that I had certain questions about the lore of The Witcher series (based on only having played The Witcher 3 PC game before) and I wanted to know if those questions were going to get answered. I've since learned that some of the questions I have were part of The Witcher video game series and not the books, so I'll be revisiting those, but this series did answer other questions I had about the lore. For one thing, Ciri's parentage is finally explained, and you learn about the nature of her powers to go between worlds and why it's so damn important to everyone.

Looking back now on the novels compared to the video games, I can see just how much CD Projeckt Red differed from the books with their games. The characters and their personalities are all intact and absolutely spot on to the way they're portrayed in the novels, but certain aspects of the world do seem to be portrayed differently in the games as opposed to the books.

For this book though, as an end to the series, it sort of has a long, slow burn beginning, and then culminates in this gigantic fiery clash about 3/4 of the way through. I was actually surprised that this seemed to be the climax of the novel because when I was listening to it, the novel still had six more hours of audio left to go, and I thought (there's no way they're wrapping things up already.)

The way it rolls out is after the big epic confrontation at that point in the book, (and it really is a quite satisfying climax) the book switches gears for, what I consider to be a rather lengthy epilogue which takes up about the last quarter of the book.

The major plot points of the saga, that is Ciri's parentage, destiny, safety, etc. are all addressed and wrapped up rather neatly. And if you're wondering, yes there is a confrontation with Vilgefortz and other big bad guys in the series.

Also, I must say, that Sapkowski's habit of having various narrators and perspectives actually seems to make more sense in this one, with the various narrators actually tying into the main plot overall.

Overall, this is a very satisfying conclusion to the series. Now, this is a spoiler, so watch out, but one thing I do want to mention is that at the very, very end of the novel, there is a very ambiguous section about the fate of Geralt and Yennifer. Now, if you consider the games to be part of the overall Witcher lore (which I do) then it's not as impactful, but if you consider only the books to be canon, then the final section of the novel would probably infuriate you, because it's this incredibly ambiguous sequence, which leaves the end fate of Geralt and Yennifer completely up in the air.


Much like The Witcher 3 which got me started on this whole franchise, I can say that this book series has been a wild ride. It's drawn me in even more, and now I'm playing the other Witcher video games that I hadn't considered before, in order to delve deeper into the lore, and also just because I don't want to leave the world of The Witcher just yet either.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Tower of Swallows

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,786
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,468

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life. But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sapkowski does it again

  • By Trent Magnuson on 05-21-16

A lot of buildup for the next entry

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-20-17

You know, after listening to so many of these witcher books in succession it's all starting to run together a little bit in my head. There's a lot of events from this main saga that are pretty significant and stand out, but now I'm not quite sure which book each one came from. I think it's a side effect of listening to this stuff on audible rather than reading actual physical copies of the books.

As I've said before, I came into this series because of the Witcher video games by CDProjekt Red, and as such, there's a couple questions I had from that series that I'm still waiting to have explained to me by the books. Namely, 1. What is the nature and significance of Ciri's parentage? 2. What is Geralt's connection to The Wild Hunt? 3. Why the hell does Peter Kenny keep pronouncing Dandelion like: Dan-dillion?

Still no answers to these questions and it is getting a little frustrating.

This book is very Ciri heavy, which is a bit disappointing as Geralt remains my favorite character of the series, but I still find the Ciri stuff quite interesting. This is also a much darker entry than the other books so far. Without spoiling too much, there's a great deal of focus on torture and humiliation during certain sequences, which was a bit uncomfortable to listen to.

However, the series continues to introduce more and more characters, and yet, I'm always impressed with how well realized and human all these characters manage to be.There's so many fantasy tropes that show up in The Witcher novels and yet nothing ever feels like it's been done before. Everything is a fresh take, even if it's a familiar concept.

Overall, this one was even more of a slow burn than the previous novel. However, I'm hoping that there's a really massive payoff in the next entry. And since the audible description says that the next book is over 20 hours of listening time, I'm betting there is.

  • Baptism of Fire

  • The Witcher, Book 3
  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,170
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,837

The Wizard's Guild has been shattered by a coup, and in the uproar Geralt was seriously injured. The witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times. But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging Voice Over Work

  • By mr1135 on 11-02-16

One of the most entertaining entries in the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-17-17

So, continuing on the saga of Geralt of Rivia and his hunt for his lost ward Ciri. If you were interested in pushing the plot forward and finding out more about the intricate web of politics and sorcery going on in this world, this entry might be kind of disappointing for you.
This is a wandering, meandering novel. The characters involved are all deep and interesting but they spend most of the novel aimlessly wandering about or conversing.
However, if you enjoy rowdy, somewhat raucous, characters in the Witcher series, or some of the more wry intellectual characters, this is a great novel. It contains a lot of fun, a lot of action, and a lot of enjoyable, snappy dialogue.
It doesn't necessarily drive the plot forward on the grand arc of Ciri and Geralt's destiny, but it manages to be one of the most entertaining Witcher stories I've read so far.
This novel also introduces Regis, a character who I had previously only known from the Witcher video game series, so it was great to understand his history with Geralt here.

  • The Time of Contempt

  • The Witcher, Book 2
  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,956
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,543
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,524

Geralt is a witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend. His task now is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the world for good or for ill - but only if she lives to use it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Steadily rising up my list of favorite series

  • By Joe Chad on 07-17-15

Into the intrigue and chaos of The Witcher Saga

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-17

So whereas the first book in The Witcher Saga sets up the idea of Ciri being at the center of courtly intrigue and fantasy politics, with Geralt and Yinnifer trying to protect her, this novel goes deep into that same intrigue and politics with an absolute cluster of a battle in the middle of the novel.

The focus is, I think, split halfway between Ciri and Geralt, and this time around Ciri's tale is much more interesting than Geralt's and her story manages to go through quite a lot of settings and conflicts over the course of the novel, which I really enjoyed.

Still not very big on revelations, as far as I'm concerned, and really just sets up more intrigue and questions for the next book. Which I'm really looking forward to reading.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blood of Elves

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,656
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,019
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,001

For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf. Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great start to a Promising Series

  • By Joe Chad on 06-07-15

Great start to the Witcher's main story arc

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-17

So, this is the start of the main plot arc that traces throughout the Witcher franchise. Although I'm not really sure of what's going on yet, I believe it focuses on Ciri's destiny and parentage.
As such, this book focuses a great deal more on Ciri than it does on Geralt. I actually enjoyed this for the most part though, and Geralt is still at the forefront for most of it. There are a small handful of sections that don't focus on Geralt or Ciri, and these were really boring, not to mention dray and somewhat confusing, but any section featuring Geralt or Ciri tends to be pretty exciting and engaging.
I'm rather excited to be getting into the meat of this series because I think it might answer a lot of questions I've had about the Witcher lore from just playing the third game and nothing else, namely, I'm curious about the nature of Ciri's parentage. I thought that I knew who her parents were from one of the stories in "The Last Wish" but in the Witcher 3 her father is apparently the emperor of Nilfgaard. I'm waiting to reconcile this by playing the games and reading the books rather than just googling it or reading the wiki.
Overall, another great entry to the series. I'm learning more about the lore and depth of the universe and I'm already hooked on finding out what's going to happen with Ciri and Geralt.

  • The Last Wish

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,154
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,119

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good...and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic! I feel lucky to have found this book.

  • By KS on 02-14-16

Great introduction to the world of The Witcher

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-17

(I had originally written a much longer review for this book but accidentally deleted it, so here's the short version.)

So although this is the second book I've read and the second book published in the series, this is actually the earliest book in The Witcher series chronologically. It's great in that it tells the story of many events in Geralt's life, that are mentioned throughout the lore of the series, but I'd always wondered about. For example, you'll learn about how Geralt and Yinnifer met and the nature of the wish that bound them together, you'll also learn about Ciri's parentage and how Geralt earned the moniker "Butcher of Blaviken."

One of the great things about The Witcher series is that while Geralt is already fairly famous by the standards of the world he inhabits, his legend is still growing, and you can observe the expansion of that legend as you follow Geralt through his adventures. I love stories where rather than just telling you of legendary heroes, you get to see them grow with that legend themselves.

Like The Sword of Destiny this is another collection of short stories following Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher. Unlike Sword of Destiny however, these stories are connected by a framing story, as the narrative has Geralt taking shelter in a goddess's temple in order to recuperate after a fight, and while there he remembers past events of his life, which make up the stories in this collection.

Honestly, I think the framing story is pretty unnecessary, but it doesn't take anything away from the stories either.

I'm still unabashedly in love with The Witcher franchise after playing The Witcher games and reading these last two books. I can't rate this anything less than 5 stars.

  • Sword of Destiny

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,329
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,843
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,809

Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: His targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enter the Witcher

  • By David S. Mathew on 09-30-16

If you like the games, Read the books!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-17

Ok, so like many people I picked this up after playing The Witcher 3 video game. That's been my only exposure to the world of The Witcher, although I tried to play the first game in the series, I had to give up because the gameplay was just so bad. Nevertheless, if you're reading this and haven't played The Witcher 3, you probably should. It's one of the greatest games ever made. Propelled a tiny Polish video game studio into one of the most respected developers in the world, and made the Witcher franchise a national treasure of Poland.

I decided to read this book first, because it was the first one published in it's native Poland, and I wanted to be exposed to Geralt of Rivia in the same order that his original fans did. I'm already planning on reading Last Wish next, and the Witcher Saga books after that.

This review will be more about my impressions of the Witcher world as a whole, now that I'm being introduced to it as stories as opposed to video games.

So, this is a collection of short stories rather than one continuous narrative. Although they're not necessarily connected, they all do share the same theme of Destiny (with a capital D) at their core.

As this was my first introduction to the characters outside of the video games, I was happy to find that for the most part they lived up to my expectations. The games are pretty faithful to the source material and I can see where the inspiration came from now.
Having read these stories too, many of the characters and events of the game now make more sense. I have a better feel for the nature of Geralt and Yinnifer's relationship, and the history they have together. In these stories, you see much more of the tender, warm side of Geralt and Yinnifer's relationship, whereas in the videogames it's very cold and confusing for the most part. Also, these stories introduce Ciri, which is great background if you've played The Witcher 3.

Since the video games are so action-heavy I was expecting these stories to be thick with fight scenes, but they're mostly a lot of talking. It's really good talking though. The dialogue, even through the English translation, is superb. It's a much higher caliber of discourse than you normally expect from fantasy novels. There's a philosophical and emotional weight to most conversations, but I always felt like the character's voices were distinct, and that they were speaking like real people. Actually, on the note of the character's voices being distinct, Peter Kenny's reading of this is phenomenal. He's a real chameleon of a voice actor, and adds a lot of emotional weight to the characters.

Geralt of Rivia is one of the most interesting characters in both fantasy and video-game history. He's complex and deep, but remains an upright champion of justice, despite his anti-hero tendencies. Geralt reminds me of nothing so much as an old-fashioned, hard-boiled, noir detective. I got this impression from the video games, but it's reinforced very heavily here. He has that grizzled, stoic persona, and has a history with many colorful characters in his past, as well as a long trail of broken hearts and tossed-aside women. Just like a hard-boiled noir detective. It's stuff like that and a few other things that make the world of The Witcher different in small ways, from any other fantasy universe I've encountered.
For one thing, the world of The Witcher is incredibly capitalist. The Witcher might be a hero, and one who is at his core, a heroic personality, but he is still a mercenary hero, and his world is full of mercenary heroes, mercenary antagonists, mercenary sorcerers, and tricksters, etc. Everyone seems concerned about money, and one of these stories, is almost entirely about playing the stock market, and manages to be really entertaining despite it.

After these stories I've got to say, I can understand why they've inspired the media frenzy they did with the videogames. The Witcher series is a classic of modern fantasy, and I'm looking forward to reading as much of it as I can. Even if you don't have any experience with the videogames or other stories, I would highly recommend checking this out.