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Blood of Elves

Narrated by: Peter Kenny
Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6,809 ratings)
Regular price: $22.80
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Publisher's Summary

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 Elves....

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.

As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.

Following The Last Wish, Blood of Elves is the new novel starring Geralt of Rivia, the inspiration for the critically acclaimed videogame The Witcher.

©2015 Andrzej Sapkowski (P)2015 Hachette Audio

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Story

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

A great start to a Promising Series

Let me start by saying that Blood of Elves is technically not the start of the series. From what I have found out and read is that The Last Wish, wich is on Audible and Sword of Destiny, wich is not on Audible preceed this novel. Both are short story collections, neither directly impacts the story, but they provide background information on the characters in the series. They are not necessary to read in my opinion, but they do help a bit. Now to the novel, it is very well written with skillful prose and a decent plot. Because this is the first novel in the series, the plot is still being fleshed out so not that much significant happens, but that does not make the novel boring. The pace is steady and the characters are very well developed. The author does something rather unique wich I appreciated very much. Large sections of the novel are strictly dialogue between the characters with almost no description. Therefor, it is as if the reader is sitting in a different room from the speakers, and can here the conversation between them. I found it refreshing and enjoyable. Finally, the narrator does a fantastic job with both differentiation of characters and portraying their emotions correctly. Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to the next one being put on Audible.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful, enhanced my enjoyment of the game!

I actually played the first two games on the X-box before my boyfriend informed that the games were based on books. I was so excited! I was familiar with the characters which helped, but I recommend listening/reading to The Last Wish (also on Audible) and Sword of Destiny before this book. They are prequels of short stories that introduces the characters, and explains events that are just assumed you know about in the first novel. The first book just jumps right in and I spend the first 25% of the book a little confused before I knew about the prequels.

That being said, this book/series is excellent, well written with engaging and likable characters. It's hard to separate the first book from the series, since they all flow together and since I played all three games witch also has some spoilers. But I will say, that Mr. Sapkowski does high fantasy really well. While the "prophesied child" is par on course for high fantasy, Sapkowski gives it a few new twists. The child is female and is actually a supporting character, not the main one. This is just one example, the author takes old ideas and makes them seem fresh and exciting.

Peter Kenny is the perfect choice for narrator. This is the first book I heard him narrate but he has excellent voice control. I even enjoyed his female voices, which tends to be my biggest complaint with male narrators.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • London, Ontario Canada
  • 06-18-16

World immersion & character training

I'm writing this review having read this and the next two books in the series, currently reading the fourth.

If you haven't read the previous short story collection you'll be fine but be warned this is not a action pack, high stakes thriller. This is a very slow, character driven tale where the enjoyment is taken from world building escapism. The author spares no expense in his descriptions and details creating a vibrant world and characters, at the expense of pacing. I'm not saying it's boring but if you're use to modern western fantasy stories, you may not enjoy the slow pace.

The first book reads as a training montage. The witcher Geralt brings the orphaned princess Ciri to the witcher's and is trained in the art of combat. Many jokes prevail as a female sorceress arrives and has to explain to the group of male warriors the particulars of female 'issues'. Without giving much away the story advances to magical training.

There is no particular incident or scene that stands out, and there isn't a concluding ending. The story essentially stops expecting you to pick up the next one in the series.

I recommend reading the first two short story collection first to get a feel of the writing style and pacing. If you enjoy those, like character driven stories that have a slow pace, immersing you in the world then give it a try. Remember if you want a satisfying ending you'll have to commit to the next few books as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • Pittsburg,KS
  • 02-24-16

Loved the games but loved the books much more!

A must listen/read for fans of the fantasy genre. I only wish I had discovered them before now.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome story and voice acting

Love this series and the reader does a great job with his voice acting. overall good book., only the onky reason I gave it 4 stars was the story was a little slower than the last few,.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

AWESOME great narrator!

I love the video games and wanted to experience even more of the story. It didn't disappoint. Also the narrator is one of the best I've ever heard!

The worst part about the book is the lack of Geralt chopping people's heads off and killing monsters. It surprisingly lacks a lot of action because much of the plot focuses around Ciri and her development, and the political moves going on in the realms.

Still the narrator is excellent and reads in a way the captures the imagination and the story is exciting enough to maintain your interest.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent first novel in a series!

It's not the best Witcher novel, but it introduces the world and those important within it admirably. If you've never read a Witcher story before, read "The Last Wish" first; it is, in my opinion, a more rewarding, shorter read that, if enjoyed, should wet your appetite for what "Blood of Elves" provides. Be warned, however, this is a much quieter read more concerned with world- and character-building than action and suspense, and the ending is not an ending at all but more of a lead into the next in the series, "A Time of Contempt." Patience required! Still, a wonderful read filled with memorable characters that left me wanting to see what will happen next. Highly recommended!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ciri's Story Brought to Life By Peter Kenny!

If you've played the Witcher games, then reading the books is a must. However, the Blood of Elves isn't a knocked-out-of-the-park hit, I put it right around 4 stars. The majority of the book is spent in buildup and background surrounding Ciri's return with Geralt to Kaer Morhen, her meeting the other witchers, Triss, and Yennefer, and how she is adapting to her new family. Ciri plays an important role in the larger political events, and there are scenes of other major players and their search for her. The world of the witcher is fantastic as always, and Peter Kenny is the best narrator on Audible, hands down, in my opinion. He's able to put emotion and distinct voices to all the characters - he really immerses the listener in Geralt and Ciri's world. Highly, highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Devitalizing Dialogue

This book is written in what I find to be a rather unusual style which, although unsuccessful at engaging me, serves as an excellent example of how not to tell a story. It feels as though the author has attempted to adapted a script for the theater to novel form. It is somewhat amusing, as the reader, to be put into the roll of a spy, listening in via a hidden microphone to hours and hours of dialogue, virtually bereft of all sensory input, including non dialogue related sounds.

Seriously. Imagine, for example, the heroine inadvertently blowing a shack to smithereens no more than ten paces in front of her as she practices magic with her mistress, with nary so much as a description or significant consequence. Instead, out of desperation, you concoct the aforementioned image in your mind based upon nothing more than brief dialogue between teacher and student to the effect of, "Nice try at whipping the hat against the shack; I suppose we can use it for firewood."

If the author had written in an active voice, describing events in present tense instead of having his characters constantly converse, it would have been much more engaging. Not only does the writing leave a bit too much to the imagination, Andrzej has convinced me that couching endless narration in dialogue doesn't convert passive voice into active.

I admit that I found it difficult to get past the writing style to even follow the weak story line, so perhaps my perspective is colored. Although easy to understand, as there are a limited number of characters and it is written in a mostly sequential order, and although there are a handful of reasonable action sequences, the vast majority of this novel is quite simply dialogue. Some of the speech is eloquent, but much of it is verbose, bombastic, and tedious to the point of detracting from character development.

Quite simply this book is mostly talk and doesn't leave much room for a storyline.

13 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Witcher

I really like the story of geralt. I always try to recommend the books to those who play the video games. Excellent start to the story of Geralt and Ciri.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful