Blood of Elves (The Witcher #1)
Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series begins with Blood of Elves. I have already reviewed the short story collections or prequels: The Last Wish, Sword of Destiny, and Season of Storms.
Blood of Elves has a lot more of Ciri and her growth. We don’t see as much of Geralt of Rivia (the witcher). We get a lot of fun action scenes as Ciri trains to be a rarity, a female witcher. But we also get a lot of Yennefer, a sorceress that continues to annoy me.
Much of the plot models current day issues. Most notably, environmental destruction and climate change and racism, or species-ism. Some of these are exaggerated and a bit overdone. But the medieval setting with monsters and elves provides a nice backdrop to tackle some serious issues.
The story is a bit slower and tamer than the prequels. Blood of Elves doesn’t really crescendo into anything amazing or leave you on a cliff edge. There is a building war that could involve all the area kingdoms against the “rebellious” elves. And the book is full of interesting if a bit long-winded political intrigue.
But after reading the other books, I want more of Geralt.
The Witcher is a western type character. He isn’t pure good but is struggling to fight against what is clear evil. While others shy away from situations, he dives in and does what is necessary. He is also a bit of a loner in that regard (another western characteristic).
Most interesting and exciting is that Geralt is 100% devoted to Ciri’s protection. At any and all costs, he will defend her and keep her safe. It is this character combo that makes the story so beautiful and why I want to continue on with the series.