Season of Storms (The Witcher)
Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski was published after the main series. It is listed as #0.6, putting it in between The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. I read it third and found it to be an entertaining, fast read. Some say to read this after The Lady of the Lake (#5), but that is not what I did.
Season of Storms follows a main plot loosely summed up with Geralt, The Witcher, having his swords stolen and is quest to get them back. Various interludes are included, providing a lot of extra intrigue to the series as a whole. Besides the various interludes, Sapkowski includes a few letters written between sorcerers. I wish more fantasy works would use this writing style. It provides an honest, intimate way to share someone’s thoughts without resorting to an all-knowing narrator.
Beyond the inclusion of letters, we are rewarded with great writing throughout. Sapkowski is gifted in dialogue as well as getting you right in the middle of the action. With his swords stolen, the Witcher has to navigate through a lot of disingenuous characters, especially a bunch of sorcerers. Small spoiler: he eventually gets his swords back but it takes quite some time.
We also learn what the runes on his partially silver sword say: “My gleam penetrates the darkness, my brightness disperses the gloom.”
With this installment we learn about energumen, someone possessed by a demon and an aguara, a fox-human. We also are rewarded with Addario Bach, a dwarf that has Geralt’s back when he needs it. In fact, this story included a lot of friendly characters, some which were love interests, others that wanted to repay Geralt for past services.
And of course, we get to see quite a bit of Dandelion. Dandelion is a funny caricature of a bard. He is humorous at times; more often silly. But his character has become more than a foil. In some regard, he does provide a bridge to Geralt’s missing feelings, making him a bit foil-y. Instead, the relationship between Dandelion and Geralt is genuine. They are friends and look to continue to always be so.
Many characters say that witchers are without feeling, making them the killing mutants that they are. But Season of Storms show Geralt of Rivia to be much, much more.
Now onto the main series, starting with Blood of Elves.