Sometimes, I wonder how Geralt can stay friends with Dandelion

Written by
Andrzej Sapkowski in 1992, translated in 2015

We all have someone like Dandelion in our orbits at some stage in our lives. The one that bullshits his way through life, gets himself in all sorts of trouble, and yet finds some way to survive and prosper. Do not ask me how that happens, maybe there is some law of nature that prevents idiots from meeting their doom easily.

Unlike The Last Wish, which is a series of short stories chronologically linked via a series of framing scenes, Sword of Destiny is purely a collection of short stories, linked in time. They are longer and meatier. More importantly, the characters and the world of the Witcher are more fleshed out.

The stories do not necessarily deal exclusively with hunting monsters, most relate to Geralt’s relationship with people, Yennefer, mayors of towns, kings and even his friends. He hunts dragons, fights for love and even gets mugged while drunk.

Poor Geralt.

Perhaps it is strange to read the books after playing all three games set in the same universe. It would be sort of like playing the Game of Thrones computer games and then reading the books. The level of appreciation is different. But I really do think the computer games giving the books themselves a wider audience is a wonderful thing. They deserve the recognition after all.

What I truly enjoy about these books though, is the expression of so much with an economy of words that leaves just enough to the imagination for the reader to actually want more. Contrast this with some other entries in the fantasy genre that provide far too many details (right down to the individual courses people have for lunch). You do want more, to know more about all the little fiefdoms that spring up in the countryside. The towns and the people that inhabit the world are also fascinating.

So, get ready for dragons, duels for love and monster hunting in Sword of Destiny. Oh, and also grab the PC games from GOG Galaxy. You will not regret that.

Rating

Continues to be a fun read.

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