Hello again.. It's been a while. I missed Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer. It's not just them, it's Andrzej's unique voice / tone of writing. This is fantasy and yet it feels "realistic", humane. Our beloved characters didn't have an easy time in this one, some of the scenes were truly hard to listen to. I kept thinking what each of our characters would think had s/he knew what his/er loved ones were going through, it felt "fitting" for the journey each needed to take and go through to survive but it was still rather cruel.
Most of the book is around Ciri and Geralt - not yet together. Ciri finds a very secure hiding place where she can return back to health after a hellish few days. She has lost so much, loved ones but also part of herself. Sitting around the fire with her new friend Vysogota she tells him her story and we get to hear it through her. She wasn't spared much during these days. The Ciri at the end of this book is so very different from the one Geralt and Yennefer knew (One thing for sure - she is bad a$$!). What would happen when they finally meet? I hope we'll get to that sooner rather than later as generally speaking there is only one book left to the story.
Geralt's "gang" hasn't changed much from the previous book. Mostly Dandelion, Cahir, Milva and Regis. It's not always easy, especially between Geralt and Cahir and yet I have to say I really appreciated Cahir for how honest he was. I don't think they can truly be friends though they could have been if it wasn't for Ciri. I wonder how Ciri would react to THAT friendship (even if it really isn't). Geralt still hasn't finished healing but he is determined to find a way to Ciri. His (shared) dream of her, badly wounded during the equinox doesn't help at all. Everyone is worried about her but she is no where to be found, not by his company but also everyone else who is looking for her.
Yennefer has her own ideas how to try and save Ciri. Her part in this book is smaller than the other characters so we do learn of her whereabouts a little, but with her it's always more complicated than she reveals. While I was a bit unsure of her at first, I have grown fonder and fonder of her with every book. I think she finally shows who she really is in this one. Not a heartless sorceress, even while proclaiming Geralt foolish in his methods. I couldn't fault her where she was absolutely right!
There is, as usual, far more to the story, with more minor characters and political plots. It's not always easy to remember who is who, and what is their end goal. But while I started those parts a bit worried about where Andrzej was going I found myself fascinated with the complexity of it all. I don't think I would have wanted the story any other way.
There's much to be done and to be uncovered. I'm a bit worried what we will find out about Ciri's mother and what happened to her. In a way I don't want to know. THAT story line is truly horrific. There are evil characters in this series and there are EVIL ONES. That's all I'm going to say about that...
Till the next one :)
23-24 April 2022