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Blood of Elves Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Sapkowski's world, and the sense of depth, is reminiscent of Middle Earth. And while he includes all the traditional fantasy characters you would expect, Sapkowski also manages to revitalize the genre with energetic and compelling writing. A breath of fresh air in a well-worn genre. Don't miss it!" DREAMWATCH TOTAL SCI FI "The character interplay is complex, unsentimental and anchored in brutal shared history. All bodes well for twisty plotting in future volumes." -- Nic Clarke SFX --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Andrzej Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt of Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer. He is now one of Poland's most famous and successful authors.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 Original edition (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031602919X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316029193
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stanislav Syursin on August 30, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a big fan of the Witcher books for a long time. I was fortunate to read them all in Russian translation.

Here's the deal: the English publisher has skipped "The Sword Of Destiny" that chronologically follows "The Last Wish". The "Sword" introduces the new characters later seen in "The Blood Of Elves". I was deeply disappointed with such move. My wife has read the 1st book and loved it, but now she can't continue to "The Blood of Elves"!
I was not surprised to find out that the "TBoE" has received much lower rating than the "TLW" on Amazon. People are all confused, it ruins the story flow.

I have written to the Gollancz publishers an here's what they said:

"... You probably are not aware that short story collections do not sell very well, and so it is often difficult for a mainstream publisher to put that sort of book out. We were lucky with THE WITCHER, first, because we published it as a novel, and second, because we had the launch of the computer game to back it up.

We are currently in discussion with the author about what we do next, but please do urge your wife to read BLOOD OF ELVES..."

Somehow I believe that Mr Sapkowski was pushed to follow the order of publishing against his will. And the statement that "short stories don't sell" has already been disproved by the success of "The Last Wish". Gollancz has done the readers and the author a very poor favor by omitting the "Sword Of Destiny".

Recently I have found this petition [...] (if Amazon removes the link, just google "sword of destiny petition") that collects signatures to support the release of the "TSoD". I strongly recommend everyone to join in and add their name to it, the book really deserves to be read by the massive English-speaking audience.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a must have if you enjoy the "Witcher universe", but not if you're hoping for another collection of 'whiz-bang, sexy sword slinger' short stories, ala Last Wish. While I enjoyed the Last Wish quite a bit, this is a notably different outting - a complete novel set in the Witcher universe, with an actual story arc, a longer tale to tell, and promises of more to come in future books... GREAT!

This book explains (among other things) the beginnings of the Scoia'tael (Squirrel) movement, how the various races came to inhabit their corners of the world, more info on Triss Merigold, Shani, Dandelion, and a host of other interesting characters. Kingdom level politics are discussed, pursuits and narrow escapes ensue, and assassins, torturers and sorcerers abound.

Geralt is present all through the book, weaving into and out of other character's lives. He is not 'absent' from the book at all... it's just that each story isn't focused exclusively on him. The overall framework of Ciri's maturation as a enchantress is interesting and appropriate, not boring or drawn out, in my opinion.

Geralt is revealed through other characters eyes as a more interesting and conflicted warrior - perhaps moodier and more withdrawn than we might expect, but more complex. He's far less cocky in this book, which may put some people off if they were expecting the white-wolf swagger.

So... less "swords and babes" overall, more plot and story arc... I enjoyed it thoroughly, and read it in one sitting. Can't wait for the rest.

Side note: anyone who has played and enjoyed "The Witcher" PC game will see lots of it in this novel, and appreciate the book even more.
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Format: Paperback
Geralt, the title character, is a 'Witcher' - one of a semi-secret society of monster-killing specialists. Already born as mutants (a word bandied around anachronistically throughout the book), Witchers are then trained and chemically altered to become killing machines. All hopped-up on primitive combat drugs and armed with meteoric swords, Witchers travel the world killing nasty beasties. Preferably for money.

Although Witchers are scrupulously neutral in matters of politics, Geralt has broken the code by adopting an orphaned princess, Ciri. The heir to a conquered kingdom, Ciri is one of the most valuable people in the world. The forces of light and darkness are both competing to find her - and that's even before her potent magical powers begin to surface. Geralt and his network of friends (more acquaintances) are drawn reluctantly into the vortex of events surrounding Ciri and soon become irrevocably linked to the fate of the world.

Ciri, to give the author credit, is never just a passive object in her own destiny. In fact, she receives much more 'screen time' than anyone else in the book, including Geralt. Her education, training and rambunctious gallop towards maturity are the core of the book. Geralt, and the more conventional adventuring elements that surround him, only appears in alternate chapters - generally fighting off some sort of insidious plot that would otherwise threaten the young princess.

Geralt also takes a backseat to some of his companions - Yennefer and Triss, the witches, and Dandilion, the entertainer and spy. All are drawn to Ciri and the need to protect her - either from loyalty to Geralt or to the greater scheme of fate.
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