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Sword of Destiny (The Witcher) Paperback – December 1, 2015
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"The universe of Sapkowski's The Witcher is one of the most detailed and best-explored in modern fantasy, offering endless opportunities for fresh ideas ... Complex character relationships enrich this already complex world; this is the sort of series fantasy fans will cherish."―B&N
"One of the best and most interesting fantasy series I've ever read. Though it functions well as adventure fiction, it has added depth and value as satire and commentary on fantasy literature ... Sapkowski is a genuine stylist."―Nerds of a Feather
"Like a complicated magic spell, a Sapkowski novel is a hodgepodge of fantasy, intellectual discourse, and dry humor. Recommended."―Time
"Like Mieville and Gaiman, [Sapkowski] takes the old and makes it new ... fresh take on genre fantasy."―Foundation on The Last Wish
"A breath of fresh air in a well-worn genre. Don't miss it!"―Fantasy Book Review
"Sapkowski has a phenomenal gift for narrative, inventing sensational events, creating a suggestive mood, and building up the suspense along with a dazzling, slightly cynical sense of humor."―Jacek Sieradzki, Polityka on The Last Wish
"Sapkowski's The Last Wish is a great collection of short stories centered around a witcher, Geralt - a rare sorcerous breed who hunts down the monstrous but is feared by the innocent. With a wondrous mix of Eastern European folklore and myth, beautiful princesses, mischievous demons and where all is not as it seems, The Last Wish is a great read - perfect for dipping into or just reading cover to cover, as I did."―Waterstones
"It is [his] world-weariness combined with his battle-honed powers that make Geralt such an interesting character. Here's hoping The Last Wish is merely the opening chapter in his English language adventures."―Edge
"I really, really enjoyed this book ... None of the characters in Sapkowski's world are black or white; they are all shades of grey, including Geralt and the monsters."―The Deckled Edge
"Sapkowski is very good at creating interesting, imaginative characters with unusual levels of depth to them ... The Last Wish is an enjoyable book full of stories both melancholy and comic."―The Wertzone
"This beautifully written character-based story from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski ... a refreshing champion."―The Specusphere
"New battle mechanics, a fantastic storyline, and a gritty setting make The Witcher one of the most engrossing, mature RPGs to arrive on the PC in years."―Gamespot.com on The Witcher video game
"The Witcher delivers one of the most intense and rewarding role-playing experiences this year."―GT Reviews on The Witcher video game
"The Lady of the Lake is, without any doubt, the best and most profound fantasy novel I have ever read. It is hard to put down, yet also a challenging and deeply rewarding book. And it is genuinely moving. I have never read a fantasy series like this, and suspect I never will again."―Nerds of a Feather on The Lady of the Lake
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.
Top customer reviews
The Sword of Destiny is similar to its prequel collection, The Last Wish. It's a series of short stories about Geralt, one of the last Witchers (a guild of monster hunters), and his many adventures. Unlike the The Last Wish, all the stories are in a fairly linear order and deal mostly with the topic of destiny. They also build on Geralt's relationships and what it means to be human.
Whereas The Last Wish dealt more with philosophy that is grounded in real life, The Sword of Destiny concerns itself it the philosophy of destiny and is more rooted in a traditional fantasy story. For a while, I thought the story would take a clichéd approach to destiny, but was pleasantly surprised by how the author chose to tackle it.
This book is an excellent read if you enjoy medieval fantasy and a must-read if you're a fan of the Witcher series.
'Sword of Destiny' most certainly shares some similarities with Sapkowski’s first collection of short stories, 'The Last Wish'. The more obvious similarity is the fact that it is indeed another collection of short stories, but the other similarity readers will not notice until reading is that these stories also take place before 'Blood of Elves'. Each story is able to stand on its own, but, like in 'The Last Wish', each story also helps to add a bit more to the main story arch.
While the first collection of stories focused more on stories resembling well-known fairy tales, the new collection focuses on stories about commonly known mythical creatures that readers familiar and unfamiliar with fantasy will know. Three of the six stories focus on three familiar mythical creatures: a golden dragon, a mermaid, and a shapeshifter (or in Sapkowski’s case, a mimic/ doppler).
The stories that don’t focus on mythical creatures focus more on Geralt’s relationship with the people that he is familiar with: mainly Yennefer, Dandelion, and Ciri. Whether it is a story with a mythological creature or just a story about them, any of the stories with Yennefer show the struggle she and Geralt constantly endure regarding their relationship. Similar stories occur to delve deeper into the friendship between Geralt and Dandelion. What is even more appealing to the reader is the fact that there is finally a story that shares how Geralt and Ciri meet each other and does a great job at setting up the relationship readers are introduced to in the main story arch.
'Sword of Destiny' is not a story that needs to be read before 'Blood of Elves', but it certainly adds to the main story arch in Sapkowski’s the 'Witcher' series. Each individual story has the ability to stand on its own and each houses the elements every reader familiar with Sapkowski’s work loves and enjoys: his amazing writing style, his creative storytelling in fantasy fiction, and his quirky sense of humor. With the recent release of 'The Tower of Swallows', readers will not have to wait to read the next installment of the series upon completion of 'Sword of Destiny'. Even more stories will be released in the future to complete the series: a fifth and final installment of the main story arch, 'Lady of the Lake', and another collection of short stories, 'Season of Storms'.
As with the first Witcher stories there's independent plotlines but an over-arching theme that ties them, and certain characters, together. The relationships between favorites met in the games (I've held off playing the 3rd one so far - waiting on a new computer build to enjoy it in full majesty) is much better understood with the background the books provide. And while he himself constantly claims otherwise, Geralt really is a rather complex and nuanced character. Neither the aloof uncaring 'neutral' observer nor the heartless, cold, monstrous killing machine he or others make him out to be.
A Sword of Destiny is the second book in the Witcher series, and like the first book is a collection of short stories that follow Geralt at different points in his life.
Andrzej Sapkowsi is amazing, simply amazing. All the characters introduced in the first book are fleshed out in greater detail and Geralt in particular, goes through some profound character development. There are a lot of bittersweet stories in this book and some outright tragic ones, all still deeply enjoyable.
We are also treated to more of the myths and fairy tales that make up the Witcher Universe, and Mr. Sapkowsi shines just as well here too. He has a knack for turning well known fables on their head and using them not just to invoke wonder, but also to weave touching stories with flawed beings at their centre.
The central theme in this book is destiny, what this means to different characters in the novel and how this ties to Geralt's future which has been foreshadowed in the previous novel.
I don't know about destiny, but I'm truly grateful for whatever series of events brought this series to my attention. On to the next one!
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