Books

Review – The Witcher Saga Book One: Blood of Elves

The Witcher Saga: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
The Witcher Saga: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Witcher is Being Made into a Netflix Series!

Author Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy character “the Witcher” has been in the news lately. Netflix is turning the highly successful monster hunter, Geralt of Rivia, and his adventures into a show. Lauren S. Hissrich announced on Twitter that she has finished her first draft of the pilot script. I was super excited to hear the news! I read the first novel in the Witcher Saga series, Blood of Elves, and loved it.  

The Witcher

“…there is nothing more hideous as the monsters, so contrary to nature, known as witchers for they are the offspring of foul sorcery and devilry.  They are rogues without virtue…fit only for killing.” This is how the witchers are viewed by many within the fantasy world Sapkowski has created. The witchers are humans mutated by way of sorcery to be monster-killing machines. They train within the dilapidated kingdom of Kaer Morhen. There is a grueling obstacle course that winds around the old castle. The witchers train on this course to become expert fighters. Because of the course’s difficult terrain, it was named “The Killer”.  

The Witcher Saga: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
The Witcher Saga: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

The town calls upon the witchers to rid themselves of a vampire, werewolf, or other such monsters. But the focus of this saga is the “lion cub” child, Ciri, promised to Geralt of Rivia. She is “hunted for her extraordinary powers” at a time of unrest within the land.  

War Seems Inevitable

The powerful human army, the Nilfgaardians, have been attacking villages and castles. As a result, the humans fought back and the Nilfgaardians were badly defeated at the battles of Sodden. But not before they managed to strategically overpower the kingdom of Cintra (Ciri’s home) located at the mouth of the main river that transports goods. They have become economically strong and their currency is valued more than the local currency.

If that wasn’t enough, the Nilfgaardians are spreading propaganda to rile up the elves. When the humans arrived around 500 years ago they took the land for themselves which forced many elves to flee their homes. A civil war could be on the horizon. A rogue group of elves called the “Scoia’tael” AKA the “squirrels” are ambushing humans and anyone else with them in the woods and main river bed used for transporting goods.   

The Hunt for the Child

The Nilfgaardians attack Ciri’s home. As a result, the child has to flee. Having to escape with no one to watch over her, she has to fend for herself. She proves to be very resourceful and strong-willed. Ciri spends 2 weeks alone in the woods, a month traveling with a pack of fugitives, and a year and a half with peasants working the land before Geralt tracks her down. He takes her to Kaer Morhen because he can protect her there. A powerful wizard, Rience, is searching for her. He inflicts terrible pain on anyone he questions in regards to the child’s whereabouts. And he enjoys watching.

The Lion Cub’s Powers

Soon after they arrive at Kaer Morhen the child begins to exhibit some “odd” magical behavior. For example, without warning, Ciri falls into a trance and speaks the old elf language (which she has never been taught). This alarms the witchers. Therefore, to better understand what is happening to Ciri they summon someone who is experienced in the realm of magic. That someone is the enchantress, Triss Merigold. She runs into the child as she approaching the castle and experiences firsthand the child’s behavior, “She (Ciri) withdrew into a daydream, started to prophesy, gave out an aura…” 

War, Peace, or Neutrality

Discussions are running rapidly among the townspeople, kings, queens, and magical folks. Many agree that to underestimate the Nilfgaardians would be a mistake. And can anyone truly stay “neutral” in this time of unrest?  Consequently, spies are everywhere in the hopes of gaining insight into the “enemy.” Without a doubt, tension is high. Will the witcher be able to keep the child from falling into the wrong hands? I guess I’ll have to keep reading to find out!

 


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About the author

Katherine Faroh

Katherine is a native Clevelander. She is passionate about writing. She also enjoys nature photography and saving the planet. Superman is her all-time favorite comic book hero.