I’m a massive fantasy fan and have read the most if not all published collections of Eddings, Feist, Tolkien, Hobb and many more. One thing I don’t read too much are fantasy novels either based on games or books that games have themselves been based on. So when Dave asked me to review Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski, a collection of linked short stories featuring the most loved characters from the phenomenal world of Geralt the Witcher, I couldn’t refuse.
The Sword of Destiny, is the second of the two collections of short stories (the other being The Last Wish), both preceding the main Witcher Saga. All three books have been written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The first Polish edition was published in 1992. The English edition was published by Gollancz much later in May 2015.
If you don’t know anything about Witchers or more precisely, Geralt of Riva, then let me begin by telling you the legend of witchers is timeless and brutal. Taken as young children and trained in brutal ways, Witchers are crafted, moulded, into perfect killers. They benefit from increased strength and speed, rapid healing, a near-total resistance to disease and an ability to call upon the elements with limited magical ability are the hallmarks of a Witcher. Witchers take contracts and assignments from Kings, Nobles, peasantry and everyone in between to deal with monsters and demons, worse than the common folk could ever imagine.
The short stories in Sword of Destiny take place before the events of the main Witcher Saga and introduce characters that become major players in the novel, and characters you’ll be familiar with if you’ve played any of the games. The titular story, Sword of Destiny, is in the fact the first story to introduce the reader to Ciri.
There are a total of 6 stories in Sword of Destiny and they are loosely linked in chronological order; the first of which centres around a Dragon Hunt story line which introduces a few of the characters referenced and seen in The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings video game. The stories include The Bounds of Reason, A Shard of Ice, The Eternal Fire, A Little Sacrifice, The Sword of Destiny and Something More.
As I approached the end of this book, I began to understand the relationship between Geralt and Ciri more than ever before, expanding upon what you learn in the game The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, the connection that develops and is described makes the book a must read for all those Witcher fans out there.
Thanks to Orion Books for their support
[rprogress value=85 text=”TiX Score 85%”]
Published just a couple of days after award winning RPG; The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Sword of Destiny is available from all major bookshops and online retailers for the RRP of £16.99 (softback) or £8.99 in eBook format.