I’m not sure if you have followed who the Witcher is, or for that matter who Andrejz Kapowski is . if you don’t know, and if you say you like fantasy – please allow me to introduce you to each other:
“Dear reader, this is mr Andrejz Kaposki, his main character Geralt – is the lead figure in his books of the Witcher – there is a really great computer game with the namesake in the main role. Don’t let any views you have – neither good nor bad, colour your idea of the Witcher – because the books are truly great. –
“Mr Sapowski, this is someone I hope will find the same joy in reading your books as I do, and be just as pissed that we have to wait for the continuation of “The Blood of Elves” …”
The worst thing with the Blood of Elves is that it is supposed to continue in another book, but there is no mention of the book and no site so far holds any information about when we can expect the next book. OK there is but I just found it when I searched for a good link for Sapkowski. There is a translation planned for this year. Yeah.
So lets get back to the Blood of Elves: the book takes part based on the short stories begun with the Last Wish in one story, Geralt gets a promised child which he brings to become a Witcher. This girl however possesses magic abilities and have seer powers, the child is also the cataclysm of a foretold war of great magnitude. So, needless to say – loads of people are looking for the child, Geralt and his friends are all trying to chip in, there their own peculiar ways. For those new to the Witcher, there are no real good or evil motives. There are more a sort of gray smear that seems to lead mostly from bad to worse. The world hold elves, dwarves, gnomes and some spectacular monsters. The elves and dwarves live in the human cities, but also in their own settlements. The humans have driven back mainly the elves hard and none humans are treated all as lesser. This is evident in the book since the scoitale – a band of renegade none humans plague the kingdoms that this story takes place in. The story is a bit like a big intro with the main ingredient being the small talk, the small actions from people. The ability to not take action and then the sudden passages of violence exploding. Sapkowski isn’t treating us a nice fantasy tale. It is grisly, it is based on European medieval fantasy. It is dark, grim and most people are the unhappy people that bad things occur to. The heroes are never totally lined in white but they all drags along a shadow that is long and dark. Monsters are sometimes more human then humans and so on.
In the Blood of Elves it feels like we are treated the basic board of what will happen and who the players are, and there are many players. To totally treat this book on its own isn’t easy since the book is as much a passage and a basic need to understand what will come (I hope) I have to say this:
Sapkowski is a pleasant journey a few strides off the general path of fantasy and the translator is doing a good job. This book however feels cut in twain though and I would have liked to see a bit more and a more explanatory end.