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Book Review – Season of Storms

Season_of_storms_cover_us_englishI had to get my library to order a copy of Season of Storms, by Andrzej Sapkowski, since no one else in our system had it. Which is why it took me so long to read it. Also, I’m bad a going through my to-read list.

Season of Storms is a prequel story set before the actual novels of the Witcher books. Now, as I said in my review for Blood of Elves, I didn’t necessarily love the format change from short stories to full on fantasy novels. The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny were more up my alley. In those books, Geralt actually does his Witcher-ing (Witchery?) and each story is able to work around a monster-of-the-week format. When Sapkowski started writing bigger stories, the Witcher became more politically-minded and a bit more generic fantasy. They were always great reads and I enjoyed my time in all of them, but I missed the blue collar working nature of the first short story collections.

Here comes Season of Storms to show there’s a wonderful middle ground. The main point of the book is that Geralt has lost his swords and is trying to hunt them down. All while starting another doomed relationship with another (also, doomed) sorceress, Coral. But, the standalone, prequel nature of this book does it great favors.

Because it’s stand alone, the story is more focused and contained then the sprawling novels started with Blood of Elves. There’s no cliffhanger or unsatisfying end that leads into the next book (that won’t actually ever reach any semblance of end until the last book). Instead, we get another glimpse into Geralt’s life, the day and the life of another kingdom and some sweet monster hunting.

Throughout the book, as Geralt continues to look for his swords, there are constant side quests (sorry for the video game lingo that makes a lot of sense, now that I say it). Geralt deals with monsters of all different varieties throughout, from lab-created weapons, to fox demons (also seen in the graphic novel collection), to coliseum fights. You don’t like the guy who pushes Geralt into the arena, but after so many books of political infighting and backstabbing, you sort of feel grateful to guy for getting some action back into the books.

I don’t know if Sapkowski plans on writing anymore books, either more prequels like this or the unlikely new sequel series. If he does, I hope they’re more in line with this style. Contained stories with a good amount of Witcher work throughout. It seems like such an obvious idea, which is probably why I’m not a famous writer. I’d take the easy way out. But, Season of Storms is my favorite Witcher book since the first. And, that last coda of the book, is actually a rather touching moment for Geralt and his story.

And, hey, now that I’ve finally finished the last of the Witcher books, I can finally allow the completest in me to play the games! Over on Twitch!

Shameless self-promotion ended.