Overview (No Spoilers):
I came to the conclusion half way through Season of Storms that Sapkowski should have more aptly names this novel “Geralt Repeated Ass Kicking”. Sapkowski packed in a whole series worth of misfortunes for our poor Witcher in Season of Storms where the poor guy just couldn’t catch a break. If I’d started the series with this novel, I’m not sure I would have continued with the next installment based on Geralt’s poor luck. That being said, having already become enamored of this literary realm, I still generally enjoyed the various predicaments that ensued, especially when coupled with the now familiar dialogue and mannerisms. In general, Season of Storms significantly expanded upon the worldbuilding already established by preceding novels, without progressing the overall story. We meet new, intriguing characters, learned more regarding the politics of the sorcerers, and Geralt traveled far and wide on his excursions.
This was the first novel of the Witcher series that followed a chronological order, whereas the predecessors have large jumps in time, fast forwarding to Geralt’s next adventure. This structure change served to help the flow of the story but also was a deviation from the expected formatting.
As an aside, both the TV show and one of the previous books pivot upon the Law of Surprise. While much of Sapkowski’s stories are retold fairytales I’d assumed that the Law of Surprise was a novel concept concocted by Sapkowski. I shouldn’t have been caught off guard when I read about an old, mainly forgotten German fairy tale about a knight cursed to turn into a hedgehog/man creature who saves an king and is awarded a Law of Surprise. It now makes me question so many of Geralt’s adventures that I couldn’t link with a fairytale. Are any of them truly crafted by Sapkowski’s imagination or are they all at their backbone a legend?
Overall, Season of Storms builds exponentially upon the foundation established by earlier novels in The Witcher series, further evolving a realm that had already captured our imaginations.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
What was going on in the epilogue? It takes place over 105 years in the future? And now Geralt can erase memories? What happened to Dandilion? What happened to Ciri? Will we meet this Nimue again?