Overview (No Spoilers):
Ok. I’ll admit that I may have been sulking after The Time of Contempt’s ending and purposely let more than four months elapse before finally picking up the next installment of the series. Having thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the series, I shouldn’t have let one bad egg keep me from continuing a story that had so piquing my interest. Can I blame it on the pregnancy hormones?
Well, with my pouting having run its course, or perhaps I was just out of available audiobooks (I’ll never tell), I finally started Baptism of Fire and ended up finishing this book in just a few days. It was so much fun being back in Sapkowski’s literary world of monsters, elves, sorcerers, and witchers. What made Baptism of Fire stand out was that it was a solid progression of Geralt’s mission to save Ciri with the formation of a team. So much of this series has been Geralt expresing a fervent desire to be a lone wolf, and stubborn Dandelion ever persistently sticking to him like glue. This novel takes Geralt out of his comfort zone as his crew grows despite his best efforts in the contrary. I would have to say Geralt’s frustrations grow proportionately with the reader’s level of amusement.
While it takes much of the book to unveil the full events that happened in the aftermath of Thanedd, we finally find out the fate of Yenifer, and discover how the sorcerers plan to rebound after the utter disaster of the conclave. There is much politicking and a few long winded speeches that the reader has to wade through, but these sections help set the stage for the remainder of the series. That said, there are many motivations that still lay obscured in the shadows that lay in wait to trip up the best laid plans. Overall, Baptism of Fire was a delightful rebound after the sour aftertaste left by Time of Contempt, with the stage now set for the last couple of books in the series.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Can Nilfgaard be defeated? What are the motivations of the Nilfgaard sorcerers? What are the motivations of the Elven sorcerers?
- Why does Cahir still pursue Ciri? Is he still loyal to Nilfgaard. He is quite adamant that he is not of Nilfgaard. How is he having dreams of Ciri?
- Will Milva join the group once she her baby has arrived?
- Why is death following Ciri? Will she prove to be a bad guy?
- Why did Regis join the group? Why would he do so? How did the priest know a vampire was in the wilderness?
- What will happen if Yennifer finds Vilgefortz?