i received a copy of blood of elves from hachette nz in exchange for an honest review.
which book do i read first?
so you watched the witcher on netflix and now you want to read the books? like me, did you do a bunch of research prior trying to decide if it was worth it?
well, i’m here to tell you that it is.
i was gifted a copy of blood of elves in exchange for an honest review, and i was about to go straight into it when i realised there were some prequel novellas that needed to be read first.
prior to reading blood of elves, i read the last wish and the sword of destiny. from what i could tell, these two books are what comprises season one of the witcher. blood of elves and the start of time of contempt make up season two (i could be mistaken, as i haven’t read time of contempt yet, but that’s what i read elsewhere). there is also season of storms, which i haven’t read yet, and which is placed between the last wish and the sword of destiny.
the reading order goes like this:
- the last wish (#0.5)
- the season of storms (#0.6)
- the sword of destiny (#0.7)
- blood of elves (#1)
- time of contempt (#2)
- baptism of fire (#3)
- the tower of swallow (#4)
- lady of the lake (#5)
while the season of storms is technically #0.6, it was published recently (2013). if you’re wanting to read in publishing order, i would recommend reading this book last.
the last wish & the sword of destiny thoughts
the last wish
the sword of destiny
prior to reading the blood of elves, i smashed out the last wish and the sword of destiny in one day. i didn’t read the season of storms as it was published much later and i figured it wouldn’t hinder my reading of the first full length book.
i didn’t actually like the last wish. i found it dreadfully boring (and almost DNFed it!), but i stuck with it as i was determined to catch up in time for season two of the witcher.
the sword of destiny was much better. the characters were more enjoyable and the writing itself had improved immensely.
blood of elves review
now, for the blood of elves. this book was on a whole other level to the two novellas i read. i felt the writing had improved yet again (which gives me hope that time of contempt would be much better still!).
i really enjoyed reading about ciri’s story as she trained kaer morhen under triss and yennefer. i felt she had grown so much, along with her relationships with the two women. i enjoyed that through these scenes we got to learn more about the magic system, as the two prequels felt like i was being thrown in at the deep end.
i felt this book gave more attention to yennefer (in a good way) compared to the others. where i found the novellas didn’t give much insight to the characters thoughts and feelings, this novel did that. yennefer went from this random character that appeared a few times to someone i loved and adored. (although the same could be said for dandelion/jaskier)
i like how this book really delved into these characters and showed how their relationships had progressed. my favourites being dandelion and geralt; and yennefer, ciri and geralt.
i disliked the constant dialogue. i know some people might enjoy this, but i felt it made it difficult to actually learn through worldbuilding. i’m unsure if this is a cultural thing (i know different cultures have different ways of writing books/things the reader expects), or a time thing (seeing as it was written in the 90’s, and i don’t read a lot of older books). while i did dislike it, i didn’t think it was the end of the world.
overall, i really enjoyed the book. i found it better than the two previous ones, and certainly better than season two of the witcher. i really am looking forward to reading the time of comtempt!
blood of elves in comparison to the witcher tv show
having since watched season two of the witcher, i was really disappointed with how they handled a lot of things, namely yennefer’s training of ciri (or lack thereof) and dandelion’s friendship with geralt (again, the lacking aspect).
while season one did a good job at portraying geralt and dandelion’s friendship, season two completely missed it. i loved the tv show as a whole, there was so much stuff missing that i would’ve loved to see.
i haven’t played the video games (nor do i plan to — i’m not much of a gamer), i can’t comment on the comparison between these.