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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2014
Baptism of Fire is the third full novel of the Witcher series, following on directly from Time Of Contempt and Blood Of Elves. For me it's highlight is the wonderful character interplay that Andrezj Sapkowski became renowned for when the novel was originally released in polish in the late 1990's. It is set in a world which is heating up with each novel over the series and in Baptism of Fire we really begin to see the saga of Geralt of Rivia unraveling. The translation is also good, if that can be believed. Be warned: minor spoilers below.

Continuing on Time Of Contempt, Geralt is severely wounded and with his eternal companion Dandelion in Brokilon forest. Ciri is somewhere in the Nilfgardian provinces, where Geralt is convinced she is in danger. Yennefer has gone missing, whilst the other sorceresses dabble in a secret political 'lodge' to forge the world in a way that they desire. Against all this the Empire of Nilfgaard has broken the truce made In 'Contempt and invaded the Northern Kingdoms again, this time in Brugge, south of Temeria. In short, there really is a lot to follow in the novel, and though the novel focuses primarily on Geralt and his desire to find Ciri the events of the world are in action, constantly driving on the plot, driving Sapkowski's complex characters further and further, towards Geralt;s literal 'baptism of fire' in the novels final pages.

Over the course of the novel, Geralt meets several entirely new characters, each as complex and wonderfully built as himself. Milva: a woman, secretly pregnant, escorting scoia'tael to the safety of Brokilon, Regis: a powerful higher vampire who has vowed not to drink blood & Cahir, the Nilfgaardian who isn't a Nilfgaardian continues to hound the Witcher from the previous novels: the three of them will stick with Geralt to the very end, not that it's easy getting to that point. Zoltan Chivay: a dwarf & the leader of a troupe fleeing the war joins with Geralt at least for this part of the company's journey too. The interplay between these characters are all wonderfully crafted, whatever the scene and by the end of the novel not just each individual character has come a long way but also the entire group itself.

The translation, completed by David French (who has experience with Sapkowski's work including the previous novel 'Time of Contempt'), is overall very good. Throughout the novel there are one or two small errors however; these are only small. Truthfully, I feel these errors could easily be down to an overlooked typo and are not outright translation issues, as has often been a gripe in the past for the translations of the Witcher saga in English. With this release, I hope David French has proven both to the fans of the series and to Gollancz that he is the right man to continue translating Sapkowski's work into English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2015
This volume of the "Witcher" series is less satisfying than the previous two. It has a very slow plot, with events being as confused and undirected as the characters' meandering travels. The writing (or perhaps the translation) is strangely unfocused. Some sort of list of characters would also have helped (there was none in the Kindle version anyway), or even a Tolkien-style map. Worst of all, we are now left in limbo waiting for further volumes to be translated -- unless you read Italian. The next book to be released would seem to be an unrelated set of short stories, and we are apparently still missing "volume 0" that started this plot-line. By the time all that is sorted out I will have forgotten what is going on. If you haven't started reading yet, my advice would be to wait until the publishing mess is resolved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2014
This is the best book in the series yet. Some new characters are introduced, one completely unexpected, all developed very well. We see more about the various sorceresses, who all fascinate me. Andrzej's writing seems to take wild detours. The writing style changes at least three times, each one for the full length of the chapter. It's a little bit jarring but doesn't detract from the excitement of the story. I regret reading it so fast because the next book, 'The Swallow's Tower' or 'The Tower of Swallows' (depending on translation) at the time of this review has not been officially translated yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2015
Difficult to write good enough review of this one. The saga as a whole is one of the masterpieces of the fantasy literature. I recommended it to everyone and even my wife - who is not a fan of fantasy and fairy-tales - loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
Second instalment of the best dark, gritty, fantasy series ever written. Every fan of magic, monsters, romance and blood should not hesitate to give them a read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2014
This is a successful continuation. I like the conversations of the characters. Well done, the story might be quicker to tell but this is beautifully embellished
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2014
Truly an in depth story that pulls you into the world of the witcher. Can not wait for the rest of the books to be translated and published in English!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2014
Already cannot wait for the next one, I couldn't put it down andrzej knows what to do, the ending is one of a kind
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on 10 March 2015
Hard to post a new spoiler review for a book but I'm guessing that anyone reading book 3 already knows the plot. Spakowski doesn't disappoint and my only problem is waiting for the next to be translated. Deserves to be much more popular than he is.
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on 3 July 2014
Enjoyed the third book much better than the second. Was contemplating not finishing the series but he brought me back into the witcher universe I first enjoyed with the first books in the series.
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