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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 September 2017
Baptism of Fire is the third book to the Witcher Saga by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. These books form an ongoing fantasy story, they are not stand alone so if you are new to the series this is not the book to start with. I highly recommend reading them in this order with the two short story collections first which originally written for magazines before starting the saga:

1 - The Last Wish
2 - Sword of Destiny
3 - Blood of Elves (The Witcher Book 1)
4 - Time of Contempt (The Witcher Book 2)

Onto the actual review. The previous books have mostly focused on Ciri so far but this all changes in Baptism of Fire spending most of the time focusing on Geralt, what happened to him since the events at the Tower of Gulls and his continuing journey to find and rescue Ciri. The book has some great moments and a colourful cast of characters Geralt slowly draws to himself who want to help him rescue Ciri for a variety of reasons. I especially like Zoltan and Regis who are both quite unique and often entertaining to read whenever around. The book is pretty well paced with a nice mixture of character and world building but also plenty of action scenes which were exciting and well thought out in most cases. Despite enjoying both the cast and the continuing political background of the book I must admit this is my least favorite of the series so far. Plot wise it kind of meanders and outside of introducing more characters for Geralt to add to his merry rescue band doesn't really go anywhere, it lacks a lot of focus but I'm hoping this is just building towards bigger events in the next two books.

In summary Baptism of Fire is a good read, if you've enjoyed the previous novels I'm sure you will like this one. As a fan of the games made from the books it's great to see the introduction of certain characters from them and see their origin stories of meeting Geralt. Looking forward to reading the last two books of the series.

+ Introduction of some great characters, especially Regis and Zoltan.
+ Excellent political and lore world building.
+ Some great fights and action scenes.

- The narrative sort of meanders, the plot needs more focus.
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on 27 March 2017
I love the other books, but this one didn't do it for me. It felt like it was being dragged out, and I personally feel like there wasn't enough Ciri - who was clearly having a far more important and enjoyable adventure than Geralt and Co..

I felt it could've had more progress. The entire book is the tale of Geralt trecking the world to get to Nilfgaard - sure, with interesting interactions, but compared to the other books it didn't feel like anything happened.

I may change my mind, judging on the rest of the books.
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on 19 January 2017
I've always loved reading, especially Fantasy/SciFi stories. I also like playing video games that tell such stories, like Skyrim, DragonAge, MassEffect and Witcher. I played 'The Witcher 3' video game recently, so I thought I'd read some Witcher backstory, spotted the Witcher books at a very reasonable price, bought books 1-3 for my kindle and started reading.

Just finished book 3, having read books 1 and 2 over the past couple of weeks, so here's my impressions .......

Try to read the books in sequence. It sounds a bit obvious, but if you see Book 2' alone in a sale don't skip Book 1. These books are very much one story, split over several books, not several different stories about the same character.

Its quite slow reading. The books are about The Witcher, yes, but he is just one character in the story and the books are very much about the overall story not just The Witcher's story. In that sense, it feels like Frodo in 'The Lord of the Rings', its the companions, the place, the journey ...... not just Frodo's story. The book contains lots of exposition - by many characters - of the story world's races, conflicts, politics. This all provides interesting backstory to the Witcher games - so its what I was looking for - but be prepared for long sections where characters talk at length about whats happened, happening and planned in the wider world's backdrop.

I'm replaying the Witcher 3 video game alongside reading the books and because of that the game's setting and story make much more sense this time around.

The book is translated from its original Polish, which may be why it feels a bit stilted in places .- though arguably no more stilted than the original English of, for example, Howard's Conan stories or Lovecrafts's Cthulhu stories. Translation of novels is notoriously difficult so no surprises or complaints, but know what to expect.

Books 1 and 2 had some obvious format/typo errors. I noticed hardly any any in book 3, so either they're getting better at proofing, or I'm getting used to the errors and better at ignoring them.

I also found books 1 and 2 ended a bit abruptly for my liking, but book 3 ends at what feels like more of a 'natural break'.

I haven't bought book 4 yet (I assumed it was a trilogy, duh) - and the sale is over - but as soon as the next sale comes around, I'll be buying it.

So, overall, worthwhile as Witcher backstory - or, more generally, as an 'epic journey' tale of relatively vulnerable characters moving against a large multinational fantasy world backdrop.
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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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on 11 March 2017
If it wasn't for the games and the first two books, I wouldn't be reading this. I love the games, I loved the first two books. But afterwards it just got boring. Maybe it didn't translate too well from Polish, but then like I said the first two books were really good. I'm going to keep reading because I want to know what happens, but again, if not for the games I wouldn't care. I've read books far more boring than this, and it has its moments.
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on 2 July 2016
I rate this saga as Highly as I rate, A Song of Ice and Fire. The Witcher books are full of horror fairy tails, racial tensions, war and strife torn countries, the Witcher finds himself time and again with influence that he shouldn't, as Witchers by nature are indifferent and neutral to all around them. This is also one of the greatest romances written in modern times, that divulges every part of a relationship between two lovers.

I you read this series read from the start
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on 18 January 2017
This book is amazing. Actually the entire witcher series is. The translation was good nowhere near to original but still enjoyable. I felt in love with all characters from Gerald hansa(I was already in love with Gerald:). The story of Ciri is gettin more and more tragic. Her legacy and destiny is full of pain and torment. Also the description of war and politics is brilliant. Highly recommended not only for readers of fantasy!
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on 17 February 2017
These books are just fantastic. If, like me, you enjoyed the games - and want to learn more about this exciting universe - pick up the books and give them a go! This story continues Geralts search for Ciri, we're introduced to new memorable characters, exciting new plot lines and the fantastic character driven story we're used to reading with this series.
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on 16 November 2016
Brilliant entry into the Witcher Saga. Without going into detail; this novel really focuses on Geralt's companionships with various characters he comes across with an ending that will leave you satisfied:)
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on 2 January 2018
Each chapter encapsulated the stories in greater depth and still keeps relevant to the topic of the book of “Baptism of Fire”. The book further explores the story of Gerald and Ciri and unravels several plots peppered in the latter chapters.
Amazing read, I’ll be currently moving on to read the next book in this extensive, intricate and joyous series.
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