Ever since my friends boyfriend told me about the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt I have been obsessed with this world. I’ve even gone as far as watching games one and two played by someone else on YouTube. However, it wasn’t until I had told him this that he told me about the books and that, as a reader and a writer, I would be very interested in them. And how right he was!
A collection of stories in the world of Geralt the Witcher, introducing some of the most loved characters from this universe. A must-read for fans of the novels and games alike.
Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naivety.
In this collection of short stories, following the adventures of the hit collection The Last Wish, join Geralt as he battles monsters, demons and prejudices alike...
The anthology is composed of several stories, loosely linked in a chronological order:
The Bounds of Reason (Granica możliwości)
A Shard of Ice (Okruch lodu)
Eternal Flame (Wieczny ogień)
A Little Dedication (Trochę poświęcenia)
The Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia)
Something More (Coś więcej)
Sword of Destiny is the second book collection of short stories, featuring Geralt of Rivia. It was published after the original series and is classed as the second book in the series. If you have only ever played the games these books will give you a renewed love for the Witcher series and gives you some wonderful background and tales to go along with the saga. Sword of Destiny bridges the events between the end of The Last Wish (the first short story collection) and Blood of Elves (the first novel of the series), making it a must-read for fans of The Witcher.
The Bounds of Reason opens up this book with a Dragon Hunt. Geralt and Dandelion get together with a group to investigate the rumours of a rare golden dragon. Geralt, undoubtedly, has reservations about how true this rumour is and of course denies that there are any gold dragons left in the world. When they come across the creature they are met with more than a few surprises, and some of them are BIG! I also love that Yennefer is featured more in this book. I know a lot of people are team Triss bit Yen forever has my heart, as she does Geralt’s.
The second story A Shard of Ice centres around the romantic relationship between Geralt and Yennefer. I liked how it revealed more about both characters, how they are both flawed people with plenty of cracks and vulnerabilities in their defences. This also gave lovers of the series much needed background information about their time together and what they actually went through as lovers.
The next two books are Eternal Flame and A Little Sacrifice. Eternal Flame follows Geralt and Dendelion as they are up to their shenanigans again. They head back to the city to find that their friend has been replaced by a mischievous doppelganger. I loved seeing their friendship in all it’s glory. One thing I have always loved about the Witcher Series is it’s way of weaving in seemingly normal fairytales, and that’s exactly what A Little Sacrifice did. We get a twisted little take on The Little Mermaid where a duke and a mermaid fall in love and Geralt is hired as a translator to negotiate the terms of their relationship.
Then of course we come to the most crucial story, and the one the book is named after, The Sword of Destiny. This is where Geralt is tasked to meet with the Dryads and introduces him to Ciri, the lost princess of Cintra. She plays a huge role in the rest of the series, and Geralt’s first meeting with her is not to be missed. Of course, there are some other moment which forever change Geralt’s life.
There’s one more story left, and that’s Something More, aptly named because it is like an addition to the previous story. Geralt sustains a grievous injury after one of his harrowing battles, and he drifts in and out of consciousness. All the while during his recovery, flashing back to memories and regrets from the past. This last story is a very powerful and touching one, it will definitely captivate your Witcher heart.
Overall, Sword of Destining is a fantastic collection of tales and one that I could happily read again. I couldn’t have asked for better backstories for the characters and it certainly brings the entire series together!