Title: Time of Contempt
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
In short: A fantasy that shines when there is action, but dulls when the characters talk too much,
This is a difficult book to review. Some parts of it were excellent. Some parts of it were terrible. Much like Blood of Elves this book reads more like a set of short stories than an actual full-length narrative. The idea started to grow on me in this book, but more often than not the format is jarring and makes it hard to follow the plot.
The first chapter follows the perspective of a new character. I don’t remember the characters name because I didn’t think it was important – but I think Geralt showed up at some stage.
But the reason this book was hard to follow was mainly because of all the politics and the back stabbing. I’ve played The Witcher 3 twice now on PS4 and I’m still confused about all the Kings, Queens and kingdoms and who is on whose side. Reading the first four books has not helped me understand this any better either. Also: when the book turns too heavily to political banter my eyes tend to glaze over a little bit.
But man oh man are there some intense action scenes in this book. Magic, sword fighting. The sort of stuff you would expect from a fantasy novel. I devoured these scenes and they reminded me why I absolutely love this world (even when it is confusing).
However, my absolute favorite chapters in this book were the last two chapters, both which feature Ciri. I loved how significantly she grows as a character in this book. I cannot wait to see how her character develops further in the following books.
I feel I should also mention the little snippets the author includes at the start of each chapter. They’re all quotes by authors from The Witcher universe which allude to what will happen next in the story. I really enjoyed this touch and I thought it was used well in Time of Contempt.
I’m rating this book 3/5 stars.