Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

details
Title: Sword of Destiny.
Series: The Witcher #0.7.
Writer(s): Andrzej Sapkowski.
Translator(s): David French.
Publisher: Orbit.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: December 6th, 2022.
Original Release Date: January 31st, 1993.
Pages: 416.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13: 9780316453264.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Previously in The Witcher series:
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski.

thoughts

For some hunters and slayers, it is easy to bring down creatures through knowledge, magic, and power. Toss in some life-threatening experiences, and notable near-death close-quarter encounters and one will effortlessly reach the top of the food chain. However, even these veterans of chaos and mayhem are vulnerable to challenges that life tosses at them in the form of love and sacrifice. In the face of such trials, even the coldest of hearts and the blindest of warriors will have to look deep within, in search of their inner humanity to try and figure out life’s biggest mysteries, especially once destiny gets involved. Collected in another stunning illustrated hardcover, the second volume in Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher franchise continues its exploration of this gruesome and grim world brimming with terrifying creatures and unforeseeable surprises.

What is Sword of Destiny about? This collection of short stories follows Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, as he continues his journey around the world, looking for jobs to fulfill, rewarding jobs that will allow him and his unique way with magic to slay multifarious monsters that ravage the land and intentionally harm the innocent. Often tagging along is his trusted yet chatty troubadour Dandelion but his journey now brings him to acquaint with crucial figures that further forge his heart’s strongest desires and his ultimate destiny, from the gentle Miss Essi Daven to the mystifying princess Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon. While prophecy can be heard and discovered at any moment in one’s life, escaping it is futile. For this Witcher, it is through trial and error that he will learn a valuable lesson about destiny’s grasp over one’s life.

“What is truth? The negation of lies? Or the statement of a fact? And if the fact is a life, what then is the truth?”

Andrzej Sapkowski

Unlike the previous collection of stories, this book does not contain any transition chapters called The Voice of Reason and instead contains six stories that occur in a somewhat chronological order. With several reoccurring characters, such as Dandelion and Yennifer, some of these stories also introduce quintessential characters to the life of the Witcher, including the female minstrel Essi “Little Eye” Daven and a girl named Ciri. Each story also features a different threat, where Geralt is called upon to help rid of it, but not all stories focus on said creatures as writer Andrzej Sapkowski aptly and subtly divulges complex relationships that already exist or lays out the foundation for new ones to be developed in future adventures. It is through these stories that he wonderfully and effortlessly takes the time to confront Geralt with existential questions about the nature of a Witcher, his willpower in matters of destiny, and his approach to envisioning a life that he alone may deem worthy to carry on.

Although Geralt remains the protagonist of all these quests, and it is best to conceive each of these stories as side-missions to a larger adventure he’s likely to partake in upcoming installments, writer Andrzej Sapkowski also does a brilliant job in giving readers a glimpse into the minds of his secondary characters and their own individual plights alongside the Witcher. While there are plenty of intriguing relationship threads to reflect on, these stories still contain exciting action sequences and enthralling monsters that come and go in the life of the Witcher. It is even more compelling to see how Geralt shares his knowledge of this lively ecosystem brimming with dragons, zeugls, dopplers, mermaids, and dryads. With this second collection, the world of the Witcher grows and shines with potential, and surely more exciting adventures that are puppeteered by the hands of destiny are to come.

Sword of Destiny is another immersive, engaging, and riveting collection of stories within the Witcher’s expansive world that introduces key characters and explores questions of good and evil, love and sacrifice, and choice and destiny.


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19 thoughts on “Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

    1. First, you need to learn Polish to truly appreciate it 😉 Seriously though, you can just read the short stories, there’s no need to follow this up with the novels if you don’t want to.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I was debating whether I should start this book series or not just the other day and still haven’t made up my minde, but surely your review makes it seem worth it! Maybe one day… 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved how this book slowly grew and better developed the characters and mythos of the world. It just further reinforced how perfect this world is for me and my tastes. I’m very hopeful the rest of the series will continue to satisfy, and I look forward to finding out. Very glad you’re also enjoying it so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m very happy you loved it, Lashaan! The short stories are my favorites in the world of Witcher, the saga is not as good though it has its moments of greatness – the ending sucks big time, though, with Sapkowski seemingly wanting to get rid of his characters asap ;). Still, these short stories are a marvel!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How did I miss you were also reading the Witcher???? We are currently awaiting a start date for . If you want and if you use Goodreads I can add you too our read along group… Its not too active on there but we have a small gathering of Jenn, Milou, Spalanz and I.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I want to get through the whole series at some point and I thought I would at the beginning of 2023 but I ended up on a whole other binge of books so I’m not sure when I’ll get back to the Witcher world and finally read the 3rd book. It would’ve been fun to read them with you guys though! How come Salty isn’t among y’all though?! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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