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~FREE ⚓ Chrzest ognia ☢ The Wizards Guild Has Been Shattered By A Coup And, In The Uproar, Geralt Was Seriously Injured The Witcher Is Supposed To Be A Guardian Of The Innocent, A Protector Of Those In Need, A Defender Against Powerful And Dangerous Monsters That Prey On Men In Dark Times But Now That Dark Times Have Fallen Upon The World, Geralt Is Helpless Until He Has Recovered From His Injuries While War Rages Across All Of The Lands, The Future Of Magic Is Under Threat And Those Sorcerers Who Survive Are Determined To Protect It It S An Impossible Situation In Which To Find One Girl Ciri, The Heiress To The Throne Of Cintra, Has Vanished Until A Rumor Places Her In The Niflgaard Court, Preparing To Marry The Emperor Injured Or Not, Geralt Has A Rescue Mission On His Hands The Witcher Returns In This Action Packed Sequel To The Time Of Contempt As usual, Andrzej Sapkowski continues to immerse the reader in the vast world of The Witcher series Baptism of Fire is grittier than the previous entries, but despite the grim darkness of the world it presents, it is nonetheless charming and funny and is, in another sense, a celebration of good companionship There is a lot of time spent with Geralt and his newly acquired fellowship, which I think was a good decision The new characters mainly Regis, Milva, Zoltan and Cahir are wonderful additions My personal favorite is Regis, the teetotaler vampire because he, than any other character in the series to date, best exemplifies Sapkowski s quirky humor The quest for Ciri takes Geralt and his companions across a desolate landscape of massacre, pillage and displacement occasionally pausing to vanquish marauders, protect women and children, deal with greedy peasants, escape from captivity, discuss herb lore, philosophize about various topics, or debunk legends with mathematical proofs The characters involved are all deep and interesting, but they spend most of the novel aimlessly wandering about or conversing It doesn t necessarily drive the plot forward on the grand arc of Ciri and Geralt s destiny, but it does have a lot of action, and a lot of enjoyable, snappy dialogue As I was quite entertained, I nevertheless found that we were given too little of Ciri and Yennefer who, I think, is just as interesting and compelling a character as Geralt The small taste we do get serves as a reminder any scene she is involved in is pure gold The novel felt poorer for the lack of Geralt Yennefer interaction.If you were interested in finding out about the intricate web of politics and sorcery going on in this world, this entry might be kind of disappointing for you The political conflict rarely happens around Geralt, Ciri and the others, though it frequently threatens to envelop them There are a few passages mostly involving Redanian spymaster, Dijkstra or the sorceress, Philippa Eilhart that do speak of the grand conflict But the bulk of action, whether following Geralt or Ciri, focus on small vignettes, and are constructed out of Sapkowski s sophisticated, elliptical dialogue The war is treated in this manner as well as the central conflict between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms doesn t matter Beyond the death and destruction it creates, there is little appreciable difference among the belligerents, and the interest of both parties are remote from those of nearly everyone else While perhaps not as exceptional in the manner of its immediate predecessor, Baptism of Fire nevertheless solidifies The Witcher series as one of the best and most interesting fantasy series I ve ever read Though it functions well as an adventure fiction, it has added depth and value as satire and commentary on fantasy literature Moreover, Andrzej Sapkowski is a genuine stylist His prose is supremely clever hiding texts and subtexts in the most innocuous of places and uniquely playful. My adventure with The Witcher novels continues at a breakneck pace as, like the previous books, I devoured this story in two days This series has shown moments of utter brilliance but with certain plodding and info dumping sections, it s never quite ascended to the heights that it truly could have Until now So far this is the finest entry and it features everything I love from this series Following the finale of Time of Contempt Geralt is badly injured and was transported to Brokilon forest by the enchantress Triss Under the watchful eyes of the Dryads he is slowly regaining his health As soon as he feels anywhere near healthy enough he plans to rescue Ciri who everyone believes is in Nilfgaard The truth is that Ciri has actually taken on the guise of a bandit with the pseudonym Falka operating in a Robin Hood style posse She s become quite a celebrity amongst the common folk but her temper and blade prowess have become legendary in a short space of time As well as series favourites Geralt, Ciri and Dandelion we are introduced to a plethora of new characters here that are some of thegreatest of Sapkowski s creations thus far Milva the forest dwelling archer and Regis a barber surgeon are two of the finest even though those descriptions give nothing away regarding what to expect from them in this narrative Unlike the last two books which have had a large amount of different point of view perspectives eighty percent of this novel is following the Witcher on his mission to rescue Ciri For the first time in these tales, which normally see Geralt on his own or with one companion completing missions, here, a fellowship brotherhood is created with a very varied cast of players Geralt is initially uninclined to let anyone share his burden but comradeship does succeed towards the finale The conversation and banter between the members of this ensemble is excellently crafted as many of the characters are so different Although his closest friend, Geralt, and Dandelion could not possibly be any different and I often chuckled at their oddness reflected in their exchanges The other sections that we follow are what is happening to Ciri at the other end of the world We also see a few scenes from the viewpoint of certain enchantresses who seem to have a scheme under development A few moments feature Dijkstra who is the head of Redania s secret service The war is raging all over the world, mainly Nilgaardians verses everyone else but in politics, things are never that simple, and with all the names of factions, King s and noble houses I still occasionally get confused about who is fighting who, however that actually suits the vibe in this book As the fellowship are on their journey they come across many battles, fights, and skirmishes and Sapkowski s skillful writing accentuates the confusion and unpredictability of war but also heightens the fact that the brotherhood are so isolated in trying to achieve their objective There are so many standout moments and set pieces, character development is sublime, and relationships that are frosty at best transcend any predicted outcome as the Brotherhood fight for their life and for Ciri This series is finally reaching the lofty heights that it has always hinted at and I can t wait to start The Tower of the Swallow straight away This entry is exceptional and as well as the finest story in The Witcher saga it is also probably in my top 20 books of all time. This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads.We come to book three of the Witcher series, or book five if you re counting the first two collections of short stories Whichever way you want to look at it, Baptism of Fire is the same dull book as it would be in any order.The series continues with Geralt the Witcher searching the land for the Child Surprise, Ciri The war rages on around them and it seems every faction is on the look out for Ciri, too But Geralt is injured and the sorcerers are in disarray, whilst the enemy approaches ever closerLet s first of all take a little look at the title of the series Witcher One would hope that this meant that the book would be about Geralt, who isTHEWitcher, and of course, it is about him In a roundabout way But unfortunately, it is about him in the sense that today is about you There s barely any Witcher ing going on a Witcher being someone who is paid to kill monsters and the only Witcher y things that happen are the countless pirouettes that occur during a sword fight.Taking the characters as a whole, they re all still similar, juvenile and can t speak for toffee Their dialogue has stopped being all about whores and sluts, and yet it is still the speak of simpletons We get endless conversations that should be propelling the plot along but ends up being mindless drivel The characters themselves don t notice this, nor do they seemingly notice anything else that s happening around them When we focus on a certain character, the rest of the world just stops or so it seems.I feel I can t comment on the writing, not only because it s a translation though I know a translation can only work with what it s given but because I think the version I read was a fan generated ebook of terrible writing and horrible grammar Having said that, you cannot make good what was already poor to begin with or indeed, you can t polish a turd.Going back to the plot, it is dry and underdone We only really have one plot thread running throughout, and that is Ciri Whilst we are now getting POV from many different characters and we are encountering the different races and peoples that inhabit this Witcher world, we are still not getting much in the way of plot There are minor conspiracies dashed about, but ultimately all it boils down to is Geralt s need to find Ciri And even once we know that, we don t even know why There are countless times when we are told of prophecies and plans, but nothing substantial stands out It s mostly conjecture and it s as if the author didn t necessarily have much of a plot in mind from the beginning anyway.My main consternation for this series, however, is the true lack of originality and imagination We have here just a generic, every day kind of fantasy novel Which you could say is fine, because if fantasy is what you like, then this ll be right up your street if you re not looking for anything challenging or something that is truly breath taking and different.But when you consider what Sapkowski wrote in The Last Wish you d be easily forgiven for hoping that these books might be better The Last Wish intertwined fairytale re tellings with political intrigue and we had a great and original character in Geralt the Witcher But with these books we have none of that We simply have flat storytelling, pointless plots and some very lacking characters. The symbolic Baptism of Fire is repeated throughout the story, as beliefs are challenged, paths reforged and it becomes certain that through the fire one must trek if he wishes to be born anew, like a phoenix rising from the ashes There were so many delightful parts of this story, clever and witty moments that made me laugh out loud, as well as emotionally gripping instances that touched my heart in ways that will surely linger long after the entire story is finished Now I move swiftly into The Tower of the Swallow, and with only two books left in the series I can already feel my heart growing heavy These books have resonated with me in the most beautiful way, and will long be etched high atop the list of stories that touched my life and my heart Sapkowski is a brilliant storyteller, and his wit is not lost in translation He crafts rich characters, thrusts them into the darkest and most terrifying of situations and still manages to lighten the mood with a few laughs now and again.Five of five stars without hesitation, if you have not read these books I highly recommend them if you can find them. 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum the last two months, I ve been working my way through all the available Witcher Saga novels in audiobook format The series is surprisingly addictive, so much so that it feels like I was just listening to the first book Blood of Elves yesterday And now that I ve come to the end of book three, I find myself a bit lost and drifting After all, the print version of the next book The Swallow s Tower hasn t even been translated in English yet, with the release date planned for 2016 So yep, unless I learn Polish in the next year highly unlikely , it s going to be a looooong wait.The fact that Baptism of Fire was perhaps my favorite book in the series so far isn t helping my patience either At first, I wasn t sure that I liked where the story was going This installment feels different from the others, shifting to a traditional quest narrative while downplaying the political intrigue We start the book off with an introduction to a new character, an expert archer and hunter named Milva She meets Geralt in the forest, finding him badly injured from the events of the Thanedd coup However, the Witcher only has his mind on recovering so that he can continue on to Nilfgaard to find Ciri, the young princess turned sorceress whom unbeknownst to everyone has settled into a life with a gang of rebels.Despite his misgivings, Geralt gives in to Milva s request to tag along They are accompanied by Dandelion, the poet And on their way, they also meet a dwarf named Zoltan Further along their journey, they join up with a Nilggaardian named Cahir Eventually, the party even gets a vampire named Regis Far from the monster the group expected him to be, Regis actually proves quite invaluable thanks to his medical knowledge and skills.I know what you re thinking Geralt and his fellow adventurers sound like they stepped straight out of a role playing game You even have your different races and classes Not that I don t enjoy this particular classic trope, but for a series that has thus far been all about the complexity and plot depth, I was surprised because this seemed like a step back And indeed, I felt that the story in Baptism of Fire was much simpler when compared to the other books, and not a lot happened at the beginning while Sapkowski worked to introduce all the new faces and names I also noticed a lot less of characters like Ciri, Yennefer, and Triss Merigold, given that most of the attention was on Geralt and his group Don t get me wrong I always want Geralt, but I can t deny I was expecting Ciri, especially in light of her prominent role in The Time of Contempt.Around the halfway through the book though, something happened Maybe the story finds its stride at this point, or maybe I finally got to appreciate the personalities of all the different characters, but I started really enjoying myself Our adventurers make their way east, eventually running afoul of trouble caused by the ongoing war Battling enemies and working together towards a singular goal that s my favorite part of these kinds of stories, after all The dynamics between everyone in the group started to get a lot interesting too, with Regis emerging as one of my favorites Dandelion was a riot as always, and I got such a kick out of his conversations with the old vampire Near the end, there was also a very good example of how far the characters have come as a group, when everyone got together to discuss what to do about a situation that would affect one of their members A ragtag bunch of strangers become a family of sorts, which is what I love to see.Something else to keep in mind the original Baptism of Fire was published in 1996 And for a story that s almost twenty years old, I think it has aged exceedingly well Classic quest narrative or not, it still feels fresh, probably a testament to Sapkowski s storytelling as well as the skills of the translator.And don t dismiss the audiobook and what it brings to the table I maintain this is the best format to experience The Witcher Saga Peter Kenny once again proves what a versatile narrator he is, delivering a superb performance as always In fact, I feel this is probably his best work on this series so far Kenny really knocked it out of the park, bringing the whole gang to life in this one, giving each group member a unique voice He was absolutely fantastic.So now I settle in for the wait Heck, it may be even longer for the audio version But it doesn t matter something tells me it will be worth it. Terminar un libro de Geralt de Rivia para coger otro libro de Geralt de Rivia Esa es mi actual vida Andamos con nuestro querido brujo y su querido juglar, con una Ciri cuya vida ha cambiado totalmente, con un consejo secreto de hechiceras los caminos est n llenos de cuerpos, sangre, guerra, cosas feas, y, si fuera George Martin, supongo que tambi n dragones Pero es Andrzej Sapkowski Es verdad que esta saga se ha ido focalizando mucho m s a la parte de la historia Ciri Geralt, pero eso no quita que, de vez en cuando, el cometido del brujo de liberar al mundo de malas criaturas vuelva a aparecer Eso s , ahora lo har con m s detenimiento, con criaturas que te van a hacer pensar si realmente es justo acabar con ellas Y seguimos con Geralt en el siguiente libro de esta saga D Netflix is making a TV series adaptation of these books and I am HYPED I highly, highly recommend reading the series, starting with The Last Wish, which is a short story anthology introducing the world and characters Two of the books in this series have been some of my most enjoyed reads, and have made it onto my rather sparsely populated favourites list This review doesn t really contain spoilers, but you probably won t want to read it if you haven t read the books Baptism of Fire is the fifth book in The Witcher series, chronicling Geralt s journey to Nilfgaard to retrieve Ciri If one were to take the entire series and consider it as one giant epic fantasy book, this would be the filler section Think Arya s chapters in A Storm of Swords where she wanders for 100 pages It works for some readers, and not for others.Geralt is moody and stubborn than usual in this one I think I have to say that Geralt may even by boring, and the reason these books are so good is in owing to the rest of the cast of characters I was excited to have Geralt as the main character again, but I think Ciri is just interesting when it comes down to it She was only in this one in a few dream sequences, and Yennefer, while she had good scenes, didn t have very many.Even with the generic fantasy storyline of this installment, Sapkowski still writes supporting characters like few others can Geralt bands up with Milva, a half Dryad and an excellent archer She doesn t offer too much in terms of plot, but is a good addition to the story with her personality Milva lacks some of the fire in Sapkowski s other female characters, but she is still reasonably badass She has some really good one liners directed at Dandelion that I found humorous Geralt also encounters a group of dwarves who, while entertaining, weren t overly interesting to me Zoltan was funny though, and some of the conversations were witty, but a lot of them seemed inconsequential My favourite addition was probably Regis No spoilers, but it was nice to have a folklore vibe in this novel, which has been missing from the previous two The main shortfall ofThe Time of Contemptis that the plot just falls flat Not enough happens, especially when considering how much action and how many punches to the emotional gut Spakowksi managed to fit into the previous two novels The other books in the series made me laugh, cry, and want to throw something out of sadness frustration rage, but this one doesn t do that That said, it still holds up against other books in the genre I d love to see some actual witching witchering at some point though. 4.5 StarsNot only this is my favorite Witcher book, but this might just be my favorite fantasy book where hardly anything happens to further the plot.Okay, I am not even sure that is a classifiable category, but I am going to roll with itMild spoilers ahead and major spoilers are made invisible by magic view spoiler Seriously, this is not coding hide spoiler It is a sad experience when your favourite book lets you down The Witcher, spawner of books and 3 hugely popular games fails to create the charm it held in the previous books of the series Plot The biggest let down of the book, the plot of Baptism of Fire is simply non existent The story is about Geralt setting out to find Ciri but the story gets lost midway In the whole book, nothing really happens The witcher mopes, grunts and travels and yet reaches nowhere There is no ending or a twist or pretty much anything else Characters Geralt of Rivia who does not belong to Rivia, one of my favourite characters does nothing in this book This is a defeated witcher He is helpless and desperate and manages to go through the plot without bothering to improve it in any manner His interactions with some other characters is entertaining at some points but those points are far too few in between As to the other characters, We meet Zoltan who is probably the liveliest character in the book and that list includes Dandelion Narration The narration for the most part fails because it does not have much to say You can only say so much about travelling from no particular place to reach no particular place The author manages to squeeze in a few good scenes and pick up speed but with so little to do, the pace does not make much of a difference Hopefully the next translated book will be far better in comparison.