The Witcher is one of the most popular fantasy series of all time. The games have introduced the books to a new generation of readers, and the most recent novel has been translated into English. Season Of Storms sees Andrzej Sapkowski return to his most popular character. Set between the short story collection The Last Wish, the book involves Geralt of Rivia going on a new journey. Along the way, Geralt must contend with political intrigue and monsters of all shapes and forms if he hopes to survive.
The novel contains all the themes that fans of The Witcher have come to love. Geralt is forced to navigate a complicated political landscape in order to achieve his goal: recover his lost swords. Such a small matter is turned into a major plot point, with Geralt having to strike deals with duplicitous princes and sultry sorceresses to find what he’s looking for.
Early on, Geralt encounters a sorceress called Lytta Neyd. Hurting over his split with Yennefer of Vengerberg, Geralt finds comfort within Lytta’s embrace. This proves to be the first of many mistakes, which is a major theme of Season Of Storms. Geralt’s inability to learn puts him in a series of unfortunate situations. Yet the Witcher continues to persevere despite the odds that are stacked against him.
The book contains a plethora of memorable characters, such as a wizard conducting experiments into transhumanism. The wizard captures Geralt and plans to take his eyes, though Geralt overcomes his captor. The most engrossing part of the novel takes place when the Witcher is tasked with escorting a merchant ship through a swamp. Having stolen the daughter of a fox spirit, the merchants quickly find themselves in danger. The passage forms the bulk of a Witcher graphic novel called Fox Children, which I plan on reading as well.
I also enjoyed the parts of the book that featured Dandelion. The poet’s bumbling, impulsive approach to life was a hilarious counterpoint to Geralt’s stoic professionalism. Their roles were reversed, with Dandelion offering to help Geralt out of a bad situation.
There are some small niggles that stood out for me. Some sentences are repeated unnecessarily. I felt myself being taken out of the action sometimes. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the translation or if Sapkowski had written this way.
Overall, Season Of Storms is an excellent novel that’s sure to please fans of the series. Geralt retains the sarcastic gruffness that people came to love in the games. The book can be enjoyed as a stand alone tale, as there is no connection with other novels. Sapkowski’s imagination is to be admired.