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Baptism of Fire (The Witcher) by Andrzej…

Baptism of Fire (The Witcher) (original 1996; edition 2014)

by Andrzej Sapkowski (Author), David French (Translator)

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657822,520 (4.1)2
Title:Baptism of Fire (The Witcher)
Authors:Andrzej Sapkowski (Author)
Other authors:David French (Translator)
Info:Orbit (2014), 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, eb

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Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski (1996)



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English (6)  Polish (1)  German (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
After Geralt took one hell of a beating at the end of Time of Contempt, this book begins with him in recovery and anxious to continue his journey of finding Ciri while at the same time running a personal crusade against those who kidnapped her.

What I find most interesting is how Andrzej Sapkowski can write this book in such a charming and immersed way that we do not even want to care about the obvious fact that the story in its 343 pages has hardly progressed. If the author were not a good writer and the reader a fan of the saga, it would probably not be a good thing. But even if the reader is not a fan, there is much to digest here. Let's look at these two points:

- The descriptive language is brilliantly detailed. We feel like we're in the place and in the middle of the action and sometimes we have a page or two of it just before a remarkable event or a memorable conversation between the characters;

- The characters are also familiar and the new ones presented to us deserve the same characterization treatment. Depth, profound, with interesting personality traits to analyze and know more about;

This is just a big part of the book. The other ()and much of it) is dialogue. Philosophical conversations about war, the effects on humanity, monsters, moral values, their impact on political histories and situations in the Witcher world probably make eighty percent of the ink on these pages. The only "meh" would say that where there is combat, at least in this book, Sapkowski may not be the best, but he can get the message across. With all that world building, you can leave much to the imagination.

The people and monsters around Geralt are really what give life to his own and history. Because Geralt himself is the lone wolf. Probably the most boring (and with most lovers) man I know in fantasy, but it seems like the strong and silent type, at least here, works.

It's an excellent book and continuation. My favorite of the saga to date, and I will continue as soon as I can. I strongly recommend.
( )
  Igor_Veloso | May 12, 2019 |
I continue to enjoy the writing and the characters, and their adventures. I loved when Sapkowski made fun of vampire lore, it harked back to [b:The Last Wish|40603587|The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1)|Andrzej Sapkowski|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1529591917s/40603587.jpg|2293675], in which Geralt hunted monsters and mocked fairy tales with laugh-out-loud snark. I enjoyed the sorceresses’ lodge, too.

Geralt goes on a journey with a motley crew, through a war-torn nation, and learns much about friendship, but very little about Ciri. Thus while we are entertained, the main story line does not move at all in this middle-of-series installment. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Very uneven again, a lot of jumping about between characters, and then a weird ending, written in a very different tense and retrospective style.

The focus is mostly between the secretive Sorceresses Lodge, and Geralt et al trekking through the bogs. Thanks to the Druids, Geralt's recovered from the injuries inflicted upon him by the Wizards, and departs in the company of an archeress looking to rescue Ciri. He doesn't know that it isn't Ciri holed up in the Nilforgardean Court, and so is heading in the wrong direction. Ciri remains happy playing at being a bandit in the countryside. Geralt treks. The sorceresses debate policy and the ethics of interference. Geralt treks. Next book please.

I want to know what happens. But I could do with less distraction, and more getting on with it. Geralt remains the central character, even more dour than ever, but somehow also more chivalrous as well. Neither sits well with him. The countryside is great, the people and creatures inventive, but really the plot just needs moving on a bit. ( )
1 vote reading_fox | Mar 1, 2017 |
This third novel in the Witcher series is the weakest so far. Geralt is recovering in Brokilon after the last novel, but leaves as soon as he can, intent on finding and saving Ciri. Milva, an expert archer, joins him, after secretly falling in love with him. Dandelion is there too, along with a dwarf called Zoltan and a high vampire called Regis. Despite Geralt's reluctance, they all insist on coming with him, through the grim war-torn lands, to search for Ciri.

Ciri, meanwhile, becomes embedded with her criminal gang, girlfriend to the lesbian Mistle, and well hidden from the many factions searching for her, taking on the identity of Falka.

There is surprisingly little plot to this novel, and the over-arching storyline between Geralt and Ciri moves on hardly at all. There are also some rather ponderous exposition-type sections which really should have been shortened or expunged.

I'm still loyal to the whole Witcher series, so would not have missed reading this novel, but it could so easily have been just a chapter to start the next novel, rather than a standard novel in itself. ( )
1 vote RachDan | Jan 2, 2017 |
Over 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 more 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 more Geralt, but I can’t deny I was expecting more 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 more 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. ( )
  stefferoo | Aug 22, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrzej Sapkowskiprimary authorall editionscalculated
French, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simon, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Through these fields of destruction ||
Baptism of Fire ||
I've watched all your suffering ||
As the battles raged higher ||
And though they did hurt me so bad ||
In the fear and alarm ||
You did not desert me ||
My brothers in arms..."

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Entonces le dijo la profetisa al brujo: Este consejo te doy: ponte botas de yerro, toma en la mano un bastón de yerro.
Los arbustos reventaban de pájaros.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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