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Narrenturm

by Andrzej Sapkowski

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Hussite Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
339860,895 (4.01)4
"A fantastic novel that any fan of The Witcher will instantly appreciate." --The Gamer Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher series has become a fantasy phenomenon, finding millions of fans worldwide and inspiring the hit Netflix show and video games. Now the bestselling author introduces readers to a new hero on an epic journey in The Tower of Fools, the first book of the Hussite Trilogy. Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a healer, a magician, and according to some, a charlatan. When a thoughtless indiscretion forces him to flee his home, he finds himself pursued not only by brothers bent on vengeance but by the Holy Inquisition. In a time when tensions between Hussite and Catholic countries are threatening to turn into war and mystical forces are gathering in the shadows, Reynevan's journey will lead him to the Narrenturm--the Tower of Fools. The Tower is an asylum for the mad...or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. And escaping it, avoiding the conflict around him, and keeping his own sanity will prove more difficult than he ever imagined "A ripping yarn delivered with world-weary wit, bursting at the seams with sex, death, magic and madness." --Joe Abercrombie "This is historical fantasy done right." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A highly enjoyable historical fantasy." --Booklist The Tower of Fools is an historical novel set during the Hussite Wars in Bohemia during the 1400s, a period of religious conflict and persecution. Characters in the novel may express views that some readers might find offensive. Also by Andrzej Sapkowski: Witcher collections The Last Wish Sword of Destiny Witcher novels Blood of Elves The Time of Contempt Baptism of Fire The Tower of Swallows Lady of the Lake Season of Storms The Malady and Other Stories: An Andrzej Sapkowski Sampler (e-only) Translated by David French… (more)
  1. 00
    The Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski (Bandiitti)
  2. 00
    The Harvest of Chronos by Mojca Kumerdej (spiphany)
    spiphany: Irreverent, humorous and deliberately anachronistic excursions through religion and politics in Reformation-era Europe
  3. 00
    The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (Bandiitti)
  4. 00
    The Wanderer by Mika Waltari (Bandiitti)
  5. 00
    The Adventurer by Mika Waltari (Bandiitti)
  6. 00
    Warriors of God by Andrzej Sapkowski (kziarkow)
    kziarkow: Teil 2 der Narrenturm-Trilogie
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» See also 4 mentions

English (6)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Book provided via Netgalley for review.

I think this is a classic case of "it's not you, it's me." I do not think this book is bad at all, I just couldn't get into it. This was a lot more historical fiction than I was expecting and I do feel a little misled by the summary and title. The group ends up in the Tower of Fools in chapter 27. There are 29 chapters in this book. Most of the book is completely separate from that and it just didn't hook me. It had a really absurd tone that was really interesting but not enough to invest me. This reads like a series of separate vignettes to me which could have been interesting but everything felt so laden with detail and exposition that it felt hard to wade through. I think a lot of people will enjoy this book and I know some of my Goodreads friends DO like this book but this just wasn't for me and I don't see myself continuing with this series. ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
Reynevan never thinks before he acts and it is up to his friends and chance to get him out of trouble. Again. And again. A good start to this series! ( )
  JJbooklvr | Sep 18, 2021 |
This is an historical fantasy set in central Europe circa 15th century where the magic and myth unfold against a backdrop of a Church struggling to suppress growing heresies. The majority of people and place names are transliterated from Polish, so they tend to have an over abundance of consonants that make it a little difficult for this native English speaker to read quickly. Hidden within this forest of letters are quite a few obscure [archaic] English words that I had never encountered before ... and which reading on the Kindle app made them fun little Easter Eggs that I could easily look them up. All of this reinforces the 'Twilight Zone' feeling that the world where all of this happens is in another time and place, vaguely familiar and at the same time weirdly different. The dialog was also held nuance and euphemisms to beat the band and the verbal sparring just as amusing as the rest. I don't think that I have had as much fun with the English language in quite sometime.

The MC is one Reinmar of Bielawa, a young physician caught in a rather indelicate position and force to flee for his life. Being a well educated man, he quickly comes to the attention of the wrong people (aka inquisition) as such are know to cavort with heretics and sorcerers (There are so few of them and they must stick together). Perhaps even he dabbles in the forbidden arts. As the cast of characters quickly expands, it becomes ever more difficult to figure out who the good guys are ... and Andrzej skillfully weaves in references to historical events that would make a punmeister blush (and had me laughing out loud) ... because Gutenberg's innovation would never be allowed to succeed and Luther is the name of 'cheeky cat' who likes to spread out on tables. Of course Reynevan is a young fool ... worthy of the Tower of Fools if not for his companions. It is precisely because of his brash naivete that gives the reader one misadventure after another, slowing introducing more of the hidden mystery of the world (where maybe there are not so few of them after all). Alas ... at the end we have not resolved much else out three main characters are still living and ready for part 2. I would have preferred some closure on something; but it was not to be.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheTowerOfFools #NetGalley ( )
  Kris.Larson | Sep 13, 2021 |
For more reviews and Bookish posts visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski (translated by David French) is a historical fantasy story taking place in the early 1500s, Poland. This novel is the first one in the Hussite Trilogy, and the first one translated to English, 20 years after initial publication.

The story revolves around Reynevan of Bielawa, also known as Reinmar who fancies himself a doctor, magician (some say charlatan), and a ladies man. Due to his indiscretions, Reynevan finds himself the target of a powerful family, nobles, who force him to escape to his home.

The times are dangerous and Reynevan finds the risks and hazards are found everywhere. There are magical forces in the shadows who pursue him along with the nobility he offended, and the Inquisition. Reynevan finds himself at an insane asylum called Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools, housing not only the mentally insane, but those who dare challenge authority.

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski is a book out of my comfort zone, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read it. I also have read previous books by the author, mainly from The Witcher series, so I kind of knew what I was in for.

In the first chapters of the book we are introduced to the Reynevan of Bielawa, the protagonist of the book that seems to have a talent for antagonizing almost every one he meets. Many characters are introduced in the opening chapters, they are difficult to keep track of and it seems all of them have some sort of disagreement with Reynevan who spends much of the novel running from them, sometimes fighting as well but mostly trying to stay alive, unharmed, and uncastrated. Along the way Reynevan meets friends, friends of friends, people who help him because of his noble birth, and university acquaintances.

As lead character, Reynevan is very interesting. He makes decision foolishly, he’s good looking, charming, smart, knows how to fight (somewhat) and talks his way out of situations, as well as an amateur magician. He also talks too much, and many times about subjects he completely misunderstands or knows nothing about.
He would have loved the Internet.

There are many supporting characters in this book, all of them are colorful and mostly fleshed out. Each of them can have his, or hers, novel written about them. I usually don’t enjoy books with too large of a cast, but this one was certainly an exception.

This book was written with a keen eye on history, culture of Poland, the names might be difficult but its part of the experience. The author does a fine job balancing dark humor with scenes of intense fighting, a bit of torture, horrible deaths, and dark intents (mostly by the religious zealots). I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series when it becomes available. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Nov 10, 2020 |
Der Roman verhieß, mein Interesse zu fangen und das tat er auch in gewisser Weise: die schlesische Kultur und der Einblick in das Leben damals war durchaus interessant, durchzogen von mysteriöser Magie, die in der Hintergrund blieb und damit das Milieu perfekt ergänzte.

Doch das ganze Name-dropping und Politik ärgerte mir zunehmend im Laufe des Lesens. Einen, der sich mit der schlesichen Geschichte auskennt, mag es nicht stören aber es konnte doch nicht zu schwer für den Autor gewesen sein, erklärende Fußnoten oder Anmerkungen für Uneingeweihte hinzuzufügen.

( )
  SVY | May 25, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrzej Sapkowskiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Samborska, BarbaraTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Die düsteren Prophezeihungen der Chiliasten, die den Weltuntergang ziemlich präzise - nämlich für das Jahr 1420, den Monat Februar und den Montag, der auf den Festtag der heiligen Scholastica folgte - angekündigt hatten, erfüllten sich nicht.
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"A fantastic novel that any fan of The Witcher will instantly appreciate." --The Gamer Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher series has become a fantasy phenomenon, finding millions of fans worldwide and inspiring the hit Netflix show and video games. Now the bestselling author introduces readers to a new hero on an epic journey in The Tower of Fools, the first book of the Hussite Trilogy. Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a healer, a magician, and according to some, a charlatan. When a thoughtless indiscretion forces him to flee his home, he finds himself pursued not only by brothers bent on vengeance but by the Holy Inquisition. In a time when tensions between Hussite and Catholic countries are threatening to turn into war and mystical forces are gathering in the shadows, Reynevan's journey will lead him to the Narrenturm--the Tower of Fools. The Tower is an asylum for the mad...or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. And escaping it, avoiding the conflict around him, and keeping his own sanity will prove more difficult than he ever imagined "A ripping yarn delivered with world-weary wit, bursting at the seams with sex, death, magic and madness." --Joe Abercrombie "This is historical fantasy done right." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A highly enjoyable historical fantasy." --Booklist The Tower of Fools is an historical novel set during the Hussite Wars in Bohemia during the 1400s, a period of religious conflict and persecution. Characters in the novel may express views that some readers might find offensive. Also by Andrzej Sapkowski: Witcher collections The Last Wish Sword of Destiny Witcher novels Blood of Elves The Time of Contempt Baptism of Fire The Tower of Swallows Lady of the Lake Season of Storms The Malady and Other Stories: An Andrzej Sapkowski Sampler (e-only) Translated by David French

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