Literature / Lady of the Lake
The seventh and final book in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, originally in Polish (original title: Pani Jeziora).

Through the actions of men like Redanian spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra, the Nordling kingdoms finally start to get their act together in war with Nilfgaard. However, these distant events bear little importance to the heroes. Geralt, in his search for the druidic coven that may have the knowledge of Ciri's location, finds his way into the mountainous kingdom of Toussaint. As it turns out, Dandelion is already well-known to the locals, who also have a need for a professional monster hunter. Meanwhile, Ciri is trapped in the oneirous world she's entered through the Tower of the Swallow. But, can any trap hold the Blood of Lara Dorren?

Tropes found in the book:

  • Because Destiny Says So: This works to bring all necessary actors to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, mixed with Stable Time Loop in one case.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The battle of Brenna. Which in itself has nothing to do with the main characters, but is immensely important In-Universe.
    • Lower-Deck Episode: The battle is shown through the eyes of multiple minor characters (both appearing first time ever or the ones that figured in the previous books) having their 15 minutes of fame one after another. And most of them die. Horribly.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Regis: There are times you just can't refuse a drink.
  • Breather Episode: The hanse's stay at Beauclaire. Which is more or less a lot of Padding. It's even lampshaded with a quote from Rudyard Kipling.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The amulet Fingilla Vigo gives Geralt saves his life during his final fight with Vilgefortz by casting an illusion spell to prevent Vilgefortz's blows from landing.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Five books of wait, but Ciri's training on the Pendulum now pays off.
  • Consummate Liar: Elf sage Avallac'h. He spins the tale about how Aen Elle need Ciri's powers in order to save the inhabitants of her world from impending apocalypse. Turns out they are power hungry conquerors just wanting an option to kill and enslave in every existing universe.
  • Disney Death: Retroactively, thanks to a belated Word of God and the games, Geralt and Yennefer survived the events in Rivia.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Stefan Skellen and his men try to stop Geralt from leaving Stygga after Vilgefortz bites it.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The entire hanse - save Geralt and Dandelion (who stayed behind) - die very suddenly during the battle at Stygga. And then Geralt gets seemingly killed by a random guy with a pitchfork and Yennefer apparently dies failing to heal him.
  • Downer Ending: After all the struggle Geralt finally rescues both Ciri and Yennefer and decides to quit his job and settle down, but all his friends who were helping him save for Dandelion die. He decides to defend victims of pogrom for the last time and is killed in the process. Yennefer tries to heal him but also dies of exhaustion. It all takes place before Ciri's eyes and she can't save her foster parents.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Geralt to Dandelion, near the end. Preceded by a Dwindling Party.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: And so Geralt knows now what to do, purely by accident... or destiny.
  • Five-Man Band: Geralt's original troupe from Baptism of Fire is expanded with The Sixth Ranger-slash-The Chick Angouleme, Dandelion leaves the gang, and Regis gets briefly promoted to The Lancer, when he starts feeding on humans again and Cahir suffers a bad case of dead.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Jarre enlists in the army prior to the Battle Of Brenna and is sent to a division known as the "Pee Eff Eye" due to his qualifications. Turns out that PFI stands for Poor Fucking Infantry.
  • Gainax Ending: Geralt and Yen seemingly die... and they are on the island of Avalon at the same time? Or is it the afterlife? Avalon? And Ciri leaves for Camelot, with Galahad?. Lampshaded and foreshadowed at the very beginning of the book by an Audience Surrogate character, discussing in-universe legend about Geralt and Ciri some hundreds years in the future — she grudges she hoped for Happily Ever After fairy-tale like ending, and was dampened by the real one.
  • The Hero Dies: And his love interest, too.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Leo Bonhart tries this. It fails, and Ciri finishes him off.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Beauclaire for the heroes, but especially for Geralt. Dandelion stays.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Though he had his moments before, it's now that Regis shows what he can do in spectacular fashion.
  • Life Will Kill You: Geralt battles monsters, omnipotent sorcerers, leads an army to victory, survives a Suicide Mission... and is seemingly killed with a pitchfork by an angry mob. Just a moment later, Yennefer (who also duked it out with aforementioned omnipotent sorcerers and stood up to an entire coven of witches) apparently dies from magical overexertion while trying to heal him.
  • Lighter and Softer: The stay in Toussaint is notably more lighthearted than the rest of the book. Or the saga, for that matter.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: The majority of the story is told by Ciri to a listening Galahad.
  • Lost in Translation: In-Universe example: During their last conversation, Emperor Emhyr bids Ciri farewell in the Elder Speech, addressing her as "luned". Ciri understands this word literally as "young girl". Its second meaning in the Elder Speech, however, is "daughter", which is what her biological father really meant.
  • The Multiverse: Ciri's powers allow her to travel trought time and universes. Turns out this power is the original goal of elven eugenic experiments that lead to Ciri's existence.
  • Post-Final Boss: After both Bonhart and Vilgefortz bite it; Geralt and Ciri have to fight through Stefan Skellen and his squad to make their way out of the castle. They barely even slow down much to Skellen's understandable frustration.
  • The Promise: Yennefer makes Emhyr promise to never make "her daughter" cry, as she and Geralt are about to commit suicide, and Ciri taken away to marry the Emperor. Guess what Ciri does the moment she is told that she has to part with Geralt and Yennefer again. It actually makes Emhyr abort all his plans for Ciri, turn around, and leave.
  • Ship Tease: Very briefly between Ciri and Cahir. Then he gets killed off.
  • Stable Time Loop: While Ciri travels The Multiverse in search of her home, she receives unexpected help from two sorceresses from her future. How exactly it worked is a bit complicated. Upon researching the Legend of the Unexpected Child, they realized that being lost between times and spaces, she can be practically anywhere - thus, she may appear to them just as well as anywhere else. By some effort on their side they summon her, and show her the way to her destiny - the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Storming the Castle: The final battle. Ending with Everybody's Dead, Dave.
  • Together in Death: Geralt dies when stabbed with a pitchfork and Yennefer dies trying to save him. There is one final scene afterwards where they get to be together on a secluded island. Of course, the three games and Word of God confirm that they came Back from the Dead.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Geralt's hanse after Angouleme joins them.
  • Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The castle itself may look unassuming, but it's surrounded by scores of shipwrecks, not to mention being host to enough evil to make Ciri's powers fail. Almost every plot thread is resolved there.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Vilgefortz has one when his attacks keep missing Geralt.
  • The Wild Hunt: It finally turns out that it's made of Aen Elle, elves living in another world (elves of the Witcherworld being known as Aen Sidhe), who travel between the dimensions to kidnap humans for later enslavement. Their leaders led the aforementioned eugenic experiments, until they were derailed by Lara Dorren's love affair with a human. When her powers resurfaced in her distant descendant - Ciri - they decided they want their results back in their hands.