Literature: Season of Storms

Sezon burz is the latest entry in The Witcher saga. A self-contained story, set between Splinter of Ice and The Witcher, the story details Geralt's adventures in a small kingdom of Kerack, his romance with sorceress Lytta Neyd, experiences with mutants and experimenting wizards, and his search for his two stolen swords.

Tropes found in the book:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Ortolan, leader of a wizarding research complex is ancient, renowned and utterly out-of-touch.
  • Affably Evil: One of the wizards wants to remove Geralt's eyes—he needs a sample of a witcher's eyeball cells for his transhuman research, and it has to be gathered from a live specimen. However, he is perfectly willing to let Geralt go after that, and even offers to help Geralt regenerate his eyes in a two or three years, when he hopefully perfects the procedure.
  • Ascended Extra: Lytta Neyd. She was mentioned in the Saga as a sorceress involved in a week-long affair with Geralt, now this story is portrayed in details. The circumstances of her death also get a Continuity Nod.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In a backwards way - major events of this story are briefly mentioned in the stories that happen latter in-universe, but of course were written earlier. This involves Lytta Neyd, as well as border dispute between Temeria and Redania.
    • At one point someone mentions that the king of Temeria looks for someone to disenchant his daughter...
    • It's mentioned that in a two or three years wizards should be able to regenerate lost eyes. It's exactly what Vilgefortz does in Tower of the Swallow and Lady of the Lake.
    • Dandelion is repeatedly referred to by his real name — Julian de Lettenhove, which is actually an anachronism, as canonically everyone (including Geralt) only learn of his name in Toussaint, quite late into the Saga, while the novel is set during the short stories time.
  • Cool Sword: Geralt's get stolen and we get a ridiculously detailed description of them. He also receives a couple of a famous Nilfgaardian type along the way — one a substandard fake, bought to him by Dandelion, and the other a real deal.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Subverted in the Sapkowski's usual sarcastic way of messing with his audience — Ortolan is gay, back in his youth he was known as a flirt, and results of his research are often horrific, but these facts aren't connected in the slightest: the horror is simply because he's too out of touch with reality and too much into For Science!.
  • Distant Epilogue: It involves one of the minor characters from the Saga and, pretty much, is there to play with the minds of fans debating Geralt's post-Saga fate. A girl named Nimue, while getting to the Arethusa, is saved by an unnamed witcher, assuming him to be Geralt. He, however, denies this, claiming that Geralt died almost a hundred years ago.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Lampshaded. The very first story of the franchise, The Witcher is about a princess turned into a striga by curse. When Geralt first hears that story in this book, he dismisses it as a tall tale, saying it's not how the magic works.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: It is mentioned that Geralt attended the Oxenfurth Academy as a guest student, and actually knows half of the people in the story (especially wizards) back from his school days.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Geralt has to deal with a sorcerer who dabbled in goetia (daemon summoning) and lost control over his summons. Subverted in that it's a ruse, and the wizard is just a sick sadist pretending to be Ditzy Genius.
  • For Science!: The grossmeister Ortolan is a reasonably kind and nice man, especially for a wizard, but his morality holds a very distant second place after his magical research. Add to this his general "for the greater good" attitude, and some of the results can be rather unpleasant.
    • He angrily berates Geralt for killing some of the monsters created by their research team and their predecessors, accusing the witcher of disresect towards science and knowledge. The fact that these "masterpieces" were killing people by the dozen flies over his head completely.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Geralt meets a society of magicians working on improvement of mankind. Their results aren't always nice, given there's like no more than two who don't think "For Science!" is reason enough.
  • Improvised Weapon: Because of all the problems with swords he has in the novel, Geralt defeats several opponents with a broom or a wooden plank.
  • Insistent Terminology: Speaking with mages, Geralt calls the daemon summoning "magic" several times. Each time he is corrected: it's not magic, it's goetia.
  • Just Between You and Me: Lampshaded as Geralt muses the villain clearly belongs to people who just like the sound of their own voice.
  • Kitsune: Aguaras or vixen spirits appear to be this.
    • Homage: Illusion-casting vixens are adapted from Victor Pelevin's "The Sacred Book of the Werewolf".
  • Master of Illusion: An aguara is a foxwere with some major illusion and beast-controlling powers. She uses her illusions rather smartly, too: for example, she changes the visible position of the compass' needle to get a ship off course.
  • Mad Scientist: Most of the wizards described in the novel. It is implied that it's pretty normal for the wizarding folk.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Apparently Geralt always knew the Somni Sign, but just never used it on-screen. Lampshaded in that a witcher (who very well might be Geralt himself) pretty much tells so to a minor character in the epilogue.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Apart from more exotic monsters, the research wizards also create these. Two ogre-trolls feature in the story prominently, and also there's one ogre-dwarf. They couldn't be made the natural way, and are created only via magic.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Geralt meets a dwarf, who works in a mine — as a musician. He plays in the mine's marching band. The songs, on the other hand...
  • Overly Long Name: Being called Astrid Lyttneyd Ásgeirrfinnbjornsdottir is a good reason not to use your birth name.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Magical doors are protected by a standard password by default, and many careless users never bother to change it. The standard password is "Friend", of course.
    • Dandelion complains that Geralt never asks him to repeat a ballad: he never says, for example, 'Play it again, Dandelion. Play "As Time Goes by"'.
  • Take That: Plenty, in typical sarcastic fashion of Sapkowski, aimed mostly at lawyers and politicians.
    • Fandom Nod: Geralt (or maybe Vesemir, it's a bit unclear) explains to a stand-in for the fans that there will always be something they don't know about the witchers.
  • Tragic Dropout: The fate of those from wizarding schools (which have quite a selective curriculums) is discussed at some lengths, as even those dropouts may know enough magic to become a problem if not somehow dealt with. It is mentioned that the male failed wizards usually find employment as clerks, soldiers and other middle-class positions by themselves, as their skillset is actually in some demand, but the female ones are usually sent to study law by the Conclave, as one of the rare suitable occupations for middle-to-upper-class women.