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.
- 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.
- Cool Sword: Geralt's get stolen and we get a ridiculously detailed description of them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Apparently Geralt always knew the Somni Sign, but just never used it. Lampshaded in that Geralt pretty much tells so to said minor character in the epilogue.
- 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.
- Take That: Plenty, in typical sarcastic fashion of Sapkowski, aimed mostly at lawyers and politicians.