Literature: Sword of Destiny
The second book in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, originally in Polish. For whatever reason, the English translator decided to skip it and jump from the first book straight to the third (despite the small fact that it introduced Ciri, around whom much of the saga revolves), so it isn't available in English yet. As such, the title of this article may change over time. For the record, the original Polish title was Miecz Przeznaczenia.Like the original book, Sword of Destiny is a collection of six novellas (minus a Framing Device) that continue the trend of merrily deconstructing your favorite fairy tales, though the motif of You Can't Fight Fate comes across even stronger.
- Limit of Possibility. A deconstruction of dragon-slaying epics. Our Dragons Are Different is prominent.
- Splinter of Ice. A Myth Arc-heavy story centering on the relationship between Geralt and Yennifer. There are some references to "The Snow Queen".
- Eternal Fire. A story which plays with the idea of a Doppelgänger.
- A Little Sacrifice. A deconstruction of "The Little Mermaid".
- Sword of Destiny. Another Myth Arc-heavy episode, which first introduces Ciri.
- Something Greater. The grand set up for the Blood of the Elves Saga of the following books.
Tropes found in the book:
- Boring but Practical: Townsfolk of Limit of Possibility give us two examples when they deal with the dragons. The first time, they offer her a fake goat with any kind of poison they could come up with inside, only failing because they didn't have anything strong around and still it took a lot for the dragon to move again, and even then could barely fly to safety. Then facing a golden dragon, who easily survived wizards and skilled, expert warriors, they just zerg-rush him and try throw nets. They are able to pin it down and, were it not for Yennefer's sudden help, they'd have actually killed him.
- Bus Crash: Essi Daven, Geralt's Temporary Love Interest in A Little Sacrifice, is bluntly mentioned to have died of small pox four years later in Wyzima.
- Crapsack World: Lampshaded in Something Greater, after a merchant begs Geralt for protection, and Geralt gets an almost lethal wound doing it. While recovering, he thanks the merchant for not letting him to die alone, and the merchant wonders how horrible the world should be, when you are thankful for the other not being a monster. Geralt agrees, but adds that it wouldn't have been the first time it happened to him.
- The beggining of the first story sets it as one: some citizens are considering taking Geralt's properties, while Geralt himself is fighting the basilisk hunting their own town.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Eternal Fire involves a doppelgänger assuming the identity of a dead inquisitor. Nobody catches on, despite a rather radical shift in personality (they assume the man has changed due to a near-death experience and old age in general).
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: In Sword of Destiny, whenever Geralt gets fed up with Ciri's brattiness, he threatens her like this. Which shuts her up quick.
- While Geralt mostly just threatens to spank Ciri, her grandmother and primary caretaker, queen Callanthe, was mentioned to be a firm believer that sparing the rod means spoiling the child, which is why Ciri tends to take those threats seriously. And of course Geralt himself did it to a corrupt burgher in The Last Wish, albeit under Yennefer's influence.
- Fish People: in A Little Sacrifice, later to reappear in the games.
- Interspecies Romance: The mermaid and the prince from the A Little Sacrifice, which puts Geralt into the role of their translator. They are genuinely in love and each asks the other to magically transform into their species, which would solve problems with incompatibile biology. In the end the mermaid becomes a human, so they can be together.
- And, of course, Geralt and Yennefer. Even if human by birth, they both became something quite different, and in-universe no one would consider Geralt human anymore.
- Lighter and Softer: Eternal Fire might be the most optimistic and violence-free story set in the Witcherverse. It's mostly focused on finding out who, how and why robbed a halfling trader instead of climatic confrontation with some creature and the "monster-of-the-week" is intelligent and compassionate, with no intention of hurting anyone. A Little Sacrifice really tries to sell itself as pesimistic and crap-sack, but in the end remains a light-hearted love story with Happily Ever After ending (which can't be said about "The Little Mermaid" it's deconstructing).
- Mr. Seahorse: Played for laughts in A Little Sacrifice, when the mermaid points out she can't mate with the prince, since he as human can't carry her roe in any other way than in a hat.
- Monster Is a Mommy: the green dragon in Limit of Possibility.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The king in the end of Limit of Possibility. He wants a nearby kingdom, but local nobles don't want him to marry the princess, so he wants to use an ancient prophecy (saying someone bringing a dragon's head will become king) to his advantage. After spending some time with the mercenaries hired to slain said dragons, however, he decides that, since he has a bigger and better army than the other kingdom, he doesn't need it, and that the local nobles can't stop him they'll come out with some way to justify it.
- The Wild Hunt: gets its first mention in Splinter of Ice. Its depiction there slightly differs from what we learn in the Saga, likely as being a personal opinion.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Limit of Possibility introduces a whole host, taking part in a dragon hunt - a knight who thinks he's in a chivalric tale, a peasant who thinks he's in a folk legend, a wizard who is out to protect endangered species (the dragon), and a sorceress who thinks dragons are a threat to society. This being Witcherworld, none is right.