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The Time of Contempt

(The Witcher #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  107,002 ratings  ·  4,929 reviews
The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher
Geralt is a witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend. His task, now, is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the wor
Paperback, 331 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Orbit (first published 1995)
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Sean McGrath You should start with The Last Wish, which introduces the character. The 'short story' description is misleading, as it consists of a frame-story inte…moreYou should start with The Last Wish, which introduces the character. The 'short story' description is misleading, as it consists of a frame-story interspersed with flashbacks to formative past events. Sword of Destiny is out as an ebook and only comes out in paperback in December, unfortunately (in the US). If you just wanted to read the main saga, you would start with Blood of Elves, but I really recommend starting with The Last Wish.(less)
Parthvi I’m only eleven and I’ve almost finished the story but I had to skip a few parts.
I’m only eleven and I’ve almost finished the story but I had to skip a few parts.

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 1.5 stars. I may or may not be a teensy little bit pissed off right now. Perhaps.

The ranting is strong in this one. Consider your little selves warned.
Yes, I know, I read this book wrong.
You're welcome.

I wasn't going to write this review today but there's a slight chance my exoskeleton is going to implode if I don't get this out of my system now, so here goes.

This series started out with one of my mostest favoritest awesomest amazingest Fantasy book ever, aka The Last Wish.
James Tivendale
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"I mistook stars reflected in a pond at night for those in the sky."

The narrative commences at what seems like a time of contempt indeed. The Kings aren't conversing with the Mages as they have previously, the Nilfgaardian army is still planning for war, and the Scoia'tael (Squirrels) are attacking humans in forests and villages. Many parties are all still looking for the elusive Lion Cub, the child of Destiny, Cirilla.

After an interesting and quite tragic point of view chapter following a Kin
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The person everybody was searching for in the previous book was still at large with Geralt being one of the two people who could guess the whereabouts.
Dead or Alive
This means everybody was still conducting the search, but this time it became clear that the aim was to make sure the person in question is really dead just like the rumors started by Geralt stated. As we all know sometimes little people can get in the way of movers and the shakers of the world and make them very much inconvenienced by just being
Joey Woolfardis
I am odds with this series. The Last Wish is a million miles away from what these have become, which is just generic fantasy that is badly written (or translated). In The Last Wish we have good battles with monsters, re-tellings of our own fairytales and interesting characters. In this series, which is made up of what are supposed to be full-length books, we have absolutely none of that and it's very disappointing.

The dialogue is the worst thing of all. There is an abysmal attempt at humour, and
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
If A Game of Thrones books were penned by Andrzej Sapkowski, he would've written a whole installment on Red Wedding. ...more
Em Lost In Books
What I wanted from this book was magic, action, Geralt blasting other world creatures with his witchering Yennefer burning some bad people with fire and more of Geralt/Yennefer instead I got was a lot of political talk, historical tales, wine, reunions, obsession/drooling over Geralt, and everyone hunting poor Ciri.

Yeah, I am disappointed.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews, fantasy
Check out my review for The Time of Contempt on Grimdark Magazine at: Grimdark Magazine

Time of Contempt, the second full-length novel in The Witcher universe continues where Blood of Elves left off, and thrust us back into the world that is now teeming with politics and inter-race war.

“Always takes action. Wrongly or rightly; that is revealed later. But you should act, be brave, seize life by the scruff of the neck. Believe me, little one, you should only regret inactivity, indecisiveness, hes
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witcherverse
This is my favorite book in the series so far. Ciri and Geralt really go through some difficult changes which makes this novel all the more interesting. So whereas “Blood of Elves” sets up the idea of Ciri being at the center of courtly intrigue and politics, with Geralt and Yennefer trying to protect her -- “Time of Contempt” goes deep into that same intrigue and politics with an absolute cluster of a battle in the middle of the story. Though the focus is split halfway between Ciri and Geralt, ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”You were all right. Only I, the naive, anachronistic and stupid Witcher, was wrong.”


Wow this was a great book. This was action-packed, political and war-filled. There were also some important revelations in reference to why Nilfgaard is desperately searching for Ciri. Additionally, there was backstabbing and people turning on each other.

I really enjoyed this one as we were able to see more of Aretuza where all the mages confer and are trained. We also get to see Ciri really hone in her s
Dana Ilie
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
After reading Blood of Elves, I was hooked! I could not wait to get my hands on The Time of Contempt. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The action is non-stop! A war which was on the horizon in the first book is now in full force.  And those that are trying to capture Ciri are getting closer every day. In book two we get a glimpse into why she is being hunted. Geralt The Witcher , is still trying to protect her from falling into the hands of those who want to use her powers for evil.   
Natasha Polis
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ummmm. These books are maybe not worth your time. I'm reading them to get ready for the show coming to Netflix. It's giving me great insight into the character, but since I've never played the game, I feel a piece is missing.

This one was more enjoyable than the first. I wish they weren't so chopping and spaced out as I feel the first three should have been condensed into one long story. I will keep chugging along but my DNF the next book.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-the-book
Finally, sorry but this was nottttttttt my type of plot. I mean...Ciri her storyline is great but the rest ( and it was mostly the rest ) was so boring. Soooo political, too many names and I just dont know who is screwing who. So sadly I got detached from the plot.

Putting this series on a break till I get back from vacation. I still feel a connection with the main plot, I looove the witcher concept and all the wizards. But I need less politics...
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The Last Wish ★★★★
Sword of Destiny ★★★★
Blood of Elves ★★★ 1/2
The Time of Contempt ★★★ 1/2

Time of contempt takes place after the events of book one and follows the same style. It follows Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer and shows how their fates are entangled together.

I was warned about the translation in this book but I honestly did not sense a big difference between this one and the previous books. There were certainly lines that could have been
Zitong Ren
I personally found this book to certainly be a step up from book 1, which I already really enjoyed. For me, this did what book one did, but it better and some of the criticism and critiques that I did have for book 1 were sort of fixed or improved upon at the very least. I also really found the characters to be much more engaging and there is this one chapter at the end of the book with Ciri, which I personally could not take myself away from, it was that good.

There were honestly just lots of sc
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this second full-length novel of the The Witcher series, the tale of Ciri, Yennefer and Geralt continues.

Ciri and Yennefer are traveling together, Yennefer planning on putting Ciri in the school of mages, Aretuza, where she’ll learn more about her talent and be safe at the same time. Because people are still looking for the „Lion Cub of Cintra“ despite rumors of her death spreading.
We meet people working with Yennefer and Geralt (considering their professions, they were bound to have made al
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know, when I come right down to this series, like any other epic fantasy I've read, it all hangs on how much I get into the characters.

No matter what kind of action sequences come around or how much cool magic gets thrown in our faces or what kind of war blows up, I'm still tied up in my love of Geralt, Yennifer, and Ciri. When things get dark and the contempt surrounds everyone, I'm rooting for them. And the bard, too. :) And little miss unrequited. :)

After that point, I'm honestly amazed
Dannii Elle
This is the second full-length instalment to The Witcher series.

Where has the story-line I was promised in The Last Wish gone? What happened to my beast-slaying Witcher?

Whilst not an unenjoyable read, this was also not the tale I thought I was signing up for. The first prequel short story collection seemed to set this series up as being one thing when in fact it was the the second collection, Sword of Destiny, which was far slower in pace and more romantically focused, that better gave an indica
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

For the first time ever, the English translations of the novels in Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher Saga series are being made into audiobooks, and I have been enjoying them immensely. Thus far, four Witcher books have been published in this format, including the short story collection The Last Wish. Today I’ll be reviewing The Time of Contempt, the second full-length novel in the sequence.

The story beings where Blood of El
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thankfully this had a lot more action and character development to elevate the plot compared to Blood of Elves.

As I said previously, this isn’t going to be a fantasy for everyone. You have to invest in the slow burn, dense plot that weaves together lots of characters, many of whom never meet, over multiple books. There’s often no immediate pay off, with events taking years to come to fruition. Our three main heroes, Geralt, Ciri and Yen also spend minimal time together (although it’s a pleasure
Deborah Obida
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, fantasy
I'm glad that this was better than Blood of Elves that was up and down. The writing here is slightly better cause I think it could have been better. There is finally a story progression. The fight scenes were great, I really enjoyed Geralt's scene at the summit. I still can't believe that happened, I expected more from the sorcerers.

“I mistook stars reflected in a pond at night for those in the sky.”

With the war still going on I wonder how the next book will be. None of the characters are i
Strangely, perhaps my favourite of the Witcher novels (then of course not counting the ultimate masterpiece that is The Last Wish). There is something that draws me in about The Time of Contempt. Something I remember more fondly than the rest. It is slightly enigmatic, filled with intrigue and an overall sense of mystery.

As the most sorcery-centric and Yennefer-centric book of them all, it is no wonder that I would enjoy it quite a lot, but it also contains some rather memorable and world-shakin
myo (myonna reads)
Sep 27, 2021 rated it liked it
maybe i’m tripping but Geralt feels like a side character instead of a main character
I think this is where I say goodbye to this series. There wasn't enough witcher-ing for me, too much "romance", and oh all the terrible women. I've had it with the bitching and the backstabbing, and the obsessing over looks. They just all feel very clichéd and interchangeable to me *shrugs* ...more
Marianna Neal
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 out of 5 stars

So, here's the issue I'm having: I need more Geralt.
Don't get me wrong, I love reading about Ciri, and Yennefer, and the random people they encounter, and the politics... But I read these books for Geralt, and when he shows up the whole thing is just on a whole different level. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm still really enjoying the series, but I'm really hoping we get more of the, you know, main character? That would be nice.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I feel like doing a super informal review for this one, just because this writer makes me feel so many feelings and The Witcher is on the fast-track to becoming my favourite series so quickly that I don't know how to put my thoughts into presentable order. So here's a bunch of words for you, and a few run-on sentences most likely. It's not gushy, I promise, just ineloquent. My review of The Blood of Elves is probably a better recommendation of the series.

Ciri, Geralt, and Yennefer are some of my
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Apparently these books are rather big in Poland. I know this because a Polish woman told me so. Apparently there are some rather successful videogames that have been based on these books. I know this because I've played one of them. It was good.

Clearly these books have never been that big in the West, they haven't even all been translated yet and they were written in the early 90s, and it makes you doubt what's going on in the fantasy book publishing world. It makes you wonder if there's a profo
Leo Reich
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one felt like a lot of preamble. I gave some of the slower parts in Blood of Elves a pass because it had the more difficult task of transitioning from short stories to novels & being the first in the novel series, but what’s the excuse here?? The entire first half of the book felt like nothing was happening and wow it just draaaaaagged.

And maybe I was just zoned out for the relevant stuff, but by the time the big second-act battle started up, I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t know
Jen - The Tolkien Gal
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
Just when I thought the series couldn't get any better. The banter between Ciri and Yennefer warms my heart and their mother-daughter type relationship is amazing. But the action and extra plot contrivances that take place on the side are great. I like The Rats too - they remind me of Peter Pan's bunch of kids. ...more
Jan 23, 2022 rated it liked it
Ay yi yi... this series is frustrating. It's called THE WITCHER and we get so little of Mr Interesting.

These books need:
- more Geralt (the Witcher)
- more monsters (non-existent up to this point)
- more action
- less boring exposition by people sitting in one spot
- less military strategy and politics
- zero financial talk (No one gives a damn how Yennefer plans to pay for Ciri's schooling and how she'll move x funds to this bank and pull money from x place. POINTLESS.)

This was like reading a histo
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Andrzej Sapkowski, born June 21, 1948 in Łódź, is a Polish fantasy writer. Sapkowski studied economics, and before turning to writing, he had worked as a senior sales representative for a foreign trade company. His first short story, The Witcher (Wiedźmin), was published in Fantastyka, Poland's leading fantasy literary magazine, in 1986 and was enormously successful both with readers and critics. ...more

Other books in the series

The Witcher (6 books)
  • Season of Storms (The Witcher, #0)
  • Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
  • Baptism of Fire (The Witcher, #3)
  • The Tower of the Swallow (The Witcher, #4)
  • Pani Jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #5)

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“I mistook stars reflected in a pond at night for those in the sky.” 72 likes
“Hmm…’ Ciri bit her lower lip, then leaned over and put her eye closer to the hole. ‘Madam Yennefer is standing by a willow… She’s plucking leaves and playing with her star. She isn’t saying anything and isn’t even looking at Geralt… And Geralt’s standing beside her. He’s looking down and he’s saying something. No, he isn’t. Oh, he’s pulling a face… What a strange expression…’ ‘Childishly simple,’ said Dandelion, finding an apple in the grass, wiping it on his trousers and examining it critically. ‘He’s asking her to forgive him for his various foolish words and deeds. He’s apologising to her for his impatience, for his lack of faith and hope, for his obstinacy, doggedness. For his sulking and posing; which are unworthy of a man. He’s apologising to her for things he didn’t understand and for things he hadn’t wanted to understand—’ ‘That’s the falsest lie!’ said Ciri, straightening up and tossing the fringe away from her forehead with a sudden movement. ‘You’re making it all up!’ ‘He’s apologising for things he’s only now understood,’ said Dandelion, staring at the sky, and he began to speak with the rhythm of a balladeer. ‘For what he’d like to understand, but is afraid he won’t have time for… And for what he will never understand. He’s apologising and asking for forgiveness… Hmm, hmm… Meaning, conscience, destiny? Everything’s so bloody banal…’ ‘That’s not true!’ Ciri stamped. ‘Geralt isn’t saying anything like that! He’s not even speaking. I saw for myself. He’s standing with her and saying nothing…’ ‘That’s the role of poetry, Ciri. To say what others cannot utter.’ ‘It’s a stupid role. And you’re making everything up!’ ‘That is also the role of poetry. Hey, I hear some raised voices coming from the pond. Have a quick look, and see what’s happening there.’ ‘Geralt,’ said Ciri, putting her eye once more to the hole in the wall, ‘is standing with his head bowed. And Yennefer’s yelling at him. She’s screaming and waving her arms. Oh dear… What can it mean?’ ‘It’s childishly simple.’ Dandelion stared at the clouds scudding across the sky. ‘Now she’s saying sorry to him.” 69 likes
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