Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Witcher (Publication Order) #6

The Tower of the Swallow

Rate this book
The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life. But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting...

448 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1997

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Andrzej Sapkowski

199 books15.4k followers
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. Sapkowski has created a cycle of tales based on the world of The Witcher, comprising three collections of short stories and five novels. This cycle and his many other works have made him one of the best-known fantasy authors in Poland in the 1990s.

The main character of The Witcher (alternative translation: The Hexer) is Geralt, a mutant assassin who has been trained since childhood to hunt down and destroy monsters. Geralt exists in an ambiguous moral universe, yet manages to maintain his own coherent code of ethics. At the same time cynical and noble, Geralt has been compared to Raymond Chandler's signature character Philip Marlowe. The world in which these adventures take place is heavily influenced by Slavic mythology.

Sapkowski has won five Zajdel Awards, including three for short stories "Mniejsze zło" (Lesser Evil) (1990), "Miecz przeznaczenia" (Sword of Destiny) (1992) and "W leju po bombie" (In a Bomb Crater) (1993), and two for the novels "Krew elfów" (Blood of Elves) (1994) and "Narrenturm" (2002). He also won the Spanish Ignotus Award, best anthology, for The Last Wish in 2003, and for "Muzykanci" (The Musicians), best foreign short story, same year.

In 1997, Sapkowski won the prestigious Polityka's Passport award, which is awarded annually to artists who have strong prospects for international success.

In 2001, a Television Series based on the Witcher cycle was released in Poland and internationally, entitled Wiedźmin (The Hexer). A film by the same title was compiled from excerpts of the television series but both have been critical and box office failures.

Sapkowski's books have been translated into Czech, Russian, Lithuanian, German, Spanish, French, Ukrainian, and Portuguese. An English translation of The Last Wish short story collection was published by Gollancz in 2007.

The Polish game publisher, CD Projekt, created a role-playing PC game based on this universe, called The Witcher, which was released in October 2007. There is also a mobile version of the game which has been created by Breakpoint Games and is being published by Hands-On Mobile in Western Europe,Latin America and Asia Pacific.

The English translation of Sapkowski's novel Blood of Elves won the David Gemmell Legends Award in 2009.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
37,667 (43%)
4 stars
33,543 (38%)
3 stars
12,551 (14%)
2 stars
2,175 (2%)
1 star
368 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,781 reviews
Profile Image for zuza_zaksiazkowane.
345 reviews31k followers
January 13, 2021
Naprawdę dobry tom. Sapkowski tu bardzo zagmatwał linię czasową, przez co momentami nie wiedziałam co się dzieje, ale na końcu to wszystko złożyło się w świetną całość. Po Krwi elfów to mój ulubiony tom sagi. Jeśli tak jak ja utknęliście po chrzcie ognia, zaręczam wam, że warto iść dalej!
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,938 reviews428 followers
April 26, 2023
This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads.

The Witcher series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski continues, with the Child Surprise Ciri travelling around with a bunch of thieves and bandits called the Rats, whilst Geralt, sorcerers and the Emperor send out people to find her.

This series has plummeted to the very depths of tedium. Every book has melded in to one and it's difficult for me to remember this particular one, though I do recall my consternation at the random change of narrative style. Geralt is still not doing any Witchering, there is still monumental bitching between all the female characters and the dialogue is still pitiful.

I complained during a review of an earlier book in this series that we rarely had other points of view during the narration, which seemed to slow down the entire thing. This book rectifies that, but in such a way that it may as well have not happened. We have around five POVs during any given chapter, which confuses things incredibly and don't actually improve the plot or pace of the action. We also, for some reason, begin to get excerpts from Dandelion's little memoirs, which add nothing to the plot except a general feel that perhaps this is something Sapkowski should maybe try out because it's cool, yo.

The plot is also the same as it was in the previous three books. This series, a five book series discounting the first two short story collections, is definitely two books too long and probably four books too long. Everything seems to take around two chapters to tell. A journey that could be told in one sentence ends up taking approximately half the book and we are left wondering why. Nothing particularly exciting happens during these journeys, except meeting new characters that add nothing to the story because the characters we already know are weak and two dimensional. Their interaction is always so false and incredibly immature.

Speaking of the characters, the protagonists known as Geralt and Ciri have become cantankerous and pathetic. They whinge and moan and act like little children not getting their own way. And yet no-one minds because one is a part of a prophecy and the other characters are all in love with the other. It is as if nothing can touch them-which is apparently the case since they elude capture, maiming and death numerous times through no reason other than they must to keep the story going.

There is also far, far, far too many mentions of genitals. I have never read a book that is so obsessed with genitals and sex. I'm sure HBO would love to turn this in to a TV series-and a successful one at that-due to the sheer amount of tits and sex. Someone is either aiming to stab someone else in the penis or a man is wanting to shove his penis in a woman's vagina. This is basically all that happens, with some killing in between.

And there is still endless bitching between the female characters. I'm not sure there is a single woman who have anything nice to say about another woman, except Ciri but she's basically just a child anyway. And all women love all children. It's a fact.

I don't know why I felt the need to finish this series. There is one book to go after this and whilst I found this particular instalment as boring as any book can be, I find I've invested so much I need to know. Belzebub knows I will be disappointed: I can feel it with this book as the plot meanders, the characters flatten out even more and the dialogue improves by a hair's breadth. It is my own fault for wasting my own time.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews235 followers
November 6, 2018
I really really want to love this book, but the honest truth is that --this one is really not that great. “The Tower of Swallows is a difficult book to define, or even to recap. The writing feels lost: ambling around without direction, constantly jumping scenes, and forgetting about Geralt altogether about half-way through the book.

Of note, “The Tower of Swallows” isn't really about the eponymous witcher, Geralt of Rivia. Most real estate is devoted to Ciri telling the story of how she escaped Bonhart, a deeply menacing bounty hunter of unclear motivations; his erstwhile employer, Nilfgaardian coroner Stefan Skellen; and the Archmage Vilgefortz, who appears to be the series' main antagonist. Eventually she leaves her hiding place to make her way to the tower, followed by said pursuers, who are determined to catch her before she can enter the tower and reassume her powers. Geralt and his companions, meanwhile, are trying to make their way to Ciri or to where they believe she might be. Yennefer and Triss are also on Ciri's path, albeit on different timelines, and likely for different reasons.

The character narratives are not always linear, or even told straightforwardly in the close third person favored by the genre. Yennefer's story, for example, is told over several timelines, with crucial parts related by individuals who may not be reliable narrators. More often than not, the stylistic gambit works, but there are instances in which “The Tower of Swallows” would have benefitted from more conventional plotting. For example, there is far too much space given to the spy Dijkstra's visit to a far-flung (and newly introduced) kingdom--a plot point that doesn't really develop and, frankly, isn't necessary. Sometimes the same event is narrated by different narrators from different times. Then there's this build up that always starts with the same words and goes nowhere: "if someone looked into the cottage, they would have seen an ashen haired girl…” It says it like 7 times, and it's a full paragraph of text. Every time I read it, it heightens my anticipation for bigger things to come -- but nothing ever happens! It feels like Andrzej Sapkowski got bored, and just decided to jump around and experiment with the story from different angles --then decided to throw the whole mess together and call it a book.

It's also worth noting the gratuitous violence --the most I have encountered in series so far. Without spoiling too much, there's a great deal of focus on torture and humiliation during certain sequences, and though it has its purpose -- was uncomfortable to read.

Just as it gets interesting, it abruptly ends. There's little resolution, and half the characters are lost in limbo. Who knows where the hell Geralt is?! I get that it's trying to set up the next book, but the ending scene is strangely flat. There's little to suggest doom or hope --it just ends. This is, by far, the weakest book in the series. “Time of Contempt” was another tier of quality. I still think this is a superb series, and I hope “Lady of The Lake” will be a worthy finale.
Profile Image for James Tivendale.
311 reviews1,329 followers
July 27, 2019
I received a review copy of The Tower of the Swallow in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Andrzej Sapkowski and Gollancz. Minor spoilers may follow.

The narrative begins with a hermit called Vysogota finding what he believes is an injured boy in a forest. It transpires that this young gentleman is actually the girl, Ciri and she is very close to death. The hermit takes her to his shack which is untraceable unless you know it's there and prays that he can aid her recovery. He was formally a scholar and a medical practitioner which is fortunate.

"He involuntarily drew back and hissed at the site of the ghastly mask of dirt and congealed blood where the boy's face should have been."

After days of assistance, constantly watching and caring, Ciri slowly recovers. She wishes to leave straight away, to escape, as it transpires that a bounty hunter called Bonhart is tracking her. The former scholar guarantees that there is no possibility that they can be found and to heal first before venturing out. The duo get to know each other and exchange stories. Firstly, the Hermit explains who he is and why he lives in such isolation. Following that, Ciri - The Child of Destiny - explains what has happened to her since the ending of Baptism of Fire and this is where the story really starts. This is the main storyline for forty percent of the novel but is not all included at the beginning and after certain segments, they will conclude the story and reflect, and do chores.

"Had someone crept up after nightfall to the cottage with the sunken, moss-grown thatched roof, had they peered inside, in the dimly lit interior they would have seen a grey-bearded old man listening to a tale told by an ashen-haired girl sitting on a log by the fireplace."

Another frequent storyline that is presented is regarding Geralt and his band of companions including a vampire, an archer, a poet and a traitor swordsman as they aim to trace the druids who may know about Ciri's true whereabouts. These sections were brilliant. It's not just these two train of events that we follow, however. There is a large amount of point of view perspectives and occasionally after getting my teeth firmly set into a stunning set-piece or chuckling at some rollickingly good banter, Sapkowski would then throw us somewhere else in this extravagantly large and detailed world to follow individuals who I wasn't at all familiar with. Initially, it was a buzzkill - but in these segments, after two-pages of missing Geralt or Ciri, it actually seemed to make sense why this was presented in this manner, and I can conclude when the finale approaches - you will, or at least I was, very impressed with the overall structure. Although certain times the choice of the next point of view chapter did seem sporadic and slightly random.

I've mentioned previously that in this series I find the characters to be exquisite. Much has happened to the main two characters - Geralt and Ciri. They have developed spectacularly across these six novels and in a way have almost swapped places. I won't explain that statement as might approach spoiler territory but see if you agree after you've finished this narrative. Also, if you are thinking of approaching this series just because you enjoyed the Witcher games, since The Sword of Destiny, it is very rare that Geralt has actually just gone solo monster-hunting. If anything, as the saga progresses it's almost presenting the real monsters as being the politics, corruption, warring nations and all people involved. Geralt, who never ever questioned good or evil as long as he was paid for what he was doing is brooding a lot but also changing his outlook on the world. His number one objective is to find Ciri and will do all in his power to do that.

One of my qualms about previous entries was about needless information dumping sections about political happenings one hundred years ago or who married someone else previously and what effect it had on characters I don't know. They distracted from the main story and thus far haven't heightened my enjoyment at all. There is only one such section here and although I did want to skip past it, it was an okay read but still seemed a bit like a dull interlude.

All in all, this was an extraordinary tale which highlights Sapkowski's masterful character creation - many of who will stay in my mind long after I complete this saga - and often astonishingly exciting set pieces. Especially the scene including ice-skates! The storytelling is also top-notch barring the occasional hiccup I've mentioned in my reviews thus far. Only one book remains for me now - excluding Season of Storms which is set prior to the main set of novels - and I'm intrigued to see how this can all be wrapped up in just one book. It seems like a phenomenal ask but I'm going to jump in straight away and see if Sapkowski can fulfill the promise he has flaunted thus far of being able to make this one of the best fantasy sagas of all time. Conclusions are very important to me so I'll let you know if I believe he succeeds in my next review.
Profile Image for HaMiT.
166 reviews29 followers
January 22, 2022
برج پرستو نه تنها تا اینجا بهترین کتاب سری ویچر بود، بلکه یکی از بهترین کتاب‌های فانتزی بوده که تا حالا خوندم. یعنی وقتی بهش فکر می‌کنم که چه کتاب فانتزی‌ای بهتر از این خوندم، فقط یورش شمشیرهای مارتین به ذهنم می‌رسه
طوری که سپکوفسکی روایت داستان این جلد رو نوشته و مثل جلدهای قبل پرش‌های مکانی و زمانی زیادی داره و این سبک روایت، توی برج پرستو به اوج کیفیت خودش رسیده و توی پونصد صفحه کلی اتفاق و شخصیت رو به شکل فوق‌العاده‌ای پوشش می‌ده و همزمان داستان‌های تاریخی دنیا رو هم می‌گه
طوری که سیری سرگذشتش رو تعریف می‌کنه و ما از زبون خودش متوجه تغییر شخصیتش می‌شیم
طوری که بعضی جاها آدم پیش خودش می‌گفت چرا نویسنده داره در مورد این حرف می‌زنه؟ به نظر نمی‌رسه هیچ ربطی داشته باشه و الکی صفحه‌ها رو زیاد می‌کنه و کمی بعدتر به جواب سؤالات می‌رسیدی و حسابی مشعوف می‌شدی
ماجرای گرالت و گروهش و دگرگونی شخصیتش هم به خوبی و زیباییِ جلد قبل اینجا هم ادامه داشت
اون بخش معرکه‌ی دیکسترا که با وجود کوتاه بودنش واضحاً ��وی جهانِ داستان تأثیر زیادی داره
کیفیت دیالوگ‌ها هم توی این جلد بی‌نهایت عالی بود
و در آخر سکانس‌های مبارزه‌ی سیری.. من معمولاً سکانس‌های مبارزه توی کتاب‌ها چندان برام جذاب نیستن و خیلی وقت‌ه�� هم شده که بپرم از روشون چون مثل سینما یا گیم نمی‌تونن هیجانشون رو بهم منتقل کنن، همونطور که کتاب‌های ترسناک خیلی نمی‌تونن برام حس ترس ایجاد کنن، ولی سکانس‌های این جلد اینقدر زیبا بود که مو به تن آدم سیخ می‌کرد و بعد سیری همشون رو با زیرئیل می‌زد
مخصوصاً سکانس نبرد پایانی
آپلود عکس
و من که با همه‌ی این‌ها حسابی به وجد اومدم و باید هیجانمو خالی می‌کردم
Profile Image for Sr3yas.
223 reviews997 followers
November 19, 2017
Believe it or not, the hero of this installment is not the Witcher, Yennefer or Ciri. It's Andrzej Sapkowski and his masterful storytelling technique, which utilizes various POVs, narrative styles and multiple timelines across the centuries and locations. He weaves a narrative yarn which should have been confusing but surprisingly turns out to be fresh, sharp and fun to read.

I bow down before you in supreme awe.

Mild spoilers are the necessary evil, they are necessary.
----------------- Sreyas, the tales of SPOILERS AHEAD

The last installment had very little narrative space for Ciri and Yennefer (no complaints there), but this one brutally revamps Ciri as on hell of a character by pushing her limits like never before. At the risk of sounding corny, let me say Ciri is like a diamond, and in Tower of Swallows, they cut her.

The story opens with Ciri, who recounts her tale to a Hermit named Vysogota, who found her wounded in his forest. Sapkowski did an excellent job with these two characters and their interactions, effectively building CIri's story arc with the old school storytelling method.

*Ciri and Vysogoto chilling*

Witcher's story arc is still my personal favorite because of the company he keeps and the adventures he stumbles on to. In this installment, Witcher's fellowship adds a new young member to their ranks and this completes the adopted dysfunctional family of Witcher. The scene where Geralt accuse Cahir of betrayal and the mayhem that follows afterward was spectacularly hilarious, proving once again the colorfulness of Geralt and his company.

Yennefer once again gets least screen time, and once again her chapter blew me away with complex narrative style and sheer visual spectacle. I was never a fan of Yennefer before this book, but now I am a fan.

What makes this volume stand out from others is the bold narration and widened explanation of what the hell has been going on outside the main characters. All the installment before Swallows gave me an impression that I am looking at the great Nifflegardian War through the wrong end of the telescope. Tower of Swallow finally confronts or at least untangles the politics of war and character motivations through chapters featuring Twany owl as well as Dijkstra.

I especially loved Dijkstra's chapter, the last pages of this chapter was storytelling at its best.

Swallows even stepped up the action. The action scenes featuring Witcher and Co were complete mayhem as always, and there are many memorable moments.But Ciri stole the show with amazing finale fight on the ice. Seriously, words fail me!

And appropriately, the artist featured the battle on Ice near Tower of Swallows Spanish edition cover.

Needless to say, My love for Spanish edition covers continue.

I want to talk more about stuff like how assassin Bonhart reminds me of DC's Deathstroke, and I want to talk about how fascinated I am with world of Witcher because of some crazy and similar aspects it share with our own world (Months, twisted Norse mythology, festivals), and Spawaski's writing style which at one point reminded me of old western.

But I don't think there will be enough space and moreover, I don't think I can put them in words properly!

So TL: DR? Another great installment in Witcher series!
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews602 followers
June 28, 2020
Tower of Swallows is another great instalment to the Witcher series. Though I love it and think it's a great book I have a few issues with this.
●I didn't like the way the story is told
●Geralt was barely in this, the part that he was in was almost inconsequential.
●The writing is below average, I think it has something to do with the translation.

Apart from the above I pretty much like everything about this book. Just how Baptism of Fire was Geralt's book this is Ciri's book. The plot follows Ciri's life after the Rats were killed.

It isn’t the evil and indecent who are flung down into the depths, no! Oh, no! The evil and decisive fling down those who are moral, honest and noble but maladroit, hesitant and full of scruples.

Ciri was baldly injured and was found by Vysogota an old hermit who treated her. While she was there healing she told him her story. We finally got to know how she got injured and how Bonhart captured her. Ciri is still smart but life has changed her, she is now somewhat bitter and very vengeful. Living with Vysogota for some months really helped her. I'm also glad she now knows that her love ones didn't abandon her.

Dandelion's narrative was a breathe of fresh air, I had fun reading that. Too bad it was short.

Swimming, to put it mildly, was–and is–not one of my strong points. Had Mother Nature wanted me to swim, in the act of creation and the process of evolution she would have equipped me with webbed fingers.

Geralt made some few discoveries about the prophesy about Ciri. He finally found the Druids he was looking for but he got distracted, I know that is the author's way of dragging the story, but by doing that he is ruining his character.

Yennefer is also here, her search for Ciri is even more effective than Geralt's half baked plan. I love her strength, loyalty and dedication. I never knew she cared this much for Ciri.

Cahir, Milva, Regis and the rest of the gang are still here, they even have a new addition, her name is Angoulême, she is from Cintra.

This ended in a cliffhanger, only Geralt was safe, Ciri and Yennefer are both in a peril.

This conversation really got me thinking, it's insulting but true.

‘Do you know, Witcher, what the greatest snag of longevity is?’
‘You heard right. Sex. After almost a hundred years it becomes boring. There’s nothing in it to fascinate or excite any longer, nothing that has the exciting appeal of novelty. It has all been done already… In this or that way, but it has happened. And then suddenly comes the Conjunction of the Spheres and you, people, appear here. Human survivors, come from another world, from your former world, which you managed utterly to destroy with your still-hirsute hands, barely five million years after evolving as a species. There’s only a handful of you, your life expectancy is ridiculously low, so your survival depends on the pace of reproduction. Thus unbridled lust never leaves you, sex totally governs you; it’s a drive more powerful even than the survival instinct. To die? Why not, if one can fuck around beforehand. That is your entire philosophy.’

Profile Image for Rich Hackford.
65 reviews19 followers
April 13, 2018
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the illustration on the cover contains almost as much excitement as the entire 400+ page novel.

I will finish this series because I'm already six books deep, but I will do so begrudgingly. The Witcher stopped being fun about three books ago and instead became a massive (and tedious) fake history lesson.

I don't care about the politics anymore. It's not intriguing. It's not interesting. It's work; it's work remembering everyone's names, it's work keeping track of the timeline as the narration shifts back and forth between dozens of characters, and it's work trying to stay awake and attentive while a protagonist with two swords strapped to his back sits around talking for fifty pages at a time.

I wish I had just stuck to the games.
Profile Image for Markus.
472 reviews1,523 followers
July 27, 2017
Buddy read with Celise!

"I'm Ciri from Kaer Morhen. I'm a witcher. I came here to kill."


Quite possibly the best book in the main saga.

Ramblings to come.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews359 followers
April 3, 2020
I'm currently self isolating with covid 19 symptoms and this was everything I needed right now.

As I always say in these Witcher reviews - these books are not going to be for everyone. There's a lot of, often dry, political and court talk. A lot of plot points and characters that disappear for whole books and don't turn up or come to fruition until 3 books down the line. You have to play the long game, but my God the character development and pay off is worth it.

This feels very much like Ciri's book - and she's not been having a good time. She feels very alone, abandoned by those she thought would always be there to protect her, and badly hurting. Physically and mentally. As we see her unravel and tell her story of what's happened to her since leaving the coup at Thanedd, we get a wave of mixed emotions and a young woman who's had a lot of growing up to do in a short amount of time. Her character development has been masterfully done over the last couple of books, and we've been left with a deeply complicated character who has faced some horrendous situations and made some very difficult decisions.

Because this feels like Ciri's story, we do see less of Geralt and Yennefer - although they are busy in the background continuing the search for lion cub. Their stories aren't as interesting, granted, however I always love the banter between Geralt and his band of misfits, and it was also nice to get a bit more background on Yen. We also (finally) get to visit the Isles of Skellige and return to the character of Crach en Craite, which I found very exciting and atmospheric. The audio certainly helped in this respect as the narrator did an excellent job of a variation on several Scottish accents to set the Skellige scene.

I found this to be an excellent addition to the series, finally with some long term plot payoff. The webs are slowly closing in on our protagonists and I feel as though the final ending is going to be epic.
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
536 reviews400 followers
February 21, 2021
Ich liebe diese Reihe weiterhin! Dieses Buch vielleicht sogar noch ein bisschen mehr als die letzten ein oder zwei Bücher, da das Erzähltempo mir hier um einiges rasanter erschien.
Auch mochte ich hier die Kapitellänge, die jeweils um die +/- 50 Seiten betrug, das tat meinem Lesefluss sehr gut.
Geschadet hat es vermutlich auch nicht, dass ich die Reihe nach wie vor zusammen mit Lena lese und wir beim Lesen die wildesten Theorien aufstellen und uns gegenseitig immer mal wieder auf die Sprünge helfen wer der nun dieser oder jener gleich wieder war. Ich denke ohne diese Buddyread würde ich die Bücher vielleicht sogar etwas schlechter finden. Weil erst durch diese aufmerksame Lesen und den Austausch die Genialität des Autors bzw. der Geschichte begreifbar wird. Sapkowski wendet hier auch wieder so viele tolle Stilmittel an und erzählt die Geschichte nicht immer in chronologischer Reihenfolge, damit der Spannungsbogen das ganze Buch über bestehen bleibt. Ja das war stellenweise verwirrend, aber sobald man dahinterkommt versteht man den Sinn des Ganzen.
Außerdem hat es dem Buch meiner Meinung nach sehr gut getan, dass es etwas dicker war als sämtliche Vorgänger in der Reihe. Daher freue ich mich auch schon auf Band 5, der auch ein schöner dicker Schmöker ist!
Zum Inhalt möchte ich wie immer bei dieser Reihe nichts weiter sagen, da so ziemlich alles spoilern würde...
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews347 followers
February 15, 2020
This is a story about family, friendship, love and loyalty. It’s funny, heartwarming and sarcastic, It’s brutal, unforgiving, and disturbing. It’s also relentless in the way it keeps expanding the infinite grayscale that drives the actions and choices of the characters; with believable character interactions. You need to be one hundred percent focused to keep-up with the twist, turns, and time jumps, if you’re able to keep that focus, the story told is absolutely fantastic.
I really like the writing style of the author. The story and the characters are extremely captivating. I am impressed by how Sapkowski creatively plays with different narrative techniques. The Witcher’s storyline is told in a series of diary entries written by Dandelion, most of Ciri’s part of the story is told as a series of courtroom testimonies and flashbacks.

A new character, Leo Bonhart, the vicious bounty hunter, has some terrifying scene, as is the gladiator scene set in a coliseum. At the end of the book there’s a spectacular battle in which Ciri is on ice skates.
Profile Image for Anirudh .
751 reviews
January 10, 2023
When I began reading the Witcher Saga, as I made progress through the series a fear began to grow in me. Although I dismissed it at first, now I've come to the realisation that it was true. Sapkowski had a story big enough for a novella and stretched it over five books.

The book starts well and one gets the false sense of hope that the book is finally getting somewhere after the disaster of the previous books. But one soon realises that despite turning page after page we get no where because there really was nowhere to go to begin with. The witcher, briefly in action slumps back into a moaning child who is anything but a fearsome warrior I had imagined him to be.

Ciri on the other hand is a puzzle. I am not sure what her intended destiny is or in which direction she was meant to take, but it this book she is everywhere. No amount of logic helped me figure out how a girl who was happily playing bandit for no apparent reason, suddenly insists she's a witcher and decides to take on a difficult task which is not even a task for the witcher. At the end of the story her story line reaches such absurdity that I am afraid there will be no recovery from it.

The narration plays out interestingly in this book and PoV is switched between characters as well as storylines. Although this is an interesting take and many times creates an entertaining interplay between characters and situations, at time this can be quite confusing to grasp without several re reads.

Overall this is a disappointing read. The extra star is purely out of sentiment, for fond adventures of old and in hope for new adventures that will never come to be.
Profile Image for Cori.
813 reviews138 followers
April 30, 2019
I continue to be confused by this series. It's like having that moody coworker, and you never know which mood they'll be in when they show up in the morning. Will they be the life of the party, and you'll have the best shift ever? Will they show up grumpy and make you want to leave in ten minutes?

I never know if the next book I open will be full of adventures and delightfully horrifying creatures that Geralt and Ciri beat against all odds OR if we're going to have a dry, pointless installment that spends hundreds of pages analyzing a political system. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this book was somewhere in between.

The majority of the book followed Ciri with some cut scenes to Geralt. If you're looking for "main story line" material, this is that book. If you're looking for side quests with monsters and lore, this is not that book.

I'd rate this book an R for violence, swearing, and sexual references.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,966 followers
June 30, 2020
This is some hardcore cool Fantasy. Far from having any kind of tired storyline, it always feels fresh and surprising even though, by all rights, it OUGHT to fall into so rather obvious directions because... we WANT it.

But that's where the joy comes in. :) The pacing is fast and just when you think you've got a handle on certain things, there's always that little wrench in the works. :)

I admit I teared up during certain events. And it isn't entirely isolated with events featuring only Ciri. She's really come into her own, but I'm still a huge fan of Geralt. And to wait THAT long for Yennifer? For shame!

Doesn't matter. This is an unusual enough fantasy novel to keep old fans of the genre hopping and new fans constantly interested. I can't imagine where any hater would be coming from. :)
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,030 reviews2,604 followers
May 24, 2016
3.5 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/05/24/...

I am so in love with these audiobooks. Peter Kenny is the incontrovertible voice of this series, making all my favorite characters come to life with his authentic reading style and superb acting. Fan translations of these books have been around for a while, but I don’t mind waiting longer if it means I can enjoy the audio editions; every time I jump into a new book, it’s like coming home to old friends.

The Tower of Swallows picks up from the end of Baptism of Fire, where the search for Ciri continues. The story begins by mirroring the intro of the previous book with a long convalescence of one of our characters, this time Ciri instead of Geralt. The young princess-turned-Witcher has adopted a new identity and settled into life with a party of young rebels who call themselves the Rats. Something happens, however, leading to her being found unconscious and gravely injured in the middle of a swamp by an old hermit named Vysogota. The old man nurses her back to health, and during her recovery Ciri tells him what happened.

Meanwhile, Geralt and his companions are still traveling together trying to find Ciri, but their precarious alliance keeps coming under fire from distrust and infighting, not to mention plenty of bad decisions. There’s also a lot of political intrigue happening in the background as their enemies keep plotting against them, and a new face of evil enters the field.

While I really enjoyed The Tower of Swallows, I have to confess it wasn’t my favorite. In fact, this was the first full-length Witcher novel in which I felt the pacing stumbled a little. After an incredibly strong beginning, the story loses steam around the halfway point when it takes a very sudden turn in a new direction. We go abruptly from fast-paced action and adventure to convoluted politics, which made the end of the book tedious and hard to understand when compared to the first half.

Still, this is a book you won’t want to miss, especially if you’ve been following along with the series, and the good parts made it all worth it. One of the things I admire most about Andrzej Sapkowski’s storytelling is the way he experiments with different narrative styles, which sometimes involve sudden jumps in the timeline and frequent switches in points-of-view. Normally I am not a fan of this; however, I love the interesting and engaging way Sapkowski does it, as illustrated at the beginning of the novel, where the events that befell Ciri are unraveled by having her share her story with Vysogota. Narrative threads are picked up, dropped, picked up again by different characters, but done in a seamless way that flows well and is easy to follow, even in the audio format.

The characters are also evolving nicely with each installment. Notably, Ciri has come of age and she is settling in as one of the series’ major characters. She’s still finding her way in this book, both literally and figuratively. Torn between her old life as a princess and her new one as a rogue Witcher, she’s frequently waffling on what she wants, and like many troubled teens she is quick to anger especially when confronted with hard truths. She may be an expert fighter, but at the end of the day she’s still just a lost young girl. Geralt is of course the other central figure, and here he suffers his own crisis of confidence, beating himself up for not doing all he can to find Ciri, at some points even convincing himself that she is dead and that his quest is futile. He also clashes with his companions, in particular with Cahir the Nilfgaardian, whom Geralt does not trust. Overall, lack of success has demoralized the party, causing rising tensions and fraying nerves. It almost makes you want to break out the popcorn and watch the fur fly.

Even though the second half is slow, the book does ends with a bang, making me excited for what’s coming next. In total, there are currently six books translated into English and produced in audio, including two that are story collections. I have a feeling all the questions will be answered and everything will come together as the series heads towards its conclusion.

Narration-wise, I really have no complaints. Peter Kenny has already won me over, and he’s probably the biggest reason why I’m such a diehard fan of the Witcher audiobooks, to the extent now where no other format will do. I’m just sad knowing that the next book will be the final entry in the saga. Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s all going to end.
Profile Image for Caro the Helmet Lady.
762 reviews345 followers
November 20, 2019
I'll put it simply - this book was great, maybe even somewhat better than the ones before. And it made me a bit sad because I know it's all almost over and I know HOW exactly it all will end... I wish I could take a break from reading for a while but now I simply can't!

This is where you adore Yennefer.
This is where you have mixed feelings for Geralt.
This is where your fingers hurt from crossing them for Ciri.
This is where you start thinking of all possible sequels and prequels never written...
Profile Image for Hossein.
238 reviews39 followers
January 12, 2020
چی واقعا میتونم بگم در مورد ویچر؟
نفسم بند اومده.
این جلد فوق العاده بود.
نحوه روایت داستان که هی در زمان عقب و جلو میرفت و تصویرسازی انتهای کتاب که یکی از بهترین ها بود
جه بشود سریال ویچر زمانی که به این بخش برسه (گرجه تا بخواد به این جا برسه شاید من زنده نباشم ولی امیدوارم که باشم و تصویرسازی این جند صفحه آخر کتاب رو ببینم)
5 با رضایت تمام
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,009 reviews1,327 followers
March 25, 2022
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“It is better to go forward without a goal, than to have a goal and stay in one place, and it is certainly better than to stay in one place without a goal.”

The Last Wish ★★★★
Sword of Destiny ★★★★
Blood of Elves ★★★ 1/2
The Time of Contempt ★★★ 1/2
Baptism of Fire ★★★ 3/4
The Tower of Swallows ★★

Unfortunately, this was my least favorite in the series so far and I am even hesitant to continue the last book but I will do it because I need to finish this and know what happens.

The usual criticism but multiplied by 10 in this entry. I did not have a problem with the translation before but I stumbled upon a reddit translation of the opening chapter of this book and I noticed that the translation could be much better. Sapkowski tried multiple POVs in this book with multiple time lines and constantly jumping between them and I am saying tried because I can not say it was successful. It was agonizing going through this and being confused more than half of the time!

This is an entry that mainly follows Ciri and Geralt is kind of minor here which I also did not like. The beginning was pretty good and I enjoyed Ciri telling her story to the doctor but then it was messy and a chore going through it. I think I wanted more of Ciri but not while ignoring the other characters.

I like the world but there is still much info dumping with a thousand names of people and places dropped at once and I could never follow everything. I think politics is very central to this book but they are boring the way they are presented and I simply don’t care! I wish there were monster hunting and drama like in the short stories!

The plot is confusing as I said above and I read a summary to see what I missed an I can tell you not much happens and it could have been presented in a much more smoother way. I think the idea is good but the execution is poor in this entry.

“They are not demons, not devils…
Worse than that.
They are people.”

Summary: My least favorite of the series so far, the focus is on Ciri while the other protagonists don’t get to shine as much. The writing is messy and the plot can be tedious at times. I am gonna continue the finale but I saw even worse ratings of the final book so I am really scared of what’s to come!
Profile Image for Celise.
497 reviews320 followers
July 27, 2017
Buddy read with Markus, who actually led me to discover this amazing series in the first place.

The previous book in The Witcher series was a little bit choppy, with each change in point of view requiring some adjustment. By comparison, The Tower of Swallows is like a river being fed by a bunch of little streams. All of the different characters' scenes flow easily together to tell the larger story, and as a reader it's so easy to be carried along the current while observing all of the terrible things that happen on the banks. Real life seems far off when you're sucked into something like that, and that's what I look for in a good book!

As for the plot, I won't bother to summarize. This is the 6th book in the series, so if you're already reading them you'll get to this one on your own. If you haven't read any of The Witcher series, I recommend reading The Last Wish, the short story anthology that begins everything. If you're more interested in jumping to the novels, here is my review for Blood of Elves.

If you're a Ciri fan and felt like she was sorely missed in Baptism of Fire, here's one for you! Her parts were ace. Ciri begins this novel in the company of an interesting character named Vysogota, to whom she reveals the story of her recent encounters, and so reveals them to the reader. Vysogota himself, while not focused on too much, still has a big impact and his parts are so poetically written.

This installment in particular feels very high fantasy with how much it covered both geographically and story-wise.The imagery is also inspired and vividly described. The forests are wet and covered in colourful mushrooms, the caves are decorated with rose-coloured stalactites. Most of the fantasy I've read tends to get stuck with the good old green, brown and grey palette, but it's nice to change it up sometimes. I think it will be easy to remember the really good scenes from this book due to the fact that they all are described with such different and colourful visuals.

I think this one is probably my favourite book in the saga after The Time of Contempt.

And just a quick note to say I started the next book, Lady of the Lake and at about 5 pages in my mind was already blown.
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,314 followers
June 9, 2021
Hellooooo I am BACK to finish the Witcher books!!! 2021 will be the year of completing previously paused or abandoned fantasy series for me.....and hopefully not doing the same thing to all of the new ones I start this year. 😬

I do think I figured out why it takes me so long to finish one of these novels after I start it. I mean, have I been racing through books lately anyways?? NO, but that’s not the point. It’s two things; one, that Andrzej Sapkowski’s favorite tactic is extremely long chapters that start in the middle of the action and then work their way backwards. It can be hard to follow and doesn’t help that he jumps all over the place. The other reason is I keep taking breaks after these chapters, or sometimes in the middle of them, to write down my immediate thoughts on what I just read. This is not a book that flows effortlessly; the chapters are lengthy and you have to put in the work for it to work. So unless you’re very invested in the story it may not be worth it to maintain that exertion.

I did generally like this one, though! It’s been a while since I read the previous—what are we at now? Number six?? So the five I read before aren’t as fresh in my memory as they could have been, but it still wasn’t that difficult to get back into the rhythm with Geralt and Ciri and the rest of the crew. There was a tooooon of Ciri in this book, who is my favorite character to follow, other than Yennefer. Ciri mostly recounted things that happened to her in flashbacks, so although those parts were slower, there was plenty of action woven into her chapters.

The Tower of Swallows had a good amount more political plotting and strategizing than I remember with the other novels. It might have been more noticeable because most of the main characters were absent during the majority of it. Though these portions eventually paid off, they were the least interesting for me to read and the hardest to follow.

And if by chance you thought this book would be devoid of a woman unnecessarily and nonsensically throwing herself at Geralt out of nowhere tHEN YOU WOULD BE MISTAKEN. I just have to assume that Sapkowski can literally not help himself at this point. I call it Bond Syndrome, after the famous Ian Fleming character. But it’s such a trope now that I don’t know if there’s a male author who doesn’t do it. At least Geralt and James Bond are supposed to be hot, unlike Mikael Blomkvist a la Steig Larsson’s Millennium series. But I digress...

And now my spoiler-y complaints because of course I have them:

This felt like a transitional book as the series pivots towards some of the final confrontations of the last couple of novels, but it was still an enjoyable read. I’ll try to pick up the next one relatively soon, at least compared to the time I took between Swallow and Baptism of Fire.

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!
Profile Image for Laura L. Van Dam.
Author 2 books135 followers
July 18, 2020
Esta serie se pone mejor con cada entrega. En la primera novela, me pareció que el autor todavía no había encontrado su voz narrativa para pasar de los relatos a la novela. Pero en cada una se supera! Este volumen tiene muchísima acción- y el "protagonista" Geralt de Rivia prácticamente ni aparece? Pero Ciri es un personaje que evoluciona muchísimo y me encantó Vysogota el ermitaño. La persecución en el lago helado es de lo mejor.

Qué pena que ya queda poquito de la saga. De hecho creo que es la única saga de fantasía que leí entera...
Profile Image for Ana Tijanić.
77 reviews37 followers
May 24, 2018
Odlično napisana i ova. Unapred se radujem finalnoj knjizi.
Profile Image for Tonkica.
625 reviews117 followers
February 18, 2022
Ova epska fantastična saga stigla je do šestog dijela i prati vješca Geralta i njegove kompanjone u nastojanjima da svijetu donesu pravdu i mir te da on ispuni vlastitu sudbinu. Istovremeno, u svijetu i dalje žesti rat, a dijete sudbine, princeza Cirilla, ozlijeđena je i nestala. Geralt neće odustati dok ne pronađe djevojku, no vodi utrku s okrutnim plaćenicima cara tame koji su joj za petama. Pitanje vremena je tko će ju pronaći prvi, a djevojci nije preostalo ništa drugo, nego da bježi i pokuša ostati živa.

Cijeli osvrt pronađite ovdje: https://knjige-u-svom-filmu.webador.c...
Profile Image for Jen - The Tolkien Gal.
458 reviews4,419 followers
January 30, 2020
Review to come. That ending hyped me up and helped me through the dreary parts of the book. (Dreary more in the sense that it got dark and sad). I'm really excited about starting Lady of the Lake, but it's so bittersweet.
Profile Image for Amanda NEVER MANDY.
454 reviews98 followers
May 17, 2020
Ciri makes a new friend when her wounded heart needs one the most and Geralt continues on his path to reach her before the wrong people do.

The group of people that are forming around Geralt fascinate me. Each individual person has their own unique story and it is enough to make the reader want to pause the current story to delve into their backstories. I do applaud an author that takes the time to bring that extra to each character and doesn’t just insert them as a generic bit to carry the story along. There is one member of the group that stands out the most and I would have no problem reading a book or two that focuses on just them and what all they were up to before meeting Geralt. I won’t say more than that here because I hate reviews that spoil even the smallest detail.

The beginning of this book had me thinking I was reading the best book in the series. The middle drifted off and got a smidge boring with a lot of talk about the warring factions. The ending did pick back up and was almost enough to wash out the bad taste left by the middle but not quite. I did like the way it was told. It differed from the previous books and that was something interesting to behold. Not always does stepping out and trying something new work for a person so it was awesome to see that it did here.

Four stars to the first book in the saga to cause my attention span to drift a little.
Profile Image for Franzi.
110 reviews86 followers
August 11, 2022
4 Stars

I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Baptism of Fire, but it's still a great addition to the story (especially since there is a lot more of Ciri in here!).
Profile Image for Inna.
623 reviews138 followers
February 1, 2022
Upd. Перечитала. До відгуку додати нема чого. Я навіть на ті ж цитати звертала увагу, що і при першому прочитанні)))

Ця частина більшою мірою зосереджена на Цірі, тож історія вже не так захоплює. Всі її досі шукають, але не всі знаходять. Ґеральт продовжує подорожувати зі своїми попутниками, хоча будуть і зміни у складі. І персонаж Регіса в цій частині трохи недоотримав від автора властивого йому шарму. І, Йен, я сумувала!

Коротше кажучи, всі так довго кудись ідуть, хочеться, аби вже дійшли і знайшлися.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,781 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.