Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)” as Want to Read:
Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood of Elves

(The Witcher #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  128,224 ratings  ·  6,580 reviews
The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher.
For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as
Mass Market Paperback, 420 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Hachette Book Group (first published 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood of Elves, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andrew Sandberg If you still haven't gotten an answer yet, it goes
The Last Wish (ironically)
The Sword of Destiny
Blood of Elves
Times of Contempt
Baptism by Fire
If you still haven't gotten an answer yet, it goes
The Last Wish (ironically)
The Sword of Destiny
Blood of Elves
Times of Contempt
Baptism by Fire
The Tower of Swallows
The Lady of the Lake(less)
Μιχάλης The games are a loose sequel to the books, meaning that they come after the seventh novel and borrow on a lot of events from the books (from instance,…moreThe games are a loose sequel to the books, meaning that they come after the seventh novel and borrow on a lot of events from the books (from instance, the Strigga storyline from the Last Wish comes up in The Witcher Game) but, at the same time, they are not a strict sequel as some secondary characters are reinterpreted(is The Professor)

At the same time, the characterisation of the characters is non-consistent, having even the main character being much different in books and in the game.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  128,224 ratings  ·  6,580 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
Joey Woolfardis
This review can be found on Amaranthine Reads.

Considering how well-written and quick-paced the short story prequel collection The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski was, this was ridiculously disappointing and underwhelming. We have the same characters as was to be found in The Last Wish, and we had their personalities expanded and explored further, but we had none of the excitement or fantasy that was found there.

Blood of Elves is very slow and very closed-off. We spend far too much time in one pla
James Tivendale
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Blood of Elves is chronologically the 3rd entry within The Witcher saga. Whereas previously all the short stories followed Geralt of Rivia working on certain monster assassination assignments, within Blood of Elves he is one of 3 or 4 main characters that we share the minds of. For the novels, you can start here but I wouldn't recommend it. I found that I completely loved the groundwork I'd put in with the previous narratives and then hearing about the past stories mentioned of which I'd already ...more
Miranda Reads
Jan 22, 2020 marked it as to-read

Never thought I'd see Amazon go out of stock like this... and for a book over a decade old! So cool that it's in such high demand!

But... what's not cool is the stunning lack of hardcover options.

Don't they know I'm addicted to a beautiful book jacket?
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book signifies a sharp departure from the previous two. The first and second ones were collections of short stories mostly told from Geralt the Witcher POV. This time this is a full-length novel with multiple POVs. Actually we only see Geralt's POV in just one chapter - and a shortish one too. In my opinion the book still shows its origins in short story format as the transitions between the chapters are mostly not continuous. Instead they start with a jump in time to give a flashback to co ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
10/10 would fuck the Witcher on the back of a unicorn

Currently on sale for $2.99 for Prime Day. YISSSS
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Geralt of The Last Wish, where art thou?!

Do I need to call the puny human authorities and tell them to issue an AMBER alert? Have the obnoxious aliens abducted you again, as I suspect they did in book 2? Or is it that the Evil Russians™ are holding you hostage until I surrender my East Siberian Sea dominion? That very well could be. The Fluffy Siberian Bunnies (FSB™) can get bloody shrimping devious like that sometimes. Then again, I don't think that this is what happened here. You know what I t
"The era of the sword and axe is nigh, the era of the wolf’s blizzard. The Time of the White Chill and the White Light is nigh, the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End. The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun. It will be reborn of the Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown. A seed which will not sprout but will burst into flame. Ess’tuath esse! Thus it shall be! Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I sa ...more
C.G. Drews
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did I pick this up expressly because I saw the Netflix show and wanted more? Why yes, yes I am. Aka me and like 3898 other people are doing this (the reservations at my local library is hilariously long), but it actually makes me happy. TV show adaptions of books DO inspire people to go read the original source material! But I definitely enjoyed this more because I'd seen the show. I had all the actors in my heads for the characters and could totally imagine the humour and interactions. 😂Also th ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who's played The Witcher games, or anyone who has not but is interested in dark fantasy, I encourage you to consider reading The Last Wish, which is the first of The Witcher books, an anthology of short stories. Read it before this, and Sword of Destiny too. They're good, and you'll thank yourself for it later when you're not trying to decipher the backstory behind this one. The Blood of Elves is the first full-length novel in the series, and I was not disappointed. It's even made it ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2020-shelf
Maybe I'm a slave to TV after all. I watched the Witcher production before picking up any of the short stories or the novels. Even before playing the games! (And I admit I still haven't played the games.)

So obviously, my opinion is going to be somewhat SKEWED from the rest of the hoards of fans of Sapkowski. Or maybe improved. Who knows?

The fact is... I had a wonderful time reading this.

At no point did I ever feel underwhelmed, think that the pacing was off, or want to complain about the lack o
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: witcherverse
“Blood of Elves”, the third book in “The Witcher” series, is the first full length novel. I recommend reading the two short story collections first (“The Last Wish” and “The Sword of Destiny”) as they are linked together to form the background for this book. It will also give you a feel of the writing style and pacing of the whole series. This is not an action pack, high stakes thriller. This is a very slow, character driven tale where the enjoyment is taken from world-building escapism. I'm not ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
I "feel" (note the use of the word "feel" rather than "think") I should (have) like(ed) this book better. The plot sounds very interesting. The girl Ciri, child of promise and prophecy (yes a common motif in fantasy and folklore) who was promised to the Witcher before she was born. (Evil faeries and so on used to claim that promise). The story of her "education", training, change and all the people around who want to protect or use her.

But I just found the book a sort of yawner. It opens with a
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved it like I knew I would. It was well worth the wait, and I can not wait until the next installment. For some reason, my wife and I were possessed by the title and now run around the house doing some ridiculous call and response thing-
Me(from downstairs, yelling black metal voice): "BLOOD OF ELVES"
Her (from upstairs, shrieking black metal voice): "BLLLLLLLLLLOOOOD OF EELLLVVVVEEES"

There are worse reactions a book can inspire.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews, fantasy
Check out my review for Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski on Grimdark Magazine here: Grimdark Magazine

Blood of Elves, the first ‘proper’ book in the tale of The Witcher, is a story of extreme training, bards songs and of course, swords. You’ll want to read this and the previous two instalments before you commence your journey into Netflix’s The Witcher.

“When you know about something it stops being a nightmare. When you know how to fight something, it stops being so threatening.”

The 3rd instal
Dana Ilie
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dana by: Daniel B.
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars

I believe I did a bad decision when I started the series with The Last Wish. May be I have to read the novels after I read all the main books. I believe I did a bad decision when I started the series with The Last Wish. May be I have to read the novels after I read all the main books. Long story short: I picked The Last Wish after I hear Daniel Greene ( my link text )on you tube that he is reading The Witcher and is so good I have to try, but I did not like the book. Most of the time we
Michelle Kobus
So yeah, I had high hopes for this series, but it was a total fail for me. I can't remember whose recommendation steered me towards this series, which is probably for the best, because only the strongest relationships could withstand the level of betrayal I feel right now.

Like, seriously, I look at all the positivity online for this series, and I just want to scream! I know everyone has different opinions, so I'd expect at least some people to like or love it, but I'm scrolling through endless 4
Dannii Elle
This is the first full length instalment in The Witcher series, but does follow from two prequel short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.

Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a magically-enhanced individual paid to slaughter the beasts that prey on the humans of the land. His current task involved the transportation and ensured safety of Ciri, the child of his destiny and the individual in which his future lays. Enemies lie on every side of them, keen to either abduct Ciri for their o
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
This is such a conflicting read because I LOVED the first half of this but I could not focus on the second half and actually got to a point where I wanted it to be over. I guess I’m just Geralt and Ciri trash and only wanted to read about them XD
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
Boring. After reading The Last Wish, short story prequels, I was expecting fairy tale influenced monster hunting and adventuring. What I got was endless discussions about kings and politics, who wants to marry who and who wants to take over who's country.

I didn't like the way the women were written. They all lost all sense at the sight of Geralt, falling head over heels for him for no apparent reason because he has about as much personality as a stick. And the author appears to understand nothi
Zitong Ren
My first Witcher book, and hey, it was a total success! I know that it is generally recommended to read The Last Wish first, but I don’t have that on me and going to the library or going out and buying it isn’t really an option in times like these where I am happily self-isolating. I do have the first three books of the Witcher however as some of the last few physical books I actual have at home(since I mostly rely on libraries) and have decided that I might as well binge read them. I do plan to ...more
TS Chan
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blood of Elves expands beyond the introduction of Geralt of Rivia and brings forth a different level of worldbuilding into the story in a character-driven narrative.

While this book is technically the start of the main series, I wholeheartedly recommend reading the prequel short stories in The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny first. A lot of references to past events in Blood of Elves were covered in those two books - important past events. I even found myself doing a quick read of some of those sh
Lucy Langford
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”magic is Chaos, Art and Science. It is a curse, a blessing and progress. It all depends on who uses magic, how they use it, and to what purpose. And magic is everywhere. All around us.”

I really enjoyed this as the first “official” book in the series (not including the prequel/short series). Here we follow some of our favourites from the short stories: Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer and Dandelion. This book takes place a while (a year to two years) after the massacre at Sodden Hill.

In this book we get t
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first full-length novel in the Witcher universe. The previous two books, that I've read in January, were collections of short stories.

Ciri is now with Geralt and at the Witcher settlement where she is trained despite being a girl. And I celebrated her fighting windmills, carrying a sword and turning from damsel-in-distress-with-a-twist to a determined warrior-to-be who won't take shit from anyone.
The problem is that she's not just a princess whose fate is intertwined with Geralt's -
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I remember being thrilled when I discovered that The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkowski was available in audio format. As a big fan of the video games which were adapted from this series, I was of course interested in reading the books, but as waiting for the English translation from its original Polish already required a bit of patience, I never really dared hope that the audiobooks would be coming too.

As of this writing t
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After two collections of short stories, I’ve finally arrived at the first novel in The Witcher series. Though this is marked as book #1 in many places, including Goodreads, I really can’t imagine diving into this world without having some background knowledge and context for the events occurring. Whether that’s from The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, the several video games or the first season of the Netflix show, I wouldn’t recommend having Blood of Elves be your introduction to Geralt, Yennef ...more
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘I’m a Witcher: an artificially created mutant. I kill monsters for money. I defend children when their parents pay me to. If Nilfgaardian parents pay me, I’ll defend Nilfgaardian children. And even if the world lies in ruin - which doesn’t seem likely to me - I’ll carry on killing monsters in the ruins of this world until some monster kills me. That is my fate, my reason, my life and my attitude to the world.’
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski is chronologically the third book in The Witcher
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-witcher, 2020
Geralt takes Ciri to his stomping ground to teach, train and protect her. A friend sorceress is brought in to assist but ultimately it is decided that Yennifer is the one for the job. Political turmoil boils in the background while different powers decide who has the right to claim Ciri and how best to obtain her.

I am thankful I read the short story collections first because the background helped me to be in the right place for the opening book in this saga. There is a lot going on and a lot
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, adult
A child of surprise, Ciri and Geralt have been thrown together by destiny. With war raging and political figureheads making moves against each other, the life of one child feels insignificant. But Ciri is no ordinary child, and Geralt must use all of his talents to keep her from falling into the hands of those who want to hurt her - even if that means involving witches with which he has strained and complicated relationships.

This isn’t going to be a fantasy for everyone. It’s incredibly slow, i

A Witcher novel with a key missing ingredient, a Witcher. I started playing The Witcher 3 at pretty much the same time as I started listening to this and I think that might have been a bad choice. In the game, I get to do things like tackle beasts and foes but in the audiobook there was just meh.

Some stuff happened but I'm already forgetting the specifics around what they were. In a rare occasion I think the short stories worked better for this type of story, or at least they did in the pre
Dawn C
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
Re-read on July 25, 2020 in Danish*

I already loved the two short story collections about Geralt of Rivia, but after having watched, and fully enjoyed the tv show about the witcher, I immediately had to move on to the novels.

The plot is what’s essentially set up in the tv show: Geralt is escorting Ciri who is his child surprise - an unborn child promised to him as payment in one of the previous short stories - protecting her and teaching her to defend herself against forces that are out to get he
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Books2Movies Club: The Witcher - book(s) and TV series 5 22 Apr 10, 2021 11:19AM  
Goodreads Librari...: wrong numbers 1 9 Feb 21, 2021 08:30PM  
SpelLit Right: Andrzej Sapkowski - The Witcher 1 6 Oct 29, 2020 02:58PM  
Eclectic Readers: Blood of Elves 1 11 Jun 11, 2020 12:32PM  
Eclectic Readers: Episode 78: Blood of Elves 1 4 Jun 10, 2020 07:40PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The World of the Witcher
  • The Witcher, Vol. 1: House of Glass
  • Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive, #4)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • Cud, miód, Malina. Kronika rodziny Koźlaków
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • Dawnshard (The Stormlight Archive, #3.5)
  • Peace Talks (The Dresden Files, #16)
  • Metro 2033 (Metro, #1)
  • Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
  • The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)
  • Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1)
  • Dune (Dune, #1)
  • Pan Lodowego Ogrodu. Tom 3 (Pan Lodowego Ogrodu, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 (8 books)
  • The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5)
  • Season of Storms (The Witcher, #0.6)
  • Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.7)
  • The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, #2)
  • Baptism of Fire (The Witcher, #3)
  • The Tower of the Swallow (The Witcher, #4)
  • Pani Jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #5)

Articles featuring this book

Want to know which adult fantasy books are trending now with your fellow readers? We dug into the genre's current movers and shakers to see what's...
114 likes · 55 comments
“To be neutral does not mean to be indifferent or insensitive. You don't have to kill your feelings. It's enough to kill hatred within yourself.” 274 likes
“Mistakes,’ he said with effort, ‘are also important to me. I don’t cross them out of my life, or memory. And I never blame others for them.” 137 likes
More quotes…