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

Blood of Elves

(The Witcher #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  67,600 ratings  ·  3,329 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, 398 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Hachette Book Group Orbit (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 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  67,600 ratings  ·  3,329 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blood of Elves (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
James Lafayette 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
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 ...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?
"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 say ...more
✘✘ 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
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
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
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.
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
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
10/10 would fuck the Witcher on the back of a unicorn
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
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
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
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
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
Dana Ilie
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dana by: Daniel Greene
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
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, adult, fantasy
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,

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
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable read. Nothing huuuge happens in the book, its mostly focussd on Ciri and her training. But still the world and the characters are epic so its just good to be reading about them. Relaxing even haha. Anyway a war is coming up and a bit of training is deff necessary. I mean I do want if Ciri becomes this crazy ass whipping chick to be believable. And this book is just the beginning and a small part of a bigger journey.
C.T. Phipps
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witcher, fantasy, grimdark
Blood of Elves is the first full-length novel of the Witcher franchise. Strangely, it was translated into English as the second novel despite the second anthology, Sword of Destiny, having a huge role in setting up this novel's events. How huge? Well, about sixty-percent of the story deals with the aftermath of the Nilfgaard invasion of the North. The Nilfgaard invasion of the North happens in Sword of Destiny. The rest of the novel deals with Geralt's adoption of Ciri, which is kind of ...more
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
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Alright. I'm just absolutely obsessed with this series and I can't really say why. Maybe it's because I haven't really indulged in a fantasy series in a long time, but maybe it's also because this is just a bloody good series. I'll write a full review once I'm not I'm the middle of nowhere relying on my phone for Internet access. I enjoyed The Last Wish, but this is just fantastic. Can I get a whoop for Yennefer please?
Dawn C
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 her. As with Sapkowski’s previous
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
With this 3rd volume, the series is starting to take shape. There are no longer just Geralt’ stories, we now have a narrative thread.

The focus changes from Geralt to Ciri, and Yennefer has a bigger part in the story. If so far she sounded like a spoiled brat, there is a 180 degrees change in her character and I very much enjoyed this new Yennefer.

The story gains complexity, new characters, there is worldbuilding and a well-drawn political context with Ciri – more or less – in the center of it.

Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I jumped right into this after reading "The Last Wish" expecting something similar in terms of pacing and structure. Instead this picked up a dangling thread from one of the short stories in the previous book and wove an epic fantasy.

I did feel that I needed a map to keep all of the little countries and their relations to each other, and maybe even a diagram with all the rulers and their relations to each other, but the important ones were easy enough to follow.

To me it felt like Ciri was
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Witcher series has very intriguing world and likeable characters BUT this book was just too slow-paced and conversations were extremely boring. Especially in comparison with quick-paced and super exciting prequel The Last Wish. So I'm giving 4 stars for world-building and characters but only 2 stars for storytelling and narration, which makes Blood of Elves a solid 3-stars read for me.

However, my fascination with Geralt is so big that I can't help myself but start next book right away even
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
Dare I say it...this may even be a 3.5 stars?

While I still thoroughly enjoyed this book overall, it didn’t enamor me as much as the two short story collections.

Despite being the first full-length novel in the series rather than a collection of short stories, Blood of Elves felt quite disjointed at times. Sapkowski has a tendency to meander on both in scenes and in chapters (this 400 page book had only 7 chapters!), and the novel frequently (sometimes abruptly) jumps between multiple story arcs.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-books
This is the Witcher book I had been hoping to read. The first two books in the series, while generally good and informative, were only short stories that ultimately felt quite disconnected. Blood of Elves quickly fixes that, and traditionally feels like the epic stories from the video game series. Sapkowski's novel centers on Ciri, the royal granddaughter to the fallen kingdom of Cintra, and her mentorship under Geralt of Rivia and the other Witchers at their base of Kaer Morhen, alongside Triss ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not much happens in this book, it feels very much like a transition book to me, but I still like it. I like the social and political textures of the story, I like the main characters (the child Ciri is much better than her teenage self, mind you), I like how the different groups of wizards, witches, faes, goblins and politicians are introduced to us. I like the tolerance message behind the story. However, I still wish there are more things to happen in the book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings Trilogy #3)
  • Starsight (Skyward, #2)
  • The World of the Witcher
  • The Witcher, Vol. 1: House of Glass
  • Wiedźmin. Ostatnie życzenie (Wiedźmin #5)
  • A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • The Burning White (Lightbringer, #5)
  • Metro 2033 (Metro, #1)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • The Witcher, Vol. 2: Fox Children
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)
  • The Witcher, Vol. 4: Of Flesh and Flame
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • The Witcher, Vol. 3: Curse of Crows
See similar books…
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 (5 books)
  • Czas pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #2)
  • Chrzest ognia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #3)
  • Wieża Jaskółki (Saga o Wiedźminie, #4)
  • Pani Jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #5)
“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.” 212 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.” 100 likes
More quotes…