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Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
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BotM Discussion - Mod Special > Blood of Elves/Overall Discussion/***SPOILERS***

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message 1: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2023 comments Mod
I finished this book the other day and it was pretty good, but not great. There is a lot of background information in this book and it is pretty light on action.

I have played the game so I found the information a nice complement to the game, but again you don't need to play the game for it to make sense. I'd say it might be a little boring if you haven't played the game, but I can't really judge that since I've already dropped at least 80 hours into the game.

I could have done without the political interludes in the book but they weren't terrible.


Mike (mikenl) I really enjoyed Blood of Elves, but like you Roger I have put many hours in Witcher 3. So I'm already familiar with a lot of characters and more easily recognise the many regions or city-states that are mentioned. So to me, this book was like a warm bath of familiarity and new information which gives more colour to the world I already knew. So I'm really interested in the opinion of others who had their first experience with The Witcher in Blood of Elves.

As a reaction on your comment Roger. I didn't really miss the action, but I can imagine some people might. This book is clearly the first in the series with a lot of build-up.

Personally I loved the geopolitical situation as described in the book with the tension between leaders. Besides that the racism against non-humans feels, unfortunately, quite familiar with the world we live in. It is easy to compare that to situations in real life. But above all I really liked the addition of academics and economics in the world of fantasy. This is part of my own background and it was really cool that is has a place in this world, which made it feel even more realistic to me. The addition of economics shouldn't be really surprising however, because Sapkowski studied Economics himself.


message 3: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2023 comments Mod
Mike wrote: "I really enjoyed Blood of Elves, but like you Roger I have put many hours in Witcher 3. So I'm already familiar with a lot of characters and more easily recognise the many regions or city-states th..."

I am also interested in what people who haven't played the game think.


Mike (mikenl) And then another thing, Dwarves or Dwarfs are awesome. My favourite non-human race, probably because they are a bit like the Dutch. Just no-nonsense and straightforward fellas.

Speaking about Dutch, it was nice to see so many Dutch surnames being used by Sapkowski as well such as de Vries, de Boot, and Dijkstra. Other good thing to know is that Brugge is a Belgian city, know in English as Bruges (from In Bruges, great film) but also a place in the Witcher books.


LittleBookDruid | 89 comments I haven't played the game, but I still haven't read this book yet. I started from the first book, (too OCD for that, even though I know it doesn't spoil anything).
But I really enjoy the writing style and it's fun to talk about it with my brothers who plays the game and realize that I already know more than them... -_-


Niles (professorx2) | 28 comments I finished this a few days ago and had a "blah" reaction to it. I have played the games (although not quite as extensively as others) and enjoyed them, but I felt this book had too many flaws to be truly enjoyable. Too many unanswered questions, not enough action, too much politics, and an ending that just... well just ended. I am not sorry I read it, and thanks to the group for letting me know these books even existed, but I felt the author could have handled things a bit better. But Geralt is awesome! He's the man when it comes to combat, and perhaps I expected too much of this when I picked up the book. Lofty expectations are rarely met, and that was probably my own fault. I don't know if I will continue the series, but I will definitely continue with the games!


message 7: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2023 comments Mod
Niles wrote: "I finished this a few days ago and had a "blah" reaction to it. I have played the games (although not quite as extensively as others) and enjoyed them, but I felt this book had too many flaws to be..."

I agree with that, it's almost like an unfinished book


Mike (mikenl) Niles wrote: "I finished this a few days ago and had a "blah" reaction to it. I have played the games (although not quite as extensively as others) and enjoyed them, but I felt this book had too many flaws to be..."

I read your review and a couple of the questions you have are answered in the prequel books with short stories. Such as the existing relationship between Geralt and Dandelion, and how Geralt got together with Ciri and the whole destiny thing behind it.

The action aspect is maybe something the games have cultivated as a major part of The Witcher, but not necessarily from the books. I however didn't mind that the action wasn't always on the foreground of the story. And I do like the writing style of Sapkowski in which you have a lot of questions due to gaps or pre-existing relationships. Because I find that some books are too easy in that every little thing is being explained.


Niles (professorx2) | 28 comments Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "I finished this a few days ago and had a "blah" reaction to it. I have played the games (although not quite as extensively as others) and enjoyed them, but I felt this book had too ma..."

Thanks for clearing that up Mike. I should have known it was something simple like a prequel. I do like to read series' from the beginning for this very reason. I was under the impression that this was the first in the series. I may have to update my review when I read the previous books. But I still think the ending was a bit lame, Could have been done better. As far as his style, I have no problem with piecing together bits of information. In fact, I like that as it makes me use my mind more. It kind of reminds me of a puzzle as the picture grows with each individual piece until you get a view of the whole picture.


message 10: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike (mikenl) Niles wrote: "Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "I was under the impression that this was the first in the series."

Technically Blood of Elves is the first in the series of a total of five. But The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are two books which bundles short stories and precedes the story of the 'serie'. That is how you should look at the Witcher books in totality.

Bit of a teaser, but I had a question after reading Blood of Elves, which got answered in next book Time of Contempt. So some questions can be answered later one in the book. This however doesn't rectify the ending, which indeed was not satisfying.


message 11: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 4 stars

Roger | 2023 comments Mod
Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "I was under the impression that this was the first in the series."

Technically Blood of Elves is the first in the series of a total of five. But The Last W..."


There was some dilemna on which book to read as the BOTM, but as Mike said the other two books are considered prequels and this is the beginning of the main story, we decided to do Blood of Elves first.


Niles (professorx2) | 28 comments Roger wrote: "Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "Mike wrote: "Niles wrote: "I was under the impression that this was the first in the series."

Technically Blood of Elves is the first in the series of a total of five. B..."


I am glad I read this book. As I stated earlier, I didn't even know this series existed. So I thank the group for introducing me to them. Now I have more to read, but that's a good thing. :-D


message 13: by LittleBookDruid (new)

LittleBookDruid | 89 comments Niles wrote: "I finished this a few days ago and had a "blah" reaction to it. I have played the games (although not quite as extensively as others) and enjoyed them, but I felt this book had too many flaws to be..."
I think expectations are to blame there.
Because I am in the beginning of the first book and already had so many action-packed scenes. Even though I never read fantasy short story, but these collections are so much fun.
And of course, Geralt is awesome. :D


message 14: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
I was really looking forward to this, and ultimately it was disappointing.

I've played each of the games a little bit (mostly Witcher 3, but they're all unfinished), so I had some background. However, I feel like without the games, I would have been pretty lost.

This is the first book? It felt like it assumed the reader knew everything :/ It was really really uneventful and there was barely any actual Witcher stuff...


message 15: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike (mikenl) Rinn wrote: "...and there was barely any actual Witcher stuff"

This is the main discussion between readers of the Witcher books and gamers of the Witcher games. Because in the games there is a focus on the Witcher aspect, which fits with the medium. However in the books there is less of a focus on this particular aspect. The developer CD Projekt Red used their creative freedom to do their own thing within the Witcher universe.

So the readers of the Witcher books gave a fair warning for gamers that the books are less about 'Witcher stuff'. As well as critique on the game that it doesn't stick with the material from the books. Such as Geralt who is portrayed with a beard in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but in the books says that he doesn't like having a beard.

In the end you must see the books and games as different from each other although they share a universe. On a personal note I can say that the prequels The Last Witch and Sword of Destiny do have a bit more of a focus on 'Witcher stuff', but the main story arch which starts with Blood of Elves does not.


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