Book Review: Blood of Elves (The Witcher Book 1) by Andrzej Sapkowski [Audiobook]

Ciri, an orphaned princess, is Geralt's destiny, but now that she's under his care, he has to figure out how to train her and protect her. Ciri will have to learn how to use a sword and magic, but all the while, an oncoming war is brewing.

Book Cover- Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
Title: Blood of Elves
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 324
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


So I read the prequel books first, and they weren’t what I would call fast-paced or action-packed, but they had enough action, and they kept things interesting. This, unfortunately, was slow and kind of boring. Not much happened. Ciri did some training. There were lots of conversations about politics and war. There was some traveling. That was about it.

The prequel books were mostly Geralt’s POV and thoughts, so I was surprised and disappointed that this one was mostly Ciri’s.

This one also lacked the fun and playfulness that I came to really enjoy in the prequels. Geralt was much more serious and uninteresting. Though I do love that Dandelion always wants to give his stories and information in verse since he’s a bard, and everyone is always exasperatedly like, “No, Dandelion, just say it normal.” And seeing the way Yennefer treated Ciri while teaching her magic, strict but respectful and honest, made me like her a bit more.

It seems kind of unfair that this whole review is basically just me comparing this book to the prequels, which I know were written after the series, but since I read those first, they set a tone, and I was expecting the whole series to be like that. Even if I hadn’t been expecting that, I still would have been bored during this one and felt no connection to the characters. Those other books are the reason I already cared about the characters and was willing to sit through this whole thing and to give the next book a try to see if it would get any better. (I can tell you already, I gave up about a third of the way through the next book. It was much the same as this one—slow with lots of talk of politics and very little Geralt.)

I don’t really know how to judge translation (this one was translated from its original Polish by Danusia Stok), but the writing itself was good.

I listened to the audiobook for this, and the narrator, Peter Kenny, was amazing, as usual. So many different voices and accents, different genders, all the necessary emotion and acting. It really brings these books to life and makes me forget he’s just one person.

Overall, unfortunately, I was disappointed by how slow and uninteresting I found this one, especially after having enjoyed the prequels.

*Rating: 3 Stars // Read Date: 2020 // Format: Audiobook*


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  1. Greg

    I have not read or watched any of the Witcher stuff, but I see a lot of the concept art and it always looks awesome. Sorry this one was a little lackluster. I do like multiple POV’s but definitely sounds like the prequels were faster paced!

    I love that a character is named Dandelion. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I haven’t watched it either. But yeah I was disappointed by the book, such a bummer!

      I read somewhere that his name is Jaskier in the original Polish, which apparently is a type of flower (in Polish), so they changed it to Dandelion for the English translation.

  2. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Sorry the first in this series ended up being disappointing. Sometimes you can see how the writing progressed when you read later books but as the prequels came later you saw it in reverse. I do still want to read this series but now I’m a little uncertain of if I’ll enjoy it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t normally read prequels before starting a series. I have mixed feelings about it now lol. It kind of gave me the wrong impression for the series, but I still got to read two good books at least! And the prequels made me more invested in the characters. You should definitely still try it if you want to, maybe you’ll like it more!

  3. Cee Arr

    Every time I see/hear the name Geralt I get so confused – like, is it supposed to sound like Gerald but with a T? Or is it just an Anglicised version of Gerallt because non-Welsh people can’t do the ‘Ll’ noise? (Shape your mouth like a very wide L, put your tongue a little further forward, and a little flatter, on the roof of your mouth, and draw air over your teeth.)

    …I realise I entirely went off on one here, but I think you’ve known me long enough to know that’s pretty normal for me.