While I’ve read and reviewed a decent number of standalone novels since January 1st, 2021 has been my year for reading series. One of the most enjoyable series that I’ve had the opportunity to continue reading this year is Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher Saga. During the month of July, I continued my reading of this series with Baptism of Fire.
Baptism of Fire is the third book in Sapkowski’s main series of Witcher Saga novels, but it is better described as the sixth book of the series, based on when it takes place.
At the beginning of Baptism of Fire, Geralt of Rivia is convalescing in Brokilon, having been severely wounded during the coup that took place at the wizard’s conclave in The Time of Contempt.
As war rages across the countryside, Geralt hears a report that Ciri has been captured by Nilfgaard and is going to be married off to the Nilfgaardian emperor. Along with Dandelion and a female archer named Milva, the still-recovering Geralt sets out to rescue his ward.
However, his task isn’t as straightforward as it seems…because the Ciri that is currently being held by Nilfgaard is actually an imposter, and the real Ciri’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Geralt and his companions will have to make their way through a war zone in order to find the lost princess, dealing with marauders, would-be horse thieves, and even vampires along the way.
Even though I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books in The Witcher Saga, I have to say that Baptism of Fire is my favorite installment of the series so far. Like the other books in the series, the novel is fast-paced and full of action. But what I really love is the way in which Geralt’s character is developed in this novel. Much of the action in this book is centered around the Witcher, and he undergoes some significant character development during his search for Ciri.
I do think it is important to mention that like other books in The Witcher Saga, Baptism of Fire does include some content that might cause distress for some readers. This includes references to unwanted sexual attention and rape, threats of torture, and a miscarriage.
Whether you are already a fan of the other books in The Witcher Saga, or just love great fantasy novels, I highly recommend checking out Baptism of Fire. Of course, since this novel does come later in the series, you’ll definitely want to read the following books first (assuming you haven’t already)…
- The Last Wish
- Sword of Destiny
- Season of Storms
- Blood of Elves — The main series of novels does begin with this book, but I recommend reading the previous three titles before diving into this one.
- The Time of Contempt
If you have the opportunity to read Baptism of Fire (and the rest of The Witcher Saga) for yourself, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!