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The Bookish Owl – The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Tower of the Swallow Andrzej Sapkowski

My 30th book of the year will be The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski (or ‘The Tower of Swallows’, depending on the translation).

I really hope this 6th book in the Witcher series will be better than the last two. I loved the first books, but the last couple have been dragging their metaphorical feet to the point where nothing actually happened in the last one. Anyone who’s been following this blog knows how much I love the Witcher-verse, so obviously I’m not going to bail on the book series, but I really need some monster hunting or crazy mage fights in this one.

If I get another book of characters just wandering around aimlessly while the author pretends brooding counts as character development, I’m gonna have to go replay The Witcher 3 again, just to rekindle my interest in these characters.

I’m getting a bit ranty, I know, but the first books in this series had so much potential, so I’d just hate for the series to continue the pace set by ‘Baptism of Fire’.

Monsters, Sapkowski. Give me some monsters, please.


The Tower of the Swallow
by Andrzej Sapkowski

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life.
But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting…


The Tower of the Swallow Andrzej Sapkowski

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The Bookish Owl – Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski

Baptism of Fire Andrzej Sapkowski

It’s amazing how rapidly I consume books when I can’t use a PC for some time. Fourth book this week is Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski, meaning that you’ll once again have to listen to me talk about the Witcher.

My Witcher craze was dying down a bit, seeing as I didn’t have many people to geek out about it with, but I have a friend who promised me to play The Witcher 3 if it ever came to Nintendo Switch (the only gaming platform she uses).

Guess what just got announced for release later this year? She is so going to regret her promises once I’m breathing down her neck to finish this game…

Not to mention that Netflix is releasing their Witcher show some time this year as well. And I’m returning to Witcher School in October. I’m going to be insufferable, you guys.

What were we talking about again…? Oh, right. Books.

In case you didn’t guess it, ‘Baptism of Fire’ is the next book in the Witcher series. In the last book, Time of Contempt, we left Geralt badly wounded after getting caught up in a sorcerer coup, and his foster daughter Ciri joining up with a bunch of murderous outlaws after stumbling through a malfunctioning portal. Good times. I hope it goes better for them in this book, but honestly, these two are some of the unluckiest people ever and I just don’t see it happening.


Baptism of Fire
by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.

But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.

While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl – Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished – until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.

Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.


Baptism of Fire Andrzej Sapkowski

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The Bookish Owl – Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski

Time of Contempts Andrzej Sapkowski Owl

It’s been at least two full weeks since I last talked about Witcher, so it’s a good thing that I’m now reading Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski!

Seeing as ‘contempt’ is in the title, it’s obviously the lovely Yennefer adorning the cover. Meaning Artemis really had to up his game so as not to have his arrogance outshined in today’s picture. Philippa Eilhart might be the Witcher-verse’s resident Crazy Owl Lady, but I have no doubt that Artemis would get along just fine as Yennefer’s familiar.

I probably lost all the non-Witcher fans now, but that’s alright. I know you’re only here for the grumpy owl!


Time of Contempt
by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt the Witcher has fought monsters and demons across the land, but even he may not be prepared for what is happening to his world. The kings and armies are maneuvering for position, each fearing invasion from across the river, each fearing their neighbours more. Intrigue, dissent and rebellion are on all sides.

The Elves and other non-humans are still suffering under decades of repression, and growing numbers join the commando units hidden deep in the forest, striking at will and then dissolving into the trees. The Magicians are fighting amongst themselves, some in the pay of the kings, some sympathetic to the elves.

And against this backdrop of fear and contempt Geralt and his lover Yennefer must protect Ciri, orphaned heir and sought by all sides. For the prophecy rests on her, and whether she lives or dies she has the power to save the world – or perhaps end it.


Time of Contempts Andrzej Sapkowski Owl

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The Bookish Owl – Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves Andrzej Sapkowski owl

By the time this post goes live, I will have arrived at Moszna Castle in Poland after having been reading Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski on the plane (when not doing Sudokus…). But I didn’t want you to miss out on your grumpy owl photo, so I cheated and took this one yesterday!

Blood of Elves is, of course, the next book in the Witcher series, seeing as the sole reason I’m in Poland is to attend a Witcher-inspired LARP event.
As I’m writing this a little ahead of time, I haven’t started the book yet, so there’s not much more I can tell you about the story, but judging from the title…

It won’t end well for elves.

Anyway, I’ll be back home Sunday night, so I’ll see all of you once I emerge from my exhaustion-induced coma.
Hopefully this will be some time around Tuesday.

(Disclaimer to anyone who’s new to my blog and is not yet familiar with Artemis: The owl is fine, just weird as hell. Yesterday, apparently, he thought he was a hen.)

Blood of Elves Andrzej Sapkowski owl

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Witcher School, LARP Characters, and Why I Am Screwed

Witcher School logo

Witcher School logoYes, you’re finally getting a post that’s not about owls or cosplay, and yet it’s STILL terribly geeky. Bear with me.

I’m going to Poland this week to enroll in Witcher School. This is a huge LARP event where people from all over the world spends 3 days at a castle, acting out a story based on the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski and the popular Witcher video games. We’re talking more than a hundred players as well as a huge crew of organizers who’ll play instructors, monsters and other cool characters over the course of the event, where we’ll be completely secluded from the modern world. The players will get lessons in fencing, archery, survival and alchemy, and whatever else they might need to become experienced monster hunters.

Witcher wolf medallion logo

I did a bit of LARPing (“Live-action Roleplaying” to those unfamiliar with the lingo) as a teenager, but this will be my first time as an adult and of course I’m jumping in at the deep end.

When signing up for the event, we all got a form to fill out. A lot of the info was so that the organizers could make a custom character for each of us. We had to fill out prior skills, wishes and ideas for our characters’ backstories, etc..

As I have next to no physical skills, and since there wasn’t a box for that, I just checked “from a noble family” under the character background section, knowing that, as a petite woman with noodle arms who gets winded going up more than one flight of stairs, I would have trouble believably playing someone from a rough background. I figured a backstory as a pampered noblewoman would give me some excuses when struggling to swing a sword, so I didn’t specify anything else for my character.

Let’s just say that… backfired.

I got my character sheet last week and the organizers did respect my only wish. My character, Eydis of Clan Tordarroch, is indeed nobility.

Skellige nobility.

To everyone not familiar with the Witcher universe: They basically made me a viking.

I barely weigh more than a hundred pounds soaking wet, and my friends accidentally injure me on a regular basis just by hugging me. I’m also not a fan of the cold. Despite my Scandinavian blood, I’m the least viking-y person you’ll ever meet.

Also, I’m horrible at accents, and all the Skellige characters in Witcher 3 have Irish accents.

Don’t get me wrong. While reading my character sheet, I immediately fell in love with Eydis as a character. I’m just in for a hell of a challenge bringing her to life.

At least they made her bitchy and brutally honest. Now THAT I can do.

Photos by 5 Żywiołów and CD Project Red.