Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski is the third novel (fifth book overall) in The Witcher series. It follows Geralt and Ciri as they travel across war-ridden lands in search of each other.
Note: There won’t be spoilers for this particular book but if you haven’t read the previous ones, you might learn things you don’t want to.
Geralt of Rivia, the witcher, is trying to recover from wounds of his last battle but he has no time for rest. Ciri, the Child of Destiny and heir to the throne of Cintra is still missing, and Geralt needs to find her. But there are others looking for her too, and the result could be catastrophic if she falls to the wrong hands.
War is at hand and throughout the book we catch glimpses into the political side of it, though somewhat less than in previous books. And then there are the sorceresses who, after recent events and the fall of the Wizard’s guild, are scattered and filled with mistrust, but somehow need to find a way to pull together.
I’d say this book focuses more on characters than plot. We get to follow Geralt and Ciri, though this time we get more time with the former. The story can seem a bit slow at times but there’s a bunch of new characters thrown in. And I loved pretty much all of them. I hope we’ll see more of them in the later books because this book had a bit of a “build-up” feeling. As in there weren’t that many big incidents and it feels like the next book will be brimming with them.
The previous books have all had their huge chunks of backstory and intriguing details, and this wasn’t an exception. The beauty of these books is how well these backstories flow in with the actual story, so even when there’s a big block of backstory, it doesn’t feel infodumping. It feels alive and builds on the previous events of the book.
I definitely recommend this book as I do the rest of the series.