Season of Storms: A WITCHER prequel

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Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski fantasy audiobook reviewsSeason of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski fantasy audiobook reviewsSeason of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski

“The story goes on. The tale never ends.”

For those of us who can’t get enough of Geralt of Rivia (better known as The Witcher), Andrzej Sapkowski offers Season of Storms (2013 in Polish, 2018 in English), a stand-alone prequel novel. This would be a fine place to start for WITCHER newbies, though its story is not one of the better ones. I recommend starting with The Last Wish and coming back to Season of Storms once you’ve become a fan. I have a feeling that many WITCHER readers appreciate this novel more for its feelings of nostalgia than for the actual story.

In Season of Storms, Geralt travels to a minor kingdom and gets mixed up in the schemes of kings, princes, and magicians. His swords are confiscated and auctioned off, rendering him less effective but definitely still very dangerous. He needs to get his swords back and stop an evil magician from using genetics to create the monsters that he keeps having to kill.

As usual there will be beautiful sexy sorceresses. Dandelion, the cowardly and foppish bard, will be present for some of the action (he’s so funny). Yennefer will be seen only for a few moments, and Ciri is completely absent. Also as usual, Geralt spends a lot of time brooding. There’s a hilarious auction scene. Some of the things that Geralt does, and the people he meets, are related to the WITCHER stories we’re already familiar with.

The Witcher (Book Series) by Andrzej SapkowskiThe WITCHER books are beautifully written; it’s one of my favorite things about them. Even when the plot isn’t very exciting, just listening to Sapkowski’s words (and David French’s translation) is pleasant. The world-building is superb and I love the way that, though the story is set in a medieval-style world, it has a modern sensibility.

But the very best thing about the WITCHER books is Peter Kenny’s performance of the Hachette audiobook versions. These are outstanding — one of the best audiobook experiences I’ve ever had (and I’ve read hundreds, maybe even a thousand, audiobooks). Sapkowski could write a totally boring WITCHER novel and I’d still want to listen to it because I just love hearing Kenny narrate these books. They are so fabulous.

I don’t know if there will be any more WITCHER stories. I hope so. I’m also looking forward to the upcoming Netflix TV series.

Published in Polish in 2013, translated to English (including audio format) in 2018. Geralt of Rivia. A witcher whose mission is to protect ordinary people from the monsters created with magic. A mutant who has the task of killing unnatural beings. He uses a magical sign, potions and the pride of every witcher — two swords, steel and silver. But what would happen if Geralt lost his weapons? In this standalone novel, Geralt fights, travels and loves again, Dandelion sings and flies from trouble to trouble, sorcerers are scheming … and across the whole world clouds are gathering – the season of storms is coming…

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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