The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

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The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski is the fifth novel of The Witcher.  It is epic fantasy.

I have a weakness for The Witcher novels, they are consuming to the point the rest of the world disappears  This novel was no different, I ignored all but the necessities and taking out the puppy to read this installment in two days.  Normal Witcher novels involve lots of action, monsters, and good triumphing over evil.  This novel is somewhat different.  The writing style is different in this novel, it is very much the story intended to wrap things up and conclude the series.  Then there is the little blurb at the conclusion of the story announcing the next book release in Summer 2018.

The book reduced me to tears, great sobbing tears.  I won’t spoil it but it was heart breaking.  We all know the myth, the legend of the lady of the lake so we come into the novel with expectations.  Our normally Slavic fantasy novel this time opens with a very Anglo myth with Ciri emerging from a lake and being immediately mistaken for the proverbial Lady of the Lake.  And then suddenly the reader is thrust into a pair of new characters that know Geralt, Ciri, and friends as characters of legend only. 

The novel is written very differently from the rest.  The juxtaposition between “reality” of the new characters and the “legend” of The Witcher changes the entire character of the story.  The reader is forced into deciding which story they want to invest themselves in, the new and somewhat awkward or the old and familiar.  It is possible to invest in both, but one will always intrude on the other.  I admit, I invested in the later with the former being only mildly interesting to me.

I loved the book.  It was a departure from the previous four but in no sense did it detract from the story.  The reader is definitely left with the impression that this was the last book in the series.  I didn’t close the book aching for more, things were pretty neatly wrapped up.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic there is a new book next year.

Five out of five stars for being true to itself while being different.  Beautifully written and translated, engaging and compelling characters, rich scenery, and epic storytelling.

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