Baptism of Fire is the fifth book in the story about the Witcher Geralt and his child of destiny, Ciri. When we left them at the end of Time of Contempt, both found themselves in less than ideal situations.
Despite having a pretty good idea about what kind of books I gravitate to, occasionally, I come across books that I think I'll enjoy but don't. Other times I tell myself I'm missing out on great books because I'm so set in my ways with what genres I like, and I should try something new; sometimes it works other times it doesn't.
The first book in this planned trilogy, The Wolf, ends with a foreboding epilogue. The Spider, picking up just days after, begins with an equally foreshadowing prologue hinting at the disaster about to strike. With both epilogue and prologue in mind, it's no surprise that this story begins with a funeral.
Aretuza will also be the place of a large political gathering, The Mages Conference, where most of the more powerful and influential sorcerers and sorceresses will gather. What occurs there will have harsh, long-lasting consequences and set the main characters on paths that will last throughout the series.
What happens next includes prophecies by a slightly unhinged, seventeen-century witch, self-proclaimed witch hunters, the Four Horsemen (on motorcycles), Angels being bureaucratic assholes, and demons who overreact when you've accidentally misplaced the Antichrist. There are also Satanic nuns, patriotic Americans, and Hellhounds. Oh, and the Antichrist is an eleven-year-old boy.
This is the type of book where almost everything feels familiar or reminds you of something. But not in a way that it feels like a carbon copy. There is a personality in his writing, the author has a voice.
One thing I really enjoy about the writing is that, because of the very different personalities and lives these two women lead, it never feels repetitive. For example, a part of the book takes place in Venice, you have chapters from Villanelle's POV, and then you have Eve retracing her steps, and yet it feels new.
We are finally here! At long last, it's time to review, Pyramids. This was the book that sold me on the Discworld series and showed me the magic that can happen when Terry Pratchett hits all my buttons.
What I love about this book is that it is not afraid to take the time needed to establish essential relationships, while also being an action-packed, adult story. Sapkowski takes his time explaining why Ciri is unique, why everyone is interested in her; she not made into a "special girl with special powers" she's a person.
Once in a while, I'll choose a book without really paying any attention to book blurbs. In the case of The Essex Serpent, it was one of those books I'd noticed in passing on lists over Best Books of 2017. I'd been drawn to the cover in books stores, and at one point I think I must have read the blurb even though when I, on a whim, decided to read it I couldn't remember much about it.