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Blood of Elves  By  cover art

Blood of Elves

By: Andrzej Sapkowski
Narrated by: Peter Kenny
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Publisher's Summary

Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves....

For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.

Following The Last Wish, Blood of Elves is the new novel starring Geralt of Rivia, the inspiration for the critically acclaimed videogame The Witcher.

©2015 Andrzej Sapkowski (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Featured Article: Geralt—A Witcher Character Guide


The Witcher Saga and the hit Netflix series it inspired wouldn’t exist without the Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia. He is the protagonist of both the Witcher book series and the show. Geralt is a witcher, a monster hunter for hire who has been gradually enhanced through mutations that give him extraordinary, magical abilities. His mother, a sorceress, entrusted his upbringing to a community of witchers. Get to know this monster hunter and hero a bit better with our handy character guide.

What listeners say about Blood of Elves

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great start to a Promising Series

Let me start by saying that Blood of Elves is technically not the start of the series. From what I have found out and read is that The Last Wish, wich is on Audible and Sword of Destiny, wich is not on Audible preceed this novel. Both are short story collections, neither directly impacts the story, but they provide background information on the characters in the series. They are not necessary to read in my opinion, but they do help a bit. Now to the novel, it is very well written with skillful prose and a decent plot. Because this is the first novel in the series, the plot is still being fleshed out so not that much significant happens, but that does not make the novel boring. The pace is steady and the characters are very well developed. The author does something rather unique wich I appreciated very much. Large sections of the novel are strictly dialogue between the characters with almost no description. Therefor, it is as if the reader is sitting in a different room from the speakers, and can here the conversation between them. I found it refreshing and enjoyable. Finally, the narrator does a fantastic job with both differentiation of characters and portraying their emotions correctly. Overall, I enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to the next one being put on Audible.

287 people found this helpful

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Wonderful, enhanced my enjoyment of the game!

I actually played the first two games on the X-box before my boyfriend informed that the games were based on books. I was so excited! I was familiar with the characters which helped, but I recommend listening/reading to The Last Wish (also on Audible) and Sword of Destiny before this book. They are prequels of short stories that introduces the characters, and explains events that are just assumed you know about in the first novel. The first book just jumps right in and I spend the first 25% of the book a little confused before I knew about the prequels.

That being said, this book/series is excellent, well written with engaging and likable characters. It's hard to separate the first book from the series, since they all flow together and since I played all three games witch also has some spoilers. But I will say, that Mr. Sapkowski does high fantasy really well. While the "prophesied child" is par on course for high fantasy, Sapkowski gives it a few new twists. The child is female and is actually a supporting character, not the main one. This is just one example, the author takes old ideas and makes them seem fresh and exciting.

Peter Kenny is the perfect choice for narrator. This is the first book I heard him narrate but he has excellent voice control. I even enjoyed his female voices, which tends to be my biggest complaint with male narrators.

86 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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World immersion & character training

I'm writing this review having read this and the next two books in the series, currently reading the fourth.

If you haven't read the previous short story collection you'll be fine but be warned this is not a action pack, high stakes thriller. This is a very slow, character driven tale where the enjoyment is taken from world building escapism. The author spares no expense in his descriptions and details creating a vibrant world and characters, at the expense of pacing. I'm not saying it's boring but if you're use to modern western fantasy stories, you may not enjoy the slow pace.

The first book reads as a training montage. The witcher Geralt brings the orphaned princess Ciri to the witcher's and is trained in the art of combat. Many jokes prevail as a female sorceress arrives and has to explain to the group of male warriors the particulars of female 'issues'. Without giving much away the story advances to magical training.

There is no particular incident or scene that stands out, and there isn't a concluding ending. The story essentially stops expecting you to pick up the next one in the series.

I recommend reading the first two short story collection first to get a feel of the writing style and pacing. If you enjoy those, like character driven stories that have a slow pace, immersing you in the world then give it a try. Remember if you want a satisfying ending you'll have to commit to the next few books as well.

63 people found this helpful

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meeeh

the content of the book is very slow, and the narrator couldn't determine what volume to speak throughout the book. at some points he would whisper, causing me to turn the volume up to hear what he was saying, only for the next line to be spoken at normal/high volume blowing my ear drums out all over my car.

61 people found this helpful

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THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FAIR FIGHT

ANYONE WHO DOESN'T KNOW ANOTHER LANGUAGE IS HANDICAPPED.
After a small scary intro, this has a real good scene involving a bard in a bar. There is a long conversation involving all the patrons. These are elves, dwarfs, humans, gnomes, knights, whores and others. It is written so well, that you feel you are in the room with all of them. We are than introduced to a pretty good bad guy. The book than quickly shifts to a little girl who wants to be a witch. She is a delightful character. The bard and the bad guy are gone, never to be heard from again. Unless they appear in the last three hours that I did not listen to.

DON'T CRY, I WON'T CRY, SHE EVEN STARTED CRYING.
I was surprised by the amount of talking in this book. These characters do a lot of debating. There is a lot of talk about emotions and crying. There is some action in the book, but it is few and far between. A lot of the talk is anti-war talk, kind of strange for a fantasy epic which depends upon killing to keep it's readers happy. Course as I mentioned there is more talking than doing. I was also confused by the transitions in people and settings. One minute I was listening to a couple of elves conversing and the next minute I am listening to some dwarfs talking somewhere else, with no acknowledgment that we changed people and scenery. Even when we keep the same people, one minute they are in a home, the next on the road. It made me wonder if I was listening to an abridged versions with parts taken out haphazardly.

Peter Kenny is a great narrator and he makes the listening better than the reading. I was amazed in all the voices he could do, plus he portrayed all the right emotions with his voice.

37 people found this helpful

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Hopefully the weakest book in the series.

Ciri, triss, and Yennifer. The book jumps around quite a bit and can be a little difficult to follow with a multitude of obscure names and locations being thrown around. Additionally, very little takes place with regards to Geralt, but Ciri's story evolves quite a bit. Not as addictive as the first two, but obviously necessary to the series.

29 people found this helpful

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Excellent first novel in a series!

It's not the best Witcher novel, but it introduces the world and those important within it admirably. If you've never read a Witcher story before, read "The Last Wish" first; it is, in my opinion, a more rewarding, shorter read that, if enjoyed, should wet your appetite for what "Blood of Elves" provides. Be warned, however, this is a much quieter read more concerned with world- and character-building than action and suspense, and the ending is not an ending at all but more of a lead into the next in the series, "A Time of Contempt." Patience required! Still, a wonderful read filled with memorable characters that left me wanting to see what will happen next. Highly recommended!

20 people found this helpful

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I wanted to like it...

But I just couldn't make myself care. I made it about three quarters through and gave up. Too many names, political events, tangents and side stories. I just got bored.

19 people found this helpful

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Full length novel of Geralt of Rivia

This is the first full novel in the Witcher series, the previous two contained short stories of the adventures of Geralt of Rivia & associated friends. I could tell that in "Sword of Destiny" it was building up into this current story line about Ciri & the prophesy surrounding her. Overall I enjoyed the book, but there were a few parts that I felt were a bit tedious to get thru. Am hoping that now the basic ground work is laid out that the story will pick up.

16 people found this helpful

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Devitalizing Dialogue

This book is written in what I find to be a rather unusual style which, although unsuccessful at engaging me, serves as an excellent example of how not to tell a story. It feels as though the author has attempted to adapted a script for the theater to novel form. It is somewhat amusing, as the reader, to be put into the roll of a spy, listening in via a hidden microphone to hours and hours of dialogue, virtually bereft of all sensory input, including non dialogue related sounds.

Seriously. Imagine, for example, the heroine inadvertently blowing a shack to smithereens no more than ten paces in front of her as she practices magic with her mistress, with nary so much as a description or significant consequence. Instead, out of desperation, you concoct the aforementioned image in your mind based upon nothing more than brief dialogue between teacher and student to the effect of, "Nice try at whipping the hat against the shack; I suppose we can use it for firewood."

If the author had written in an active voice, describing events in present tense instead of having his characters constantly converse, it would have been much more engaging. Not only does the writing leave a bit too much to the imagination, Andrzej has convinced me that couching endless narration in dialogue doesn't convert passive voice into active.

I admit that I found it difficult to get past the writing style to even follow the weak story line, so perhaps my perspective is colored. Although easy to understand, as there are a limited number of characters and it is written in a mostly sequential order, and although there are a handful of reasonable action sequences, the vast majority of this novel is quite simply dialogue. Some of the speech is eloquent, but much of it is verbose, bombastic, and tedious to the point of detracting from character development.

Quite simply this book is mostly talk and doesn't leave much room for a storyline.

16 people found this helpful