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Publisher's Summary

To protect his ward Ciri, Geralt of Rivia sends her to train with the sorceress Yennefer. But all is not well within the Wizard's Guild in the second novel of the Witcher, Andrzej Sapkowski's groundbreaking epic fantasy series that inspired the hit Netflix show and the blockbuster video games.

Geralt is a Witcher: Guardian of the innocent, protector of those in need, a defender in dark times against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend.

His task now is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the world for good or for ill - but only if she lives to use it.

Witcher collections:

  • The Last Wish
  • Sword of Destiny 

Witcher novels:

  • Blood of Elves
  • The Time of Contempt
  • Baptism of Fire
  • The Tower of Swallows
  • Lady of the Lake
  • Season of Storms 

Hussite Trilogy:

  • The Tower of Fools
  • Warriors of God

Translated from original Polish by David French.

©2013 Andrzej Sapkowski; 2015 Hachette Audio

Featured Article: Ciri—A Witcher Character Guide


It's a good time to brush up on the The Witcher Saga’s lore and characters. Set in a fantasy kingdom beset with monsters and ongoing war, the series is based on Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy books of the same name. Hailed by some as the Polish Game of Thrones, it features dozens of fascinating characters, and while not every one of them made it into the Netflix adaptation, Princess Ciri of Cintra plays a major role. This article serves as an in-depth guide to Ciri, her backstory, and her powers, as well as introduction to her relationships with the other major characters in the show.

What listeners say about The Time of Contempt

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected.

I think what surprises me most about this series is that it isn’t your run of the mill media tie in, full of swords and sorcery. That’s probably because the books came first, before the games and other media. So don’t going to the series expecting as much action as you get in the games. Therefore as a high fantasy book, this is just average. This is a much slower paced book, with a lot of sections that seem to drag and involve tertiary characters. There also isn’t nearly as much action as you might expect. Like the last book, this one feels like simply another episode in a much larger story, without any real closure. So just be aware of that, since you’ll probably have to read the entire series in order to finish the tale.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Steadily rising up my list of favorite series

When I first read The Last Wish it was purely on a whim. I saw it was on sale and bought it. I was interested after that collection of short stories, so I bought Blood of Elves. I finished it quickly and came to the conclusion that it was a very strong first novel of the actual series. Therefor I had to get The Time of Contempt, and it far outshown my expectations. The beginning of the novel is a bit slow, but after the first couple of hours the novel takes off at a breakneck pace. Everything about this book is intriguing, whether it be the intricate characters, the deceptively complex plot, or the well crafted world. I think my favorite part of the book was the plot, whitch really made me think to try and determine who was on who's side. By the end of the book, I can honestly say I am beautifully confused and excited for the next novel. I must comment that the ending is a bit strange and unexpected, but I need to read the next book to properly judge. The one flaw I started to notice about this book are the character names. There are many characters in this book and their names are extremely complex and hard to keep straight. I can attribute this to the book being written by a Polish author though and I really didn't have that much of a problem, it is just a slight issue. Despite this book being fantastic I must admit that one of the best parts was the narrator. He has a beautiful voice that is perfect for storytelling, especially this kind of story. I highly recommend this book, it is well worth the time and money.

25 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

weak ending, great first 2 acts.

1st off Peter Kenney is incredible, he made the excessively overdetailed and slow moments bareable. Spoiler free, the story moved along very slowly spending a lot of time on irrelevant moments and describing characters who are equally irrelevant afterwards.

Chapters 3-6 were blood pumping and shocking, great action and setups that payoff. Unfortunately the closing chapters fail to capitalize on the aftermath of a major showdown, everything slows down immensely to lazily move all the characters around, introduce some cliche fantasy elements, and Dandelion literally spouts exposition to sum up the aftermath for 3/4 of a chapter.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as strong as the other installments. still fun

Fan of the Witcher?
worth it.
not a fan of the Witcher?
give it a pass.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The Witcher Games Rated 5+, Novels 3 So Far

Love the Witcher series' of RPG video games, however the books they are based on just don't stack up to other top tier fantasy novels in the market today. Geralt in The TIme of Contempt takes a back seat to another character, getting much less page time, along with the action. We don't see him meeting strange people or races, or getting hired to kill monsters. Instead, we get 90%of the book blah blahing from a host of different characters, all talking about places, wars, nobles, kings, governments, politics, scheming, and many other things that can really throw anyone for a loop if they aren't familiar with this world. It's very, very tedious and I found myself pulling up a wiki page to figure out what was where, who, etc. I've come to view The Witcher books as a very particular style of fantasy storytelling - magic and monsters set in a predominantly medieval political yarn. Don't get me wrong, the characters are fantastic, real, and complex, and the narrator is easily in the top 3 best narrators out there. But with little action and lots and lots of dialogue, have your caffeine drink handy, you'll need it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Better than Book 1

The performer was the same as book 1, but was better, I thought, the female voices less creepy. the story, in both, was good, in the same style, though there was plenty of action, twists, and intrigue in book 2. overall, I enjoy the author's style, and the overall performance.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Struggled Desperately

Struggled desperately to finish this book. Book 1 was good but book 2's last half bored me to tears. Do I hope book three will pick up or do I cut my losses and find another book? I will trudge forward and hope...

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

too many details and characters without foundation

I want to love this book, but it just goes all over the place with no depth of introduction to places, characters, conflicts, history or other needed detail to give it depth & meaning. I commend the narrior, yet the it is hard to follow a lot of time and after 2 books, not delivering at any real depth, light action I am considering giving up. I had to force myself to finish the second book. The ending was weak with very light engagement of the Witcher character overall in the book. Just a lot blabbering with various characters and his dysfunctional love life. Even the book cover is misleading. Again, I want to love this, but it has seriously let me down so far.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I didn't care for it..

Not what I thought it would be. Too many characters with little to no depth.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic right until the end

the story is extremeky well written, and the characters are fun and exciting. quite honestly, the only complaint I have, which is a large one, is how we're intruduced to a group of murderers and rapists, and then told to feel sympathetic for them, after two of them had already assaulted the main character. It's bad enough to make me hesitant on even touching the remainder of the series.

6 people found this helpful