Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski book review

The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, #4)The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am odds with this series. The Last Wish is a million miles away from what these have become, which is just generic fantasy that is badly written (or translated). In The Last Wish we have good battles with monsters, re-tellings of our own fairytales and interesting characters. In this series, which is made up of what are supposed to be full-length books, we have absolutely none of that and it's very disappointing.

The dialogue is the worst thing of all. There is an abysmal attempt at humour, and an attempt to make the characters-I suppose-"normal", or at least, not speaking in thees and thous. However, it goes too far and all the characters speak the same, swear the same, call every woman a slut the same and are just dull and ridiculous both. I don't know if it's the translation, the transcription or the original author, but a translator can only do so much with what they're given.

Beyond the dialogue, everything is is pretty much just generic fantasy with battles, swords, magic and men calling all females sluts or bitches. There is a small attempt to make interesting female characters, but just giving them magical powers doesn't do that. All the female characters are at odds with each other, bitching about them behind their backs, wanting their men, talking about men, doing nothing but bitching or talking about men. There is a wonderful opportunity here to make excellent female characters with power, working together, being helpful to each other, being friends, being wonderful. But no. They just bitch or get their tits out. It's getting old.

Of course, there is another female character who does none of these. Ciri. The most important character of all, (view spoiler)

There is also little or no need for Geralt to be in these books. It's supposedly about a Witcher, but I don't recall there being much Witchering going on. Geralt fights with around two monsters and gets paid for none of them. Instead, he kills humans and gets told off for doing so. There are elements of trying to philosophise about the Witcher profession and killing monsters in general, but it is lost in the deluge of mediocre writing.

However, to give the book a little credit, we do have a better omniscient narration here. We see the story through many different eyes and not just main characters, which is one of the best things about reading fantasy. We travel to different lands, as well, and experience them with the characters, so with these things this series has come on leaps and bounds because the last book was absolutely dire with those things. So hey-ho, can't have everything, can we? That'd be silly. That'd be a good, worthwhile book and apparently those don't exist.




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