Sword of Destiny

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Book Review Part 1

Introduction

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski is a collection of short stories about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia that set some background for The Witcher series. This post is part 1 of my summary including the main characters in the first 3 short stories in the book including “The Bounds of Reason (Granica możliwości),” “A Shard of Ice (Okruch lodu)” and “Eternal Flame (Wieczny ogień).”

 

Goodreads Blurb of Sword of Destiny

Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naivety.

In this collection of short stories, following the adventures of the hit collection The Last Wish, join Geralt as he battles monsters, demons and prejudices alike…

The anthology is composed of several stories, loosely linked in a chronological order:
The Bounds of Reason (Granica możliwości)
A Shard of Ice (Okruch lodu)
Eternal Flame (Wieczny ogień)
A Little Dedication (Trochę poświęcenia)
The Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia)
Something More (Coś więcej)

 

The Witcher Series Reading Order

Sword of Destiny is the second book in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Just like The Last Wish, it consists of short stories about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, the witcher. Here’s the suggested reading order for this series.

Short Stories

The Last Wish (1993)
Sword of Destiny (1992)

 

The Witcher Saga

Blood of Elves (1994)
Time of Contempt (1995)
Baptism of Fire (1996)
The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
The Lady of the Lake (1999)

 

Standalone Novel

Season of Storms (2013)

 

Sword of Destiny Short Stories and Characters

The Bounds of Reason (Granica możliwości) Characters

Geralt of Rivia

He is no ordinary witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Boholt

He is the leader of Crinfrid Reavers. They are known to have killed dragons in Redania. Together with his comrades, they were hired by King Niedamir to help in hunting the green dragon, Myrgtabrakke.

Dandelion

Geralt’s loyal friend, a singer, a bard, and a poet.

Dorregaray of Vole

He is a mage who took part in the hunt for the green dragon.

Eyck of Denesle

He was a virtuous knight who also joined the hunt for the green dragon.

Kreve

He is a kind of sky father or the thunder god who was served by the Kreve priests.

Mygtabrakke

She was the green dragon that was the subject of the hunt.

Niedamir

A young king who participated in the hunt for the dragon as a means to conquer Malleore.

Sheepbagger

He was a cobbler who took part in the hunt for the green dragon.

Téa and Véa

They are Zerrikanian warriors who accompanied Borch Three Jackdaws

Villentretenmerth

AKA Borch Three Jackdaws. He’s the Golden Dragon who can transform into different forms including the human form.

Yarpen Zigrin

He’s a dwarf warrior and leader of a group of six dwarves. He joined the hunt for the dragon.

Yennefer of Vengerberg

She is a sorceress and Geralt’s true lover.

Short Story 1 Summary – The Bounds of Reason

The story started when Geralt was hired to kill a basilisk. Upon emerging from the crypt, he saw Borch Three Jackdaws, a knight and his Zerrikanian company, warriors Téa and Véa. They went to the local inn where Borch and Geralt had a discussion about killing dragons. Geralt explained that he didn’t kill dragons because technically they are not monsters and it’s the humans who were terrorizing dragons and not the other way around.

 

While traveling to Hengfors, they were stopped at the borders where they also saw Dandelion who explained to them that King Niedamir is in the area hunting for a dragon that had appeared suddenly in the area. It turned out that the dragon was poisoned by the villagers by luring it to a dead sheep stuffed with harmful elements that were also blessed by the local priest of Kreve. The dragon was injured but was not dead and was able to kill some villagers who came to check out if she’s indeed dead. And, so the hunt for the dragon started because the villagers wanted it killed and to get a hold of the dragon’s treasures.

 

The hunt for the green dragon Mygtabrakke was participated by the Crinfrid Reavers headed by Boholt, Dorregaray of Vole, King Niedamir, Eyck of Denesle, the Sheepbagger, Yarpen Zigrin & company, Borch and the Zerrikanian warriors, Yennefer, Dandelion, and Geralt himself.

 

King Niedamir was with the purpose to get the title of a “dragon killer” so he could marry the Princess of Malleore and achieve his political objectives. Legend had it that the princess would only marry a dragon slayer. He sent out a call for a dragon hunt on which the Crinfrid Reavers, Eyck of Denesle, the Sheepbagger, Yarpen Zigrin & company, and Yennefer answered.

 

Hearing about Yennefer joining the hunt, Geralt decided to join the hunt on which Borch & company, Dandelion, and Dorregaray joined as well.

 

Each had his/her own plan and purpose in the hunt. Yennefer wanted to cure her infertility through the dragon tissues and she hated seeing Geralt on the hunt and disorienting her plans. As the journey continued, they were caught on the narrow path with a rockslide. Geralt and Yennefer could have fallen but were saved when Eyck threw them an elven rope while Borch and company disappeared.

 

As the hunt went on, they came face to face with a golden dragon which was said to be a living legend. Everybody wanted to kill the golden dragon except Dandelion and Dorregaray. The dragon used telepathy to talk to them and let them choose to leave or face him in a fair duel without magic or flying fireballs. Eyck was the first to answer the dragon’s call but was sent flying with his horse in an instant. Geralt decided to ignore the call despite Yennefer’s convincing because it was beyond his code while King Niedamier’s company left.

 

Yennefer, Boholt, and Yarpen Zigrin’s company wanted to kill the dragon while Geralt, Dandelion, and Dorregaray tried to stop them. When Yennefer paralyzed Geralt, the three were left tied to the wagons. However, Yarpen knocked Yennefer when the latter tried to threaten them with spells. The dwarves and Boholt tied Yennefer to the wagon as well while her upper body was exposed.

 

While planning on how to kill the dragon, the dwarves and Boholt were attacked instantly by the golden dragon. It turned out that the golden dragon was protecting the newly hatched dragons of the green dragon, Mygtabrakke. The villagers headed by Sheepbagger suddenly came back to attack the dragon but Yennefer and Geralt helped the golden dragon, Villentretenmerth. The Zerrikanian warriors arrived to help as well and it turned out that the golden dragon was actually Borch in human form. He thanked Geralt and Yennefer and informed the latter that even his magic cannot cure her infertility. He promised his friendship to Geralt and headed off.

A Shard of Ice (Okruch lodu) Characters

Geralt of Rivia

He is no ordinary witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Herbolt

He was the mayor of Aedd Gynvael.

Istredd

He was a sorcerer in Aedd Gynvael and was once Yennefer’s lover.

Ivo Mirce

Also known as Cicada and a bodyguard to Herbolt.

Yennefer of Vengerberg

She is a sorceress and Geralt’s true lover.

Short Story 2 Summary – A Shard of Ice

The story started when Geralt was fighting a zeugl in Aedd Gynvael. He returned to the inn where he and Yennefer were staying and they discussed about Istredd being in the town as well. Geralt, knowing that Yennefer and Istredd were also sleeping together, was jealous. At some point, Yennefer told him about the legend of the Winter Queen which the witcher immediately contested that it is not a legend, rather it’s called the Wild Hunt, “an inexplicable, collective madness, compelling people to join a spectral cavalcade rushing across the sky.”

“Among the elves,’ the sorceress whispered pensively, ‘there is a legend about a Winter Queen who travels the land during snow-storms in a sleigh drawn by white horses. As she rides, she casts hard, sharp, tiny shards of ice around her, and woe betide anyone whose eye or heart is pierced by one of them. That person is then lost. No longer will anything gladden them; they find anything that doesn’t have the whiteness of snow ugly, obnoxious, repugnant. They will not find peace, will abandon everything, and will set off after the Queen, in pursuit of their dream and love. Naturally, they will never find it and will die of longing. Apparently here, in this town, something like that happened in times long gone.”

 

Geralt collected his reward for killing the zeugl from Herbolt and headed to find Istredd. They had an argument about who really deserved to have Yennefer and since they couldn’t settle things they agreed to meet and settle everything with a duel.

 

Herbolt tried to stop Geralt from attacking Istredd telling him that the town needed Istredd. However, Geralt would not listen. Herbolt’s bodyguard, Ivo Mirce, tried to stop Geralt as well but without success.

 

Geralt met with Istredd and he learned that the latter had received a letter from Yennefer bidding him farewell. Geralt felt that Istredd wanted to intentionally lose the duel and decided to leave him.

Eternal Flame (Wieczny ogień) Characters

Geralt of Rivia

He is no ordinary witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Chappelle

He is the head of the security for the Church of the Eternal Fire in Novigrad.

Dainty Biberveldt

He was a halfling businessman whom Geralt and Dandelion met in Novigrad. His face was copied by a doppler named Dudu.

Dandelion

Geralt’s loyal friend who is a singer, a bard, and a poet.

Dudu

He is a doppler who copied Dainty, Dandelion, Chapelle and even Geralt.

Short Story 3 Summary – Eternal Flame

This is the story set in Novigrad and mainly revolves around the story of doppler, Dudu copying the face of several people but mostly that of Dainty, the halfling. Dainty asked Geralt to kill the doppler, but Geralt refused because he is not a monster, rather he is an intelligent being.

 

They were accosted by Chappele and his armed men and declared that anybody who would talk about the doppler is blasphemous and should be sent to the dungeon. He claimed the Novigrad is protected by the eternal fire from monsters. Later, Chappelle talked to Geralt secretly and asked for the cost of having a doppler in the city.

 

As they continued to search for the doppler, Geralt was able to trap the doppler in a tent who suddenly copied him. Geralt made the doppler realize that he’s not capable of doing bad things. In the end, it turned out that the dopplers transactions using Dainty’s face had been beneficial and Chappelle revealed himself to be actually a doppler and that the real Chappelle has already died.

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review Part 2

Coming next on my blog is Part 2 of my summary and commentary on Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski including the characters and summary of the last 3 short stories entitled A Little Dedication (Trochę poświęcenia), The Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia) and Something More (Coś więcej)

Related post

Book Title: Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
First Publication Date: May 21, 1992
Print Length: 400 pages
My Rating: 5-star
Goodreads Link

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