Sword of Destiny is the second short story collection in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski.
Once again, we follow witcher Geralt of Rivia on his many adventures. In six short stories we learn more about the world, the creatures that inhabit it, and the politics of it all. And these short stories in particular set up events and introduce characters that will appear and be important in the following novels.
The first of the short stories introduces another favourite character of mine: Ciri. She’s a spunky little brat, the granddaughter of a fierce Queen and Geralt’s Surprise. She could be trying at first, but she soon grew into a favourite. She’s headstrong (even when it’s not the best move), a quick learner, and very special. I’m not going into what makes her special – spoilers! – but following her and reading her interactions with Geralt are an absolute joy.
I think these short stories, and those in The Last Wish, really do well setting up not just the novels and the world, but the relationships Geralt has with so many characters; even though it’s commonly thought that witchers don’t experience real feelings.
What does it mean to be a mutant? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? How do you know if the emotions you’re experiencing aren’t real? What if they are, but everyone else thinks they aren’t? Such questions play in the back of my mind when I read these books.