Baptism of Fire is the third novel in The Witcher series of Andrzej Sapkowski.
After being seriously injured Geralt recovers in Brokilon forest among the dryads. Ciri’s missing and all that is left are wild rumours and speculation. She might be dead. She might be on her way to lead a rebellion against Nilfgaard. She might have fled into the arms of the Emperor of Nilfgaard, readying herself to marry him. Geralt doesn’t know the truth, but he’s determined to save her. He’s joined by his best friend Dandelion and the huntress Milva. Others attach themselves to their small trio as they journey onwards
I’ll be honest, I love Milva. She’s not the smartest person around, but she’s skilled with a bow and she can track as well as any man. She knows how to take care of herself, and how to take care of others, and is very good at penetrating a man’s defences. Geralt tries not to get attached to his ever-growing retinue, but he can’t help but care for all of them, even if it’s just in a small way.
What I like about this book in particular is the sense of brotherhood in the group, especially because these are all people (and creatures) who are all thrown in together, and by rights shouldn’t work so well together. Though let’s be honest, Dandelion hardly ever “works”. Also, because I’m so used to Geralt being alone or accompanied by only one person, it’s great to see him interact in a group setting. It’s always better when Geralt navigates through a group. That’s when the most interesting conversations and interactions happen. Also, dwarves are awesome.
And what to say about Ciri? Well, I can say that I wasn’t that happy with some of the choices she made, especially the choice of joining up with a particular group. But I’ll need to wait until the next book, I think, to really see whether or not it was truly a bad choice. That said, I can’t wait for the next book! The English translation is out this month!