The 3rd (or 5th) book in the series, and definitely the best one so far, Baptism of Fire ramps up absolutely everything and it seems to be that we’re on a much steadier course now than before.
With the first two books (excluding the short stories) there’s a lot of setting up plot lines, understanding the world, and building characters. As we start this one, Ciri is still away, in the same place she was at the end of the last book, and Geralt is looking for her. He’s traveling to where he think Ciri is, to rescue her, together with Dandelion, and a band of unlike comrades he picks up a long the way. All the while, Yennefer and Triss and a group of other sorceresses are banding together to discuss politics and the fate of the world as we know it.
Geralt’s travels with Dandelion are the main focus of this book, and I loved it. Like I said above, it feels more sure of itself than the previous books, we are more determined and we have a proper quest we’re on. It kind of took me back to Lord of the Rings, to that traveling-through-the-forest-with-my-companions kind of fantasy setting. It’s great. Of course, a lot of nasty, awful, and evil things happen a long the way, building relationships between Geralt and his mates, and providing clues and hints at what has happened and what will happen.
I’m loving The Witcher series more and more with every Sapkowski book I read, and the only criticism I have, is that he loves to crowbar his book titles into the text. I’m smiling as I write this, it’s not really an issue, but there were a lot of things that kept being referred to as a Baptism of Fire.
Looking forward to getting on with the next one, and I recommend this to any fantasy lover. These are brilliant books.