Book Review – The Tower of Swallows

This review is for the 6th book (publication order) in The Witcher Saga by Andrzej Sapkowski and I have seen it titled both The Tower of Swallows and The Tower of the Swallow. I listened to this as an audiobook narrated by Peter Kenny.

You can find my reviews of the earlier books in this series here:

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Here is the blurb:

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life.

But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies including Dandelion, Milva, Regis, and Cahir, to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting. . .

As the author has done in other parts of this series, the scenes are not told in chronological order for much of this book. Ciri relates her story to a hermit as he cares for her during recovery from a horrific injury. She eventually opens up to him and relates the events that led her to him. Despite all the trauma Ciri has withstood, it felt like she was actually safe for the first time.

As I read this book, I began to realize that I had no idea where this story was going and how it might end. Everything about this book hints at a tragic end. Ciri’s story continues to become darker, while Geralt and his companions stick with him through increasingly dire situations.

One small issue that I’ve had with this series is that Ciri is often a victim of circumstance and runs from her power and her problems. Finally, she begins to take charge of her own situation in this book, which was a welcome change to her character.

The author also continues to use the fantasy genre to comment on itself, and the time spent in the land of Toussaint was a dive into a land of over-the-top chivalry used to excuse and mask human nature. The way that the author writes about the fantasy genre is a large part of why I don’t have a good feel for how this will end. Much of the focus in the series has been on destiny and prophecy, with Geralt obstinately refusing to believe in either. Will the finale lead to the fulfilment of prophecy or characters that somehow defy their destinies? At this point, I didn’t know, and that is why I had to read on.

How many books in this series have you read? Do you think the show will try to adapt these later books accurately? Let me know in the comments (above).

Find more of my reviews here.

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