Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 11, 2017
The Lady of the Lake is the final book in the Witcher Saga, but the story is extended in the Award Winning Witcher Video Game Series. Reading these books makes me appreciate the stories of the games even more. If you're not a gamer, this is the glorious end of an epic adventure.
The Witcher Saga is a complex story about powerful kings, sorceresses, emperors, lords, assassins, spies, and criminals battling each other in wars, diplomacy, rhetoric, and deceit. This battle is set in a dangerous world based on folklore with mythical monsters and powerful magic. Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster slayer, is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue when his adopted daughter from a unique and powerful bloodline draws the attention of the major powers in the world. Accompanied by his most loyal friends, Geralt battles his way to the end of the world to help Ciri as she tries to evade enemies as ambitious as they are deadly.
The world of the Witcher is populated with greedy simple minded peasants, deadly beasts, ancient evils, curses, and almighty kings. This story adds credibility to the old folktales and brings them to life. Because this series is rooted in folklore, it seems more genuine.
The characters are complex with their own motivations, emotional scars, rivalries, and alliances. You get to know them so well, you’ll start laughing out loud at their mannerisms and grumblings.
The story structure jumps all over the damn place, but it seems to work. A major event will happen with the main characters. A scholar from Oxenfort will discuss its impact on history 100 years in the future, a band of mercenaries at a campfire will talk about the legend, and the saga will resume with the main characters. This ads depth and broadens the world, and it works. In any other book series, this would have been a terrible distraction.
The action is visceral and has dire consequences. There are wizard duels, beasts, skirmishes, brawls, wars, battle tactics, chases, and assassinations. It's all very well written and puts you in the middle of the action.
These books have some swearing, torture, sex, graphic violence, and horror. They are not for kids.
You'll need to read the other books in the series to understand The Lady of the Lake. Reading these out of order would be like taking all of the Game of Thrones Episodes and shuffling them. It's not something you should ever do.
Overall, this is a great saga about a drinking, whoring, gambling, lout, who proves his love for his adopted daughter by risking everything and battling his way to the ends of the world for her. The characters and world are complex. The action is great. The fantasy and lore is very well developed. The pacing stalls at times and the story skips around a bit, but these are the only gripes I have with this series. Geralt of Rivia is one of my all-time favorite characters and his story is legendary.
If you enjoyed these books, I highly recommend the Witcher Games. The stories in the books act as "Choose your own adventure" and the decisions you make ultimately determine who lives and who dies. The Witcher 3 is the greatest game I have ever played.