Top positive review
Great mix of history and fantasy
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 11, 2022
Reynavan is a doctor, an alchemist, an arcanist, and a lover who gets in and out of scrapes starting with offending the deadly in-laws of his current lover, a married woman. For the most part, he's accompanied by Sharley and Samson as he is embroiled in the current religious wars, witches' sabbats, robberies, and various incarcerations. This is all set against the background of Eastern Europe in the 15th century.
The writing is excellent and the story arc is much better than what I found in the first few Witcher books (I understand the later books are superior). While there's some fantasy in the form of sorcerers, demons, witches, wallcreepers, and other monsters, the real story is the religious wars between the followers of Jan Huss and the Catholic church laid out against the backdrop of the Reformation. As a lover of history, I appreciated the references to historical personages and places though I admit my knowledge of Eastern European history is lacking.
Reynavan is a Jaskier type of character in that while he gets into frequent trouble, he always seems to come out a little the worse for wear. He's surrounded by great characters, some humorous, some dangerous. I look forward to seeing where his adventures take him next.