The final Witcher novel, and phew, I hate to say it, but I am glad I am done. The Witcher is a very good and very frustrating series to read.
I will try to explain. In this novel, we have two distinctly different frame stories happening at the same time. We are far into the future for both of them, and we know one character that is still around, and none of the others. But it also means that all the others are likely dead, or if one frame story is to believed, maybe never really existed in the way we were led to think. Who knows for now.
So the other reason this becomes a little frustrating is the continued mythopoeic qualities of the stories. The Witcher takes places in a magical and fantasy version of dark ages Poland, but at the same time, exists within the framework of King Arthur stories, and as well as myths and legends borrowed from Gaelic fables. So it gets a little busy and populated at times.
The novel is also frustrating in the way that all Witcher novels are, which is that the politics is often happening for long periods of time, and I keep finding them to be the least interesting elements along the way. If the goal is to show how the Witcher is a small player among gigantic machinations, that’s great, but he still ends up playing larger roles within them than his role in the novel as a character seems to demonstrate. I keep wanting to be back with either Geralt or Ciri at any moment we’re not. I feel like the larger apparatuses needed to be shown through them, and they often are, but we often get them through large chunks of exposition, often in large swaths of dialog among many characters.