I really enjoyed my 2019 in books. Most of the books I've read this year have been good. Some were average. Many were fantastic.
The Lady of the Lake, the last book in The Witcher Saga, is a novel focused on concluding this intricate story. It’s one of the things I genuinely love about this series: The End isn’t hastily handled in a few short pages: it’s an entire book. All of the conflicts, schemes, confrontations, battles, and fights that have been plotted and foreshadowed will come to a close.
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.
Baptism of Fire is the fifth book in the story about the Witcher Geralt and his child of destiny, Ciri. When we left them at the end of Time of Contempt, both found themselves in less than ideal situations.
Despite having a pretty good idea about what kind of books I gravitate to, occasionally, I come across books that I think I'll enjoy but don't. Other times I tell myself I'm missing out on great books because I'm so set in my ways with what genres I like, and I should try something new; sometimes it works other times it doesn't.
The first book in this planned trilogy, The Wolf, ends with a foreboding epilogue. The Spider, picking up just days after, begins with an equally foreshadowing prologue hinting at the disaster about to strike. With both epilogue and prologue in mind, it's no surprise that this story begins with a funeral.
Aretuza will also be the place of a large political gathering, The Mages Conference, where most of the more powerful and influential sorcerers and sorceresses will gather. What occurs there will have harsh, long-lasting consequences and set the main characters on paths that will last throughout the series.
What happens next includes prophecies by a slightly unhinged, seventeen-century witch, self-proclaimed witch hunters, the Four Horsemen (on motorcycles), Angels being bureaucratic assholes, and demons who overreact when you've accidentally misplaced the Antichrist. There are also Satanic nuns, patriotic Americans, and Hellhounds. Oh, and the Antichrist is an eleven-year-old boy.
This is the type of book where almost everything feels familiar or reminds you of something. But not in a way that it feels like a carbon copy. There is a personality in his writing, the author has a voice.
One thing I really enjoy about the writing is that, because of the very different personalities and lives these two women lead, it never feels repetitive. For example, a part of the book takes place in Venice, you have chapters from Villanelle's POV, and then you have Eve retracing her steps, and yet it feels new.