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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review: Sword of Destiny

I was playing The Witcher 3 on the PS4, It's an exceedingly good RPG (and I'd actually avoided RPGs in recent years as they tend to be massive time sucks --- a holiday sale caught me and for a change I'm really glad I broke my rule about RPGs!), and has sucked up all the play time on the PS4 as a result. But in one of the side quests, I ran across a seeming anachronism, and found myself wondering if it was there in the source material.

Since the material's drawn from the novels, I went and re-read The Last Wish, and then went on to Sword of Destiny. Sword of Destiny wasn't available in English until recently, as since it was touted as the missing book between The Last Wish and Blood of Elves, I'd elected to stop reading the series as a silent protest to the publisher for doing something stupid. It's a collection of novellas, and does provide background as to many of the characters in the game.

And yes, the book does exhibit some of the anachronisms displayed in the game, so the source material is indeed faithfully reflected in the game. The world depicted in the novels is perhaps similar to the ones depicted in Tolkein, except with a heavy dose of cynicism. That's not a bad thing, as the author (translated from Polish) clearly can't write in the high language of Tolkein, but has a good voice for depicting battles, and has world-weary attitude in his characters that makes a fun contrast.

Is it as good as Tolkein? No. But it does provide a good contrast, and provides a fun read in short spurts. Recommended.

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