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The Time of Contempt [Hardcover]

Andrzej Sapkowski
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 5 2013
Geralt the Witcher has fought monsters and demons across the land, but even he may not be prepared for what is happening to his world. The kings and armies are maneuvering for position, each fearing invasion from across the river, each fearing their neighbours more. Intrigue, dissent and rebellion are on all sides. The Elves and other non-humans are still suffering under decades of repression, and growing numbers join the commando units hidden deep in the forest, striking at will and then dissolving into the trees. The Magicians are fighting amongst themselves, some in the pay of the kings, some sympathetic to the elves. And against this backdrop of fear and contempt Geralt and his lover Yennefer must protect Ciri, orphaned heir and sought by all sides. For the prophecy rests on her, and whether she lives or dies she has the power to save the world - or perhaps end it.

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"New battle mechanics, a fantastic storyline, and a gritty setting make The Witcher one of the most engrossing, mature RPGs to arrive on the PC in years." on The Witcher video game

"The Witcher delivers one of the most intense and rewarding role-playing experiences this year."
GT Reviews on The Witcher video game --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Andrzej Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt de Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer and he is now one of Poland's most famous and successful authors, selling more in his own country than Stephen King or Michael Crichton.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series excellent book. Oct. 7 2013
I enjoyed the second book in the series as much as the first. While the Witcher is not the primary protagonist in this book it is still an great read. I wish it was longer, it felt like a small book, but I did binge read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 7 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As described , arrived on time
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4.0 out of 5 stars loved it!! May 13 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved it!! Andrzej Sapkowski is a truly talented story teller. His characters are well developped and complex. I'm slightly disappointed however the books were not translated sooner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Better than the Blood of Elves Aug. 15 2013
By Khaelmin - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this, both as an avid fantasy reader and a big fan of the games. Geralt shines here, both in his traditional role as a monster slaying mutant and in a few unique situations that the author puts him in. The Yennefer and Ciri characters are also given a little more dimension and personality, breaking away from the tired tropes of benevolent witch and child prodigy/messiah.

The action scenes are nicely done, and the narrative begins to foreshadow the events in the games nicely. As usual, Sapkowski's unique depiction of a society where a bunch of different races have to coexist is refreshing and very believable. The politics, backstabbing and racism you'd expect from a world like that are all in here.

Highly recommend it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The same Sapkowski you loved marred by a new translator Dec 28 2013
By Danny Blaugher - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I will preface with this: the novel is excellent. If you are even a mild admirer of the Witcher series, this whole line of novels will suck you in. The Time of Contempt swiftly sets rolling the ball Blood of Elves positioned. It leaves you wanting more. In no way is this a bad thing. In fact, non of my complaints have to do with those things Sapkowski directly controlled, that which a translator can not alter: namely plot, pacing, and characterization. The grievances do start, however, when it comes to syntax. To some it may be a relief that Danusia Stok didn't translate this book, but rather the task was given to David French. I stumbled with his translation efforts. Many times throughout the book I had to reread sentences because they were composed in an especially unusual manner, and even after looking them back over, a number of them made no sense whatsoever. To quote one of the less egregious missteps:

"'Lydia,' smiled Vilgefortz, 'thanks for your acknowledgement.'"

It becomes clear further in the paragraph that Vilgefortz is speaking for Lydia, not thanking her as the syntax would imply. This blundering mistake could have been fixed with a simple word, added to the effect of 'thanks you,' but by some act of malevolence or neglect, it was left as is through the editing process. But as stands, this still is a coherent line, just with poor flow. What follows is something I still can't puzzle out:

"The manhunters didn't touch Mistle, not once they'd checked she really was untouched."

I really want to throw a copy of The Elements of Style at the translator and his editors, as I can't make head or tail of what this was meant to say. Danusia Stok may have struggled with Sapkowski's style and produced some prose that was stuttering, but I don't recall from either of her translations (Last Wish and Blood of Elves) such terrific errors as are in this book.

But, these errors having been examined, it still stands that a translator is but a mirror, and no matter how smudged its surface is, light always reflects back. It is exceptionally fortunate that Sapkowski's original Polish work is very bright. Even such blatant disregard for grammatical rules essential for communication in the English language cannot mar entirely what makes Sapkowski's books so loved. The characters are voiced uniquely, and he brings them about in ways which we would expect, and even in some ways we wouldn't. Geralt returns partway through the book, and his reveal is just as momentous as it is akin to returning to an old friend. He is, admittedly, less bitter and sardonic than he was in the previous books, but perhaps that is because he takes a backseat in this novel. As the book progresses, it become clear that it is Cir, not the headlined Geralt, who is the star of the novel, and in no way is this a bad thing. I can't say much in regards to why I am so excited to find out what she makes of the situation she is in by the end of the book without spoiling it, but her evolution throughout the tale almost put her above the Witcher as my favorite character from the series. Almost. The story arc of the Witcher and Ciri takes place in the backdrop of the politics and scheming of the north in the face of the Nilfgaardian threat. While a relatively minor part of the novel, it was very clear that large pieces were being moved on the proverbial checkerboard. I took great joy in the few clever twists Sapkowski threw into the book, carrying the same disbelief as did the characters. The book, in a summary, is intense and gripping. It involves us in the protagonists and their affairs. In true Witcher style, none of the sides are motivated simply. There is no right or wrong, and neutrality is still a narrow road to walk. I may have complained extensively about the translator, but that is because that is the only aspect I can truly critique. And even then, the book is a quick read despite the translator's staggered efforts. This is a book to be picked up by every fan who read Blood of Elves and enjoyed it, as it is more of the same and then some. And best (and worst) of all, it leaves you wanting more. At this moment, I am considering the long wait to the next edition against the inconsistent waters of fan translations. If not obvious, I loathe badly translated works. If the fact that I am willing to resort to the unpolished efforts of fans in translating the sequential editions of the series, in lieu of waiting for Orbit to tumble out another official release, is not evidence enough of this series's compelling drive, then I am at a loss as to what else to say.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Witcher returns for a sinister turn of events Nov. 13 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished this today and the book was great. If you enjoy the Witcher setting, its video games, or just want a different wrinkle to the fantasy formula, this is worth a read.

The middle was rather boring; for some reason, when Sapkowski describes banquets, balls, and the ridiculously named nobles who attend them, it gets hard to keep track of what's going on, and what is going on isn't all that fun to read. But outside of that, it was a delight to return to this world and the story had no issues picking back up once it got past the parts I had problems with. There is no deus ex machina here - the protagonists do fail and even when a savior-figure does come seemingly out of nowhere, it's usually just as helpless as the main characters are.

There's a reason why this book is called The Time of Contempt and it's not just because of the Elder Blood prophecy. By the end of the book, things get so dark and gritty it's almost hard to look back at how comparatively light the book, and the series itself, was before the game-changing events that occur in this volume.

I'm not convinced the new translator is doing a demonstrably better job than past entries, but English-reading Witcher and Sapkowski fans should be pleased.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read (spoiler Free) March 27 2014
By jtoth - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great addition to the Witcher books. It has more action than the previous book and some great dialogue. I am looking forward to reading the next one.

If you've read The Blood of Elves without reading the second short story book (The Sword of Destiny, never got officially published in English), Google 'The Sword of Destiny Fan Translation' and read it! They are super easy to find, and even come in a kindle friendly (.mobi) format! If you're a fan of the series and haven't read the second short story book then you're really missing out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good continuation of the Garalt/Ciri storyline. March 13 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Time of Contempt is a good continuation by Sapkowski of the Geralt/Yennifer/Ciri storyline. I believe the storyline is just as compelling as Sapkowski's previous books in the series, and any fan of the series will enjoy this one as well. However, there are several instances where some slightly off grammer, which I attribute to the translation to English requires a re-reading of the paragraph. If not for these translation "stumbles", I would have given 5 stars.

Any fan of the Witcher video games should read this series to get the backstory leading up to the video games.
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