Baptism of Fire is the third novel in Andrzej Sapkowski’s “Witcher” series, following the events of The Time of Contempt. The novel follows the witcher, Geralt of Rivia, as he navigates the political landscape of the continent and deals with the growing threat of the Nilfgaardian Empire.
If you’re like us and binged the Netflix show in one weekend and put countless hours into The Witcher video game, then the only next step is to take a look at the epic novels that inspired not one, but two different media adaptations!
This is the third novel in the series, so make sure you’ve checked out The Time of Contempt first! Otherwise, let’s take a look at another stop in this epic fantasy ride.
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Baptism of Fire
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup, an uprising that has left Geralt seriously injured.
The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times. But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered.
While war rages across the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl—Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra—until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.
Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.
“Life, it turns out, isn’t poetry! And do you know why? Because it’s so resistant to criticism!”Andrzej Sapkowski, Baptism of Fire
The story picks up after the events of The Time of Contempt, with Geralt, the witcher, recovering from the injuries he sustained in his battle with the dragon. He is taken in by a group of dwarves, who nurse him back to health and help him regain his strength.
As Geralt heals, he begins to have strange & mysterious dreams that forebode a dark and ominous future. He becomes increasingly convinced that something terrible is going to happen, and decides to set out on a journey to find out what it is.
Along the way, Geralt meets a powerful sorceress, a group of bandits, and a band of warriors known as the Rats. He also encounters a number of obstacles, including a giant serpent, a pack of werewolves, and a group of undead soldiers. The battles that ensue are great and had us holding our breath.
As Geralt continues on his journey, he begins to uncover the truth about the dark forces that are gathering in the world. He learns that a powerful sorcerer is planning to unleash an ancient and powerful being known as the “Wild Hunt” on the world, and that only he can stop it.
Geralt must race against time to gather the information and allies he needs to stop the sorcerer and the Wild Hunt, and in the process, he must confront his own demons and come to terms with his own past. In the end, Geralt is able to stop the Wild Hunt and save the world from destruction. At a heavy cost; losing a close friend and almost losing his own life.
Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski is a thrilling and action-packed addition to the series. This book continues to deliver on the series’ promise of a fast-paced and exciting fantasy story, while also continously delving deeper into the characters and the world they inhabit.
The book follows our favorite morally-gray hero Geralt, the witcher, as he sets out on a journey to uncover the truth about a dark and ominous future that he has been dreaming about. Along the way, he meets a diverse cast of characters. Each have their own unique backstory and motivations, and encounters challenges that test his skills. The characters we meet are truly interesting and varied, really hits the mark on the Fantasy genre without being over-the-top or overdone.
The book also explores the relationship between Geralt and Ciri, the young woman who is bound to him by destiny, and the impact that their relationship has on both of them. This adds an emotional depth to the story. We can’t get enough of their dynamic, and you’ll know that it’s one of our favorite aspects of the novel.
The writing is top-notch, as always. Sapkowski’s ability to create a rich and detailed fantasy world that is both believable and immersive. The pacing is spot on, and the action sequences are executed perfectly. We were biting our nails, on the edge of our seats, and screaming at the novel in places!
Overall, “Baptism of Fire” is a great continuation of the “The Witcher” series. Undoubtably this is a must-read for fans of the series and fantasy literature in general.
Our rating: ★★★★★
Check it out on Netflix
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in Baptism of Fire?
A deadly coup within the Wizard’s Guild leaves the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, gravely injured, and his ward Ciri missing. We follow the trails of Geralt as he tries to reunite with Ciri and battle through the obstacles in his way.
Is Yennefer in Baptism of Fire?
Sadly, Yennefer is absent for the majority of Baptism Of Fire, bar a handful of scenes.
How many Witcher books are there?
There are a total of 9 books in the Witcher series, which include 3 short story collections, 5 main novels and a standalone novel.
- The Witcher (1990)
- Sword of Destiny (1992)
- The Last Wish (1993)
- Blood of Elves (1994)
- Time of Contempt (1995)
- Baptism of Fire (1996)
- The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
- The Lady of the Lake (1999)
- Season of Storms (2013)
Do Geralt and Ciri reunite in Baptism of Fire?
Ciri, a wizard by the name of Vilgefortz of Roggeveen — escapes through an ancient and unstable portal that dumps her in a desert located in parts unknown.