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Larry.

Andrzej Sapkowski II

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I'm guessing we're both using his recent interview about the games as context for our opinions.

I'm not going to quote specific parts of the interview because I'm using my phone, but it seemed to me the author was praising the praise of the gameplay and graphics the game received and was extremely dismissive of of a game's ability to tell a story. Which is why he very emphatically rejected the game's story as having any connection to his own, not even in a spiritual sequel sense. My impression was that he viewed the game as grossly inferior fan fiction wrapped up in highly praised graphics and gameplay, and his own books as an awesome untouchable cornerstone of the literary world.

Sapkowski has admitted he hasn't played the game, watched anything but trailer footage about them, and merely knows it from talking to CD_Projekt Red.

So he doesn't really know anything about it.

But he considers it an adaptation of his work like Peter Jackson's rather than a sequel. He also doesn't know what they're about.

Edited by Charles Phipps

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The awesomeness that is Brenna and Geralt's attack on Stygga. And the death of basically everyone in his group, godammn Cahir's was the worst, though he went out well

Nah, Regis's was worse I guess. But the whole idea to butcher practically everyone accompanying Geralt was kinda dumb.

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Sapkowski has admitted he hasn't played the game, watched anything but trailer footage about them, and merely knows it from talking to CD_Projekt Red.

So he doesn't really know anything about it.

But he considers it an adaptation of his work like Peter Jackson's rather than a sequel. He also doesn't know what they're about.

Yes, and he goes on to express that games, by virtue of their format, are incapable of producing the quality storytelling that books do. I guess he comes from the literary Roger Ebert school of thought.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset by his opinion. Every storytelling medium has its limits, and it's fine if the limits of one medium are far preferably to you than others. But when you state it as though it's an objective truth, and go on to talk about precedence of excellence and influence your own books have set while attempting to diminish the influence of the adaptive version, it comes off as arrogant. And the author is very blunt with his opinion, which exacerbates matters.

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Yeah, so while I love Sapkowski's books, you can't really take the seventy-year-old Polish man as an expert on gaming.

CD_Projekt Red has done some of the BEST video game writing EVER for the Witcher, though.

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I also happen to think that the Hussite trilogy contains some of Sapkowski's best writing. I have my doubts it'll ever be published in English, however. I'm lucky that it's been translated into Spanish and German, so I could read the trilogy at all.

I agree. And beyond the writing I'm delighted by his scrupulous research. And I'm from Lower Silesia, Narrenturm is happening basically at my doorstep :)

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My Opinion on the Witcher series



Honestly, the anthologies are pretty much the high-point of the Witcherverse for people who want an action-heavy and snarky series with some pathos. They're pretty much what a lot of people think when they think of "The Witcher." They're more or less the kind of things you'd see if the Witcher was a series (and not the series they actually made) on television.



I think the actual novels, by contrast, are more interesting because they're not actually all that interested in action and adventure but worldbuilding as well as politics. There's, for example, Geralt having a fight with three masterswordsmen at once in The Time of Contempt which amounts to only being said, "he kills them all."



On the other hand, the game really gets into the racial and political politics of the setting which I think a lot of Game of Thrones fans will enjoy. On one hand, you have the very duplicitous North who are intending to backstab Nilfgaard after their peace treaty established in The Sword of Destiny while on the other, you have Nilfgaard who is provoking them at every opportunity in very competent and elaborate ways.



I truly think Nilfgaard are my most hated Evil Empire in history while also being the most interesting.



There's a big event in, for example, The Time of Contempt (like Red Wedding big) tthe actual process of gets glossed over but you then have the situation get much-much worse because as bad as the original situation was, it doesn't get COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL until someone decides to make a moral stand which is nonsensical to practical reality.



A definite "Ned Stark" moment.



I will say, though, I do think that the OP nature of Ciri is meant to be a Deconstruction of fantasy Chosen Ones but it's also a bit TOO on the nose. Ciri never gets to benefit from being THE CHOSEN ONE like, say, Rand al'Thor but she suffers for it immensely. On the other hand, the books just keep piling on destinies and special snowflake status that I think they could have cut down to maybe two.



She's also damned adorable, tragic, and moving in equal parts.



I'm not a big fan of the Geralt and Yennefer relationship either despite a few genuinely romantic scenes between the pair. I much prefer Yennefer in her role as Ciri's mother-figure and as Geralt's ex versus someone who is having an ongoing relationship with him. Still, the books make no secret where their relationship is headed.


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Ugh.



Why did I re-read the Time of Contempt!?



The last ten pages are still an emotional gut punch worse than Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton's wedding night.



Bleah.


Edited by Charles Phipps

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I agree. And beyond the writing I'm delighted by his scrupulous research. And I'm from Lower Silesia, Narrenturm is happening basically at my doorstep :)

I was impressed by that as well (I had a few courses on medieval Central European history). Might re-read it this summer if I can find my reading mojo again.

Ugh.

Why did I re-read the Time of Contempt!?

The last ten pages are still an emotional gut punch worse than Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton's wedding night.

Bleah.

To ready yourself for what transpires in The Swallow's Tower? ;)

I only partly-joke here.

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This is no Shannara or Drizzt. I can't read fantasy anymore because of how juvenile the majority of it is. I am a "snob" or so labeled by my friends. The Witcher is good though. The series is great reading. It has strange moments I chalk up to differences in culture, and the greater story is interesting. Very character driven. At times it is much about Geralt, other times? He is not featured often. Read it in the order listed on page 3. So good! The earlier translations are a bit worse unfortunately, but they don't hurt it overall.

And Witcher 3? I can't even say how much I love it.

I'm kind of in the same boat. I can't stand fantasy writers like Jordan or Sanderson. So what do you think of the writing in The Witcher series? I know translation comes into play, but are they at least better written than the standard fantasy we're used to?

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I'm kind of in the same boat. I can't stand fantasy writers like Jordan or Sanderson. So what do you think of the writing in The Witcher series? I know translation comes into play, but are they at least better written than the standard fantasy we're used to?

I think it's, translation issues and all, well above the vast majority of fantasy fiction out there in terms of world-building, characters, and writing. I do think the later books kind of benefit and suffer from "grimdark" however in that you have stuff start happening which takes an already dark and adult Low-Fantasy series of novels into some truly fucked up places.

Not always for the better.

However, since we're on a Westeros board, I think we're all able to deal with that. I also think that Sapkowski is one of the few authors like Martin who does geopolitics in a fantasy setting really-really well.

He also does it in a far-far more concise manner.

To ready yourself for what transpires in The Swallow's Tower? ;)

I only partly-joke here.

You could be entirely serious, actually!

:)

Edited by Charles Phipps

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Larry, have you been able to read Storm Season after all? Is there any indication it might be translated into English as well?


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Larry, have you been able to read Storm Season after all? Is there any indication it might be translated into English as well?

I'm probably going to have to wait a couple more months before I can import it from Spain; tight budget for the next couple of months. Uncertain about the English, only because I have no contacts with the UK publisher who has first rights. But I think that it might be, depending on how well the rest of the Saga goes in sales.

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Well, I've had a bit of luck tonight.  Discovered that the French translation of Storm Season, called La Saison des orages, is available for $8.99 on iBooks, so I just downloaded it.  Haven't read more than a handful of pages over the past month, so maybe this will be the sort of thing to inspire me to read fiction again after that drought.  Having read the first couple of pages, doesn't seem that it will be too difficult for me to get at least the gist of things (I'm weaker in French than Spanish or Portuguese, but better than in German).  If I feel comfortable doing so, I'll write a review in the near future, otherwise I'll wait a few more months until I import the Spanish edition (maybe I'll ask for that to be a Christmas gift).

 

P.S.  I also pre-ordered the Italian translation of The Lady of the Lake; it comes out in October.

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Took me a bit longer than I had planned, but I finished reading the French translation of [i]Storm Season[/i] last night.  Will write a full review later in the week, but it certainly was an interesting prequel, albeit one that depends heavily upon the reader recognizing characters that appear in bit roles in the Saga.  As for the Epilogue, hrmm.... Will have to re-read it and think upon it some before I can decide just what that might mean for possible future Witcher books.

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On 3/30/2016 at 5:33 PM, Hrokkan of Skagos said:

Just finished Sword of Destiny, and my god, Something More really was an incredible novella.

I know I've said it before, but it's crazy how much it changes the quality and complexity of the following novels. Having read Blood of Elves and maybe the one after that first, then finding a fan translation of Sword of Destiny--I had no idea how much we were missing. Something More is really great.

The Witcher 3 recreates part of Something More in one of its cutscenes--it is really fantastic.

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On 4/7/2016 at 1:52 AM, Simon Steele said:

I know I've said it before, but it's crazy how much it changes the quality and complexity of the following novels. Having read Blood of Elves and maybe the one after that first, then finding a fan translation of Sword of Destiny--I had no idea how much we were missing. Something More is really great.

The Witcher 3 recreates part of Something More in one of its cutscenes--it is really fantastic.

Which cutscene was that again?

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On 4/9/2016 at 6:58 PM, Hrokkan of Skagos said:

Which cutscene was that again?

Spoiler

When Geralt finds Ciri and believes she is dead. There is a moment when they meet, and she is a child again, and Geralt looks "younger" and they go to meet. This is supposed to be those final moments of Something More when Ciri and Geralt finally find each other again at Yaruga's farm. There are some inconsistencies in the scene (the color of Geralt's clothing, and it looks foresty in the cutscene, while the book describes them meeting in field) but this is supposed to be that moment again.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjZlQpbT58I

If you haven't played the game then it is spoiler-y.

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