A Review of The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski• Lyanndra Reads - The Fantasy Review

A Review of The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski• Lyanndra Reads

A Review of The Time of Contempt – Spoiler Free

This is a review of The Time of Contempt that is spoiler free!

The Time of Contempt is the second book in the main Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, and I thought it was a bit more interesting than Blood of Elves, for the most part.  While Blood of Elves was more about setting up this idea of the turns of destiny and giving hints to an upcoming Great War, The Time of Contempt actually shows us a bit more of the unrest and action that ignites what I believe to be the central events in the rest of the series. 

I thought the first half of the book was fun as a) honestly any scene involving Geralt and his wit is a delight and b) we got to see more of Cirri as a sort of apprentice to Yennefer. I love Cirri a whole lot, and I adore the kind of “feral fey child” thing she’s got going on.

I do love the odd kind of humor these Witcher books have, which makes the reading experience more enjoyably despite the otherwise serious tone of the story. There was even a scene that had me literally laughing out loud, something that I’ve never found myself doing over a scene in an epic fantasy novel!

I also find that we got more scenes involving magic in this book! I find that The Witcher isn’t too focused on the world’s magic system, but it definitely makes up for that with unique characters and exemplary writing. 

I won’t go into too much detail over the plot, but the events of Thanedd Island were very much engrossing, and more appropriately matched my expectations of what ought to happen in a fantasy novel that is rife with political drama and rebellion. 

I will admit though that I had a bit of a hard time keeping track of who was who in some chapters. The Time of Contempt introduced a legion of new characters that, at this point in the series at least, I had a hard time connecting to, but I suppose I’ll understand their roles more in the next books.

After reading four Witcher books so far, I will say that a downside of this series is its portrayal of women. Most of the women here are either sorceresses presented as see-through-dress-wearing, evil, seductresses, or side characters that are threatened with or subjected to sexual assault. I get that this is somewhat of an “issue” with regard to older epic fantasy novels, so just bear that in mind when approaching this series, and ones like it.

I probably would have rated this higher if it weren’t for all that, and especially for that ending. I thought Blood of Elves ended somewhat abruptly, but The Time of Contempt’s ending bordered on terrible for me.

I have no idea what to expect from the next book, but this one leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth. I’m a little bummed about this because I heard some people loved this installment, but I just could not get over some of the things I mentioned above. Most of this book was fantastic though so I’ll be sure to keep on with the rest of the series!

A Review of The Time of Contempt

SpoilerFilled Thoughts on The Ending

What really turned me off The Time of Contempt was how we leave Cirri at the end. She ends up separated from Yennefer, then kidnapped by a group of thugs. She is then rescued by a fellow prisoner, Kayleigh, and his gang of outlaws.

Of course shortly after being “rescued” and “welcomed” into the group (called the Rats), Kayleigh attempts to rape Cirri. Another member of the Rats, Mistle, intervenes. I was relieved, up until Mistle ACTUALLY PROCEEDS to rape Cirri herself.

I don’t know if this was the author’s way of showing the “beginnings” of Cirri’s hardships or whatever, (I guess losing her home and her family wasn’t enough???) but this was a really weird way to end the book. Also there was a reference to Mistle being gang raped in the past, and I found myself asking “So we’re to believe that a girl who was subjected to sexual assault herself….rapes a helpless young girl?”

I read 4-5 star reviews of this book, and I get that different readers have different opinions on books, but I’m a little shocked at how some readers managed to kind of gloss over this ending. But those are just my thoughts I suppose. 

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1 Comment

  1. hey i’ve been too hit om the face by the ending it was pretty weird and gave a weird feeling in the belly l, happy to see someone with the same opinion it was kind of a deal breaker for me, have hard time to start baptism of fire what do you suggest should i or not?

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