Set before the Witcher Saga and somewhere in between the short stories collected in The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, Season of Storms finds Geralt completing a contract on a uniquely intelligent monster and then finding himself on the end of a scheme when he heads in to collect the bounty. Refusing to accept the pittance they agree to pay him while they siphon money from the treasury to line their own pockets, his ornery response to their treachery lands him in hot water shortly after he arrives in the city of Kerack. The sorcerers have a problem, and they need a witcher’s help in solving in, but instead of just asking politely it leads to schemes and scams, some time in jail, and a twisted affair with a sorceress named Lytta Nyed (also known as Coral on account of her favorite shade of lipstick).
Exploring the world and politics a little more deeply, I was pleasantly surprised to see there were stones Sapkowski left unturned in the original saga and short stories. The timing and placement of this story isn’t easy to pinpoint, but it obviously falls sometimes prior to short story “The Witcher”, as Geralt’s heading to Temeria near the end to take care of a problem for King Foltest. And yet, his relationship with Yennefer is already heavily bashed upon the rocks, so time has definitely passed since “The Last Wish” and even seemingly even “A Shard of Ice”.
We got to learn a little more about the family of my favorite character (aside from Geralt, that is). Dandelion’s antics, attitude, and self-righteous indignity are in full swing from the moment he sets foot onto the page, and he provides his usual comedic balance to Geralt’s broodiness.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I’m always happy to find myself in the Northern Kingdoms trotting a long on Roach with Dandelion by my side telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself because my brooding is distracting him, and while I did like the story, I only rated it three stars because at times it felt like it was missing some of the wow factor of the original short stories and saga. Maybe because I already know that no matter what happens in this book, Geralt will survive, and he and Yen will work things out and have their happy ending. I mean, it took me ages to finish reading this book. Two months with it on my bedside table and before I finally just said: LET’S DO THIS SO I CAN READ SOMETHING ELSE!
Do I want to see more Witcher stories from Sapkowski? Absolutely! Do I recommend the book to Witcher fans? I definitely do, though a part of me thinks it might be an even better read for people just getting started on their Witcher saga journeys. Reading it in place with the others, allowing it to fall properly in the timeline might make a huge difference to the impact it has as a novel.