This time around, most of the action happens around Geralt rather than because of him, his contribution often being minor or even non-existent. However, this seems to offer the author even greater freedom, the result being a perhaps wider scope and worldbuilding, action, character development, adept social, political and environmental commentary, depictions of the horrors of war, and not only of war, and large amounts of comic relief all rolled into one, the biggest flaw perhaps being that the end result is too funny for its own good. Sure, this may make it easier to stomach for many, but I think a story that, in itself, is so dark and, frequently, deep could have done with taking itself more seriously.
Still, that and the fact that a few dialogs, particularly early on, don’t seem to flow quite right are the only things I can really say against this book and, even if I’d be inclined to try, maybe more because of a particular decision made in the last chapter than anything else, I can’t quite adequately justify not letting it be the first that I give a maximum rating to in a few years, and only the second in several, at least since it’s out of five. Perhaps not strictly for its own merits, but it builds upon the previous ones in the series, paves the road for the next, and I also read it after finally finishing The Witcher, so I could “see” and understand some things better.