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Quick Review: The Tower of the Swallow

Have to start by saying that the presentation in this book is odd. Switching between events and characters and points of view; changing back and forth while presenting one event between the words or thoughts of a character after the fact and depicting the action as it happens, sometimes following a character, which may or may not be the same one talking or thinking later, sometimes from the point of view of the omniscient author; skipping through action, even back and forth through time, a few times even throwing a quick description of a future different but related event before returning. Some events that appear to have had a certain outcome at one point are later proven to have had a very different one, some scenes are “foggy” and confusing, some clearly intended to be that way, others perhaps not so much. Can be difficult to follow and will likely benefit from being read a second time, to see what else you can figure out, knowing what you know after the first read.
But I don’t reread books, so I’ll make do with it as it is. And I’m inclined to say that, at least so far, following the high of Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow may be the low point of the proper series, and maybe including Sword of Destiny as well. Mainly following Ciri but not showing enough of her, or not directly, during the action. Definitely too little of Geralt. Yennefer and Triss, even less. And maybe too many traces of a fairy tale, though I guess it’s nothing compared to what’s to come. But still a lot about the world, still a fair amount of commentary and some words of wisdom, though sometimes not necessarily conclusions I particularly agree with. Still a good story containing a few other good stories; still a mix between pretty good action and a fair amount of depth; still characters that feel “real”, call for emotional involvement and generate reactions. So, if this is the low point, may more series be like this.

Rating: 4/5


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