Blood of Elves
Goodreads ratings
4.11 / 5

"Blood of Elves" Summary

By Andrzej Sapkowski

fantasy | 420 pages | Published in NaN

The New York Times bestselling series that inspired the international hit video game: The Witcher.For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.The Witcher returns in this sequel to The Last Wish, as the inhabitants of his world become embroiled in a state of total war.


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

Ciri trains as a witcher while Geralt and Triss navigate political intrigue and the looming threat of war.


"Blood of Elves" is a fantasy novel by Andrzej Sapkowski and the first book in the Witcher series. It follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher, as he navigates the complex political landscape of the Continent and trains the young Ciri, a princess with extraordinary powers. The novel is set in a world filled with magic, mythical creatures, and political intrigue, making it a gripping and immersive read for fans of the fantasy genre.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story is set in a medieval-inspired fantasy world where the Northern Kingdoms are at war with the Nilfgaardian Empire. Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, takes Ciri under his care and trains her in the ways of combat and Witcher magic. Meanwhile, political tensions rise as various factions seek to control Ciri's destiny due to her unique abilities.


The novel is primarily set in the war-torn Northern Kingdoms, with various locations such as the fortress of Kaer Morhen, the city of Gors Velen, and the palace of Vizima. The world is rich with magic, mythical creatures, and a complex socio-political landscape.

Main Events

1Geralt takes Ciri to Kaer Morhen for training
2Political tensions escalate as various factions seek to control Ciri
3Geralt and Ciri encounter a mysterious elven mage
4Ciri's magical abilities manifest, causing concern and intrigue
5The Northern Kingdoms face a major Nilfgaardian offensive
6Geralt and Ciri navigate a world filled with political intrigue and danger
7The fate of Ciri becomes increasingly uncertain as powerful forces vie for control

Main Characters

Geralt of Rivia

A stoic and skilled monster hunter known as a Witcher, Geralt is the central protagonist of the story. He takes Ciri under his wing and trains her in the ways of combat and survival.


A young princess with extraordinary powers, Ciri becomes the focus of political machinations as various factions seek to control her destiny. She is trained by Geralt and struggles to come to terms with her abilities.

Triss Merigold

A powerful sorceress and ally of Geralt, Triss plays a crucial role in protecting and guiding Ciri as she comes into her own as a magic wielder.


Another powerful sorceress with a complicated history with Geralt, Yennefer becomes intertwined in the events surrounding Ciri and the political conflicts of the Northern Kingdoms.

Themes and Insights

Power and Destiny

The novel explores the theme of power and destiny, as various characters seek to control Ciri due to her unique abilities. It delves into the ethical implications of wielding power and the impact of destiny on individuals and societies.

Identity and Belonging

Ciri's journey is a central exploration of identity and belonging, as she grapples with her royal lineage, magical abilities, and the sense of displacement caused by the political turmoil around her.

War and Politics

The backdrop of war and political intrigue in the Northern Kingdoms serves as a thematic exploration of the consequences of conflict and the complex motivations driving different factions.

Reader's Takeaway

"Blood of Elves" offers a captivating blend of fantasy, political intrigue, and compelling characters. The richly developed world and complex relationships between the characters make for an engaging read. The themes of power, destiny, and identity resonate with readers, offering thought-provoking insights into the human experience within a fantastical setting.


Andrzej Sapkowski's "Blood of Elves" sets the stage for an epic fantasy saga, drawing readers into a world filled with magic, political machinations, and compelling characters. The novel's exploration of power, destiny, and identity provides rich thematic depth, making it a must-read for fans of the fantasy genre. With its immersive setting and intricate plot, "Blood of Elves" is a captivating journey into the world of the Witcher.

Blood of Elves FAQ

  1. What is 'Blood of Elves' about?

    Blood of Elves is the first full-length novel in the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. It follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter, as he becomes involved in the political intrigues and conflicts of the continent. The novel also delves into the training of Ciri, a young girl with magical abilities, and her destiny as a powerful figure in the world.

  2. Do I need to read the previous books in the series to understand 'Blood of Elves'?

    While it's recommended to read the previous short story collections to fully understand the world and characters in Blood of Elves, the novel itself provides enough context for new readers to follow the story.

  3. Is 'Blood of Elves' suitable for readers new to the fantasy genre?

    Yes, 'Blood of Elves' is a great entry point for readers new to the fantasy genre. It has a compelling story, well-developed characters, and an immersive world that can appeal to both fantasy enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

  4. Are there any trigger warnings for 'Blood of Elves'?

    The book contains violence, mature themes, and some scenes that may be unsettling for sensitive readers. It's recommended for mature audiences.

  5. What makes 'Blood of Elves' unique compared to other fantasy novels?

    Blood of Elves stands out for its complex characters, morally grey world, and the way it subverts traditional fantasy tropes. It also incorporates Slavic folklore and mythology, giving it a distinct cultural flavor.