Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Leah at Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!

This week's question: Best Minerva McGonagall line?
This one is very hard! But I guess the scene where Umbridge wants to fire Trelawney is pretty awesome! :)

Review: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves...

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.
I've read this in Czech translation and if you are from a Slavic country and there's a translation available, I suggest you read that rather than the English one. Also, this is the first novel in the series, but there are two other books of short stories. As far as I know only one has been translated into English. It's The Last Wish and one of the stories there is a kind of a prologue to the novels.

“To be neutral does not mean to be indifferent or insensitive. You don’t have to kill your feelings. It’s enough to kill hatred within yourself.” 

It might sound like any other high fantasy with all those elves, dwarves, prophecies, chosen children and with the medieval setting. But don't be fooled, this is an exceptional novel!

First of all, I think the whole series has a very different tone than any fantasy by an English speaking author. I can't help it, but it's just different. Obviously, Sapkowski works with Slavic folklore and mythology, but it's not just that. It's the characters and the mood. And of course the names of places and people. It's a nice change.

The most enjoyable thing about this book for me are the characters. Not only how wonderfully fleshed out they are, but also the fact that there are many believable female characters. The two main characters are Ciri, the child of prophecy, and Geralt of Rivia, the unusual witcher, who hunts monsters in order to protect people (but who are the real monsters?). But every character mentioned in the book is very real and moves the story along. It's a real joy to follow thoughts of different people as the story progresses. There are some people that could be labelled as villains, but even those have some ambiguity. Most of the characters are very complex and it underlines the fact that this book is not the typical good versus evil story.
The characters are the most important thing, even though the world building is great, it doesn't overpower the characters, and I believe that's how it should be.

Another great thing is the way Sapkowski explores human nature and shows us both good and bad side of what it means to be human.
What I really appreciate is that it does not present a view/philosophy/attitude as the (only) right one and as the ultimate answer to all the problems in the book. It has many interesting thoughts and suggestions. It shows, suggests, explores through the eyes of different characters, but it never comes up with an ultimate solution. It leaves the conclusion to the reader.

I loved this so much, I can't even tell you. You must read it! :)


Here's a video from the third game based on these stories. I think it captures some of the things I mentioned in my review pretty well!

Yule Giveaway

Congratulations to Katie, the winner of the Samhain giveaway! :)

For Yule (Winter Solstice) I'm giving away a copy of Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. It's an absolutely amazing high fantasy novel, first in the series. :)
The giveaway ends on December 19 and it's international. Before entering, please read the rules. Good luck! :)

There are 8 sabbats during the year and for every one I have a giveaway. As one sabbat is over the giveaway connected with it ends and a new one (connected with the next sabbat) starts. That’s why the giveaways last so long. I wanted continuity. Just to make things clear. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Showcase Sunday July - October

I was really trying not to buy many books over the last four months. I'm not sure whether I succeeded. :)

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Limited Collector's Edition)
Heap House (Iremonger, #1) by Edward Carey
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Birthday present from my brother. :))

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1) by Katie Finn
Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski - This one is signed! But I read the series in Czech translation, as it makes more sence, because he's a Polish author.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Some books in Czech translation, mostly Russian classics. I prefer to read any Slavic author in Czech translation rather than in English.
The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Among Others by Jo Walton
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason
The Spiritglass Charade (Stoker & Holmes #2) by Colleen Gleason 

What did you get? :)