Baptism of Fire (novel)

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Baptism of Fire
Baptism of Fire UK.jpg
AuthorAndrzej Sapkowski
Original titleChrzest ognia
SeriesThe Witcher
Media typePaperback
Preceded byCzas pogardy (Times of Contempt) 
Followed byWieża Jaskółki (The Swallow's Tower) 

Baptism of Fire (Polish original title: Chrzest ognia) is the third novel in the Witcher Saga written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in 1996 in Polish and in English in 2014. It is a sequel to the second Witcher novel Time of Contempt (Czas pogardy) and is followed by The Tower of Swallows (Wieża Jaskółki).


While recovering in Brokilon from his injuries sustained during the Thanedd coup, Geralt meets Milva, a hunter and expert archer. Her mastery of the bow is unequalled. Despite not particularly liking the convalescing witcher, she decides to follow Geralt, who is accompanied by Dandelion, on his way towards Nilfgaard and hopefully, Ciri. The journey is not easy, the war is encroaching seemingly from all directions and nearly every city is ablaze.

Along their journey they meet a group of dwarves led by one Zoltan Chivay. As it seems they are all going in the same direction, Geralt's party joins the group who are also shepherding some refugee women and children.

At several points in their journey, Geralt and his companions come across Cahir, the erstwhile "Black Rider" that plagued Ciri's dreams. Initially, the knight is being transported as a prisoner — in a coffin no less! — by some hawkers, when Geralt spares his life for the second time. However, the witcher wants nothing to do with the young Nilfgaardian and leaves him to his own devices, Cahir is ever persistent and continues to shadow the witcher and his entourage. Eventually, through Milva's intervention, the young knight comes to join the group.

Finally, the troupe is joined by Regis, a vampire, some might say "monster", who rather surprisingly becomes the monster hunter's good friend. Regis proves invaluable for his medical skills.

As the group travels east, they are inevitably caught between the warring factions which leads them into the thick of the Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga where the group is pivotal in queen Meve's victory. It is shortly after his battle that Geralt is knighted by the queen and officially becomes "Geralt of Rivia".

Meanwhile, Ciri has settled into life with a party of young rebels who call themselves the "Rats" and has become known as "Falka". With the Rats, she experiences killing on quite a regular basis, but also forms a strong bond with Mistle. Killing ultimately becomes an obsession for the former princess.


It was published in Czech (Leonardo, 1997), Russian (AST, 1997), Spanish (Bibliopolis, 2005), Lithuanian (Eridanas, 2006), German (DTV, 2009), French (Bragelonne, 2010), Serbian (Čarobna Knjiga, 2011), Finnish (WSOY, 2014), Hungarian (PlayOn, 2015) and Portuguese (WMF Martins Fontes, 2015) Ukrainian (KSD, 2016). The English edition was released by Gollancz on March 6, 2014.


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