Die Stadt brannte.
Die engen Straßen, die zum Graben führten, zur ersten Terrasse, verströmten Rauch und Hitze, die Flammen verzehrten die dicht gedrängten Strohdächer, leckten an den Mauern des Schlosses. Von Westen her, vom Hafentor, drang Geschrei heran, der Lärm eines erbitterten Kampfes, die dumpfen Stöße des Rammbocks, unter denen die Mauern erbebten.
The translation. Is. AWFUL. But that wasn't the only problem for me. I got more than a hundred pages in and, really, all that happened was a discussion of Ciri's period. That was the most eventful thing. I imagine this makes me a very bad Witcher fan, because I know other people go NUTS for the books, but it wasn't doing it for me, and with the truly terrible translation, I just decided not to try to power through it.
In the previous book Geralt's POV ended with him getting beaten the crap out of, in a really bad way. In the beginning of this book he did not recovered, but he really had no time for full recovery as he needed to finish what he was trying to do before he was stopped. He left the sanctuary he was staying in and went straight toward the war front - all the nearby kingdoms were entertaining themselves in all-out war. Geralt still had an illusion that he would be able to stay neutral. To make a long story short, his failure in this was nothing short of spectacular.
On his way he somehow managed to collect a ragtag group of followers. I cannot say that is was his winning personality as he was either brooding, or big jerk all the time. Seriously in the beginning I was very exciting to know that the vast majority of the book would be told from his POV. It turned out to be one of the most boring ones because of his behavior. Yennefer had very little screen time - practically a couple of pages, but it was very exciting to read them. First, she finally realized what exactly she was playing with (forces way beyond her abilities, sorceress or not). I really hope this would bring her attitude down a couple of levels: she desperately needed that. Second, as the result she ended up being very pissed off and she has enough competence as a magic user to do something about it.
So Geralt is boring. None of his companions however are. Everybody's favorite bard still provides comic relief. Zoltan and his parrot are very colorful. Do not let me get started on a vampire healer (yes, you read it right and no, he does not sparkle).
Oh I almost forgot. Geralt's protégé firmly moved to my could-not-care-less category. Somehow I am not crazy about that development.
The ending was somewhat abrupt, but highly ironic. Otherwise it was a great book and my only wish for the next one is less Geralt's brooding or failing that - less Geralt.