Book Review: The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski

November 5, 2020

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski (translated by David French) is a historical fantasy story taking place in the early 1500s, Poland. This novel is the first one in the Hussite Trilogy, and the first one translated to English, 20 years after initial publication.

  • 576 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0316423694
  • Publisher : Orbit Books
  • Language: : English

Book Review: The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rat­ing for The Tower of Fools4
Buy The Tower of Fools*
More Books by Andrzej Sapkowski*

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski is a book out of my comfort zone, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read it. I also have read previous books by the author, mainly from The Witcher series, so I kind of knew what I was in for.

In the first chapters of the book we are introduced to the Reynevan of Bielawa, the protagonist of the book that seems to have a talent for antagonizing almost every one he meets. Many characters are introduced in the opening chapters, they are difficult to keep track of and it seems all of them have some sort of disagreement with Reynevan who spends much of the novel running from them, sometimes fighting as well but mostly trying to stay alive, unharmed, and uncastrated. Along the way Reynevan meets friends, friends of friends, people who help him because of his noble birth, and university acquaintances.

As lead character, Reynevan is very interesting. He makes decision foolishly, he’s good looking, charming, smart, knows how to fight (somewhat) and talks his way out of situations, as well as an amateur magician. He also talks too much, and many times about subjects he completely misunderstands or knows nothing about.
He would have loved the Internet.

There are many supporting characters in this book, all of them are colorful and mostly fleshed out. Each of them can have his, or hers, novel written about them. I usually don’t enjoy books with too large of a cast, but this one was certainly an exception.

This book was written with a keen eye on history, culture of Poland, the names might be difficult but its part of the experience. The author does a fine job balancing dark humor with scenes of intense fighting, a bit of torture, horrible deaths, and dark intents (mostly by the religious zealots). I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series when it becomes available.

The story revolves around Reynevan of Bielawa, also known as Reinmar who fancies himself a doctor, magician (some say charlatan), and a ladies man. Due to his indiscretions, Reynevan finds himself the target of a powerful family, nobles, who force him to escape to his home.

The times are dangerous and Reynevan finds the risks and hazards are found everywhere. There are magical forces in the shadows who pursue him along with the nobility he offended, and the Inquisition. Reynevan finds himself at an insane asylum called Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools, housing not only the mentally insane, but those who dare challenge authority.

Buy The Tower of Fools*
More Books by Andrzej Sapkowski*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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