This is a second collection of short stories featuring Geralt of Rivia. If I understand correctly it was written before The Last Wish, but chronologically comes after that one. The stories of this anthology are longer and less funny although one of them can be considered to be entirely humorous.
As most of the people already know Geralt is a witcher. This means he hunts monsters for living. He is also considered to be a mutant by many as his training included undergoing some chemical (herbs) and magical treatment that left him not-quite-human. So what does the guy do in this anthology? He is being lovesick - he is madly in love with Yennefer, he does his damned to escape what he thinks is his destiny, he follows his Codex which does not allow him to kill intelligent monsters. Have you notice something is missing in this description?
Exactly, the monster hunter does everything, but hunting monsters. This makes even one of the characters wonder how the heck he made his living with his nonexistent work-related income; it feels kind of like this:
Unsurprisingly Geralt is broke most of the time.
I would like to talk about the love part of the book. What is a cornerstone cliché of a romance novel? The one without which the whole genre would not exists at all? It is a standard situation when two people are deeply in love with each other, but both of them keep creating obstacles that prevent them from being together, knowing exactly what they are doing. I mean imagine two people meet each other, fall in love, get married right away within a couple of pages, and fall into a standard married routine. Who in the right mind would read such a boring book?
Geralt and Yennefer is exactly such couple. The troubles they go to NOT be with each other boggle the mind. As you might guess these situations feel a little old. They felt old during Shakespeare time actually.
At least in the Great Bard's tale it were families that kept the kids separated.
It was not a bad anthology despite my criticism, but it did resulted in a lower rating by half a star. I am also willing to cut some slack due to a fact that it was the first written installment of the series. The next book promptly goes to my to-read shelf.