This book signifies a sharp departure from the previous two. The first and second ones were collections of short stories mostly told from Geralt the Witcher POV. This time this is a full-length novel with multiple POVs. Actually we only see Geralt's POV in just one chapter - and a shortish one too. In my opinion the book still shows its origins in short story format as the transitions between the chapters are mostly not continuous. Instead they start with a jump in time to give a flashback to connect the events between the previous chapter and current time.
As to the plot it is quite easy to outline. The last story of the second book left Geralt stuck with - supposedly - his destiny; namely a child (not his). The poor Witcher was doing all he could and even more to prove that destiny does not exists - at least in his case, only to fail spectacularly. Coming back to destiny's child:
oops sorry, wrong picture. It turns out everybody and their brother want to find the poor kid. I mean it literally: it was easier to count the number of named characters of the novel who could not care less about Geralt's protégé than the searchers. I also need to mention some of them were so insistent they would not hesitate to leave a dead body (or ten) if somebody happened to be in their way. Now Geralt needs to provide the protection. He also wants to remain neutral in the intensifying political games and this task turns out to be practically impossible unlike disposing of hired thugs.
I have some complaints about the book. Geralt is supposed to be a monster hunter first and foremost. Well he hunted exactly one monster in here; none others bothered even to show up. There is something to be said about the evil created by humans being the biggest monster of them all, but I seriously missed a tentacled multi-headed poison-tailed chitin-armored creature waiting for its butt to be kicked by a skilled professional.
Now that I finished the book, I cast my mind back and realize that not much actually happened here: a lot of talks, a lot of politics, but by the end most of the characters remained right where they started. Things were brewing, but had not come to boiling point yet.
For all the slowness the book has charm. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but somehow I was never bored reading and the read itself was quite fast. For this reason I give the higher rating than I usually do for such book: 4 stars.