The person everybody was searching for in the previous book was still at large with Geralt being one of the two people who could guess the whereabouts.
This means everybody was still conducting the search, but this time it became clear that the aim was to make sure the person in question is really dead just like the rumors started by Geralt stated. As we all know sometimes little people can get in the way of movers and the shakers of the world and make them very much inconvenienced by just being alive and breathing. This was exactly the case here. A big political game went on with different parties hoping to outsmart and backstab everybody else. In this climate nobody wanted any additional complications which Geralt and his protégé seems to bring despite the fact that he continued to do his damned to remain neutral. Would it be a big spoiler to say he miserably failed at the end?
The first half of the book looked exactly like the previous one: lots of talk and behind-the-scene machinations, but not much action. Some secondary players that happened to be in the way of the mighty got removed, but nothing major happened. The moment I hit 50% (according to my ereader) I was sure I would rate this one with 3 stars as I already saw practically the same happenings in book 3.
In the second half it all began innocently enough. Geralt woke up in the morning in a castle and decided to play a sophisticated person. So instead of peeing in the first available quiet corner of the castle (yes, this is what the nobility did in the Middle Ages) he went looking for a real toilet. The result made me gave one extra star to the rating: the double-crossings and back-stabbings that followed would not put to shame even the true master of those in fantasy, Glen Cook – read his Black Company if you do not believe me.
My minor complaint would be that the most interesting characters do not get enough screen time, Geralt included. It is not that the ones that do are boring, but in this case others are more exciting.
Anyhow after all the excitement the fallout that followed is shown in a very unusual way. The last part was a little too long in my opinion, but not long enough for me to lower the rating: 4 stars. I am very eager to start the next book of the series.