The Witcher 3: Curse of Crows by Tobin and Kowalski

Perhaps the greatest hallmark of the Witcher series was its complete and utter ambivalence – there are no sacred cows (for slaughter or reverence) and character choices are extremely malleable. It made for a grounded and fluid story that allowed players a wealth of experiences to explore and complete control over how they wanted to play their characters. With Curse of Crows, the look, feel, and dialogue of Wild Hunt is intact – this is a seamless transition from game to graphic novel.

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Story: Geralt and Ciri have a contract to destroy a Striga – one of the most deadly of a Witcher’s foes and a cursed human. As they make way to the Striga’s location, they will also take on a few side jobs while Geralt tells Ciri about the last Striga he killed. But Yennefer, a talking crow, a few trolls, and more will combine into an interwoven net of lies and revenge, with the sad tale of the Striga’s curse at the center.

The authors deftly weave many stories – some interconnected and some independent. It brings the spirit of main quest (main arc) and side quests (minor arcs) from the game nicely. Chronologically, this looks to take place after the end of Wild Hunt, and features only Ciri, Geralt, and Yennefer as they quest together and separately. Ciri is chafing under Yennfer’s ‘motherly’ overprotectiveness and Geralt is caught in the middle.

The art is serviceable and tells the story appropriately with nice color drawings. Since the game was an adult title, note that the Witcher graphic novel also features (a lot of) nudity and sex. Those wishing they could have seen Ciri without clothing will get there wish twofold.

If I have one issue (hence 4 instead of 5 star) it’s that someone is in a bath in nearly every 2 pages of this book. It makes for a lot of fanservice of our three main characters that got old after awhile. Isn’t there anywhere else anyone spends time than a bath or bathhouse? And how is it that everyone has a bath ready for our main characters no matter where they go? It was odd and repetitive.

In any event, this is well worth the read if you really enjoyed the Wild Hunt and want more from Witcher storylines. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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