Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a healer, a magician, and according to some, a charlatan. When a thoughtless indiscretion forces him to flee his home, he finds himself pursuednot only by brothers bent on vengeance but by the Holy Inquisition.
Before I approached The Tower of Fools, one of my favourite elements of Sapkowski’s writing was that he created great supporting characters, groups, brotherhoods and fellowships ... This strength of the author’s is present throughout The Tower of Fools too, with characters like Scharley, Samson Honey-Eater and Urban Horn being just as complex, colourful and interesting to read about as the novel’s lead is ... Recommended for fans of Sapkowski’s The Witcher Saga, and those who enjoy a dark fantasy take on historical events.
It’s a typically sprawling narrative set in 15th-century Europe during the chaotic Hussite revolution, in which religious reformers fought Catholic armies loyal to the Holy Roman Emperor ... Sapkowski peppers the story with telling period detail, vivid and violent set pieces, and scatological humour. After a slow start, in which the historical and political backdrop is filled in by characters discoursing at length, the narrative settles into a bloody but satisfying picaresque.
While the sheer amounts of characters, historical names, and untranslated Latin may daunt some readers, Sapkowski’s energetic and satirical prose as well as the unconventional setting makes this a highly enjoyable historical fantasy. Recommended for Sapkowksi’s many existing fans and for fans of historical fantasy in general.