With the final novel in the Witcher Saga on the Horizon, Fantasy Scriptorium spoke to both the translator of the books (from Polish) and the voice actor of the audiobooks to get insider information about this mammoth release:
Actor Peter Kenny, who has read all the English versions of the audiobooks, said that when he reads the books he tries to be entirely sympathetic towards author Andrzej Sapkowski’s style, saying: “I am guided by the style of the writing; if it is full-blooded then so is my performance, if is a more subdued style, so must my performance be… you edit your sound to the style the author presents… I try not to add anything which isn’t implied in the writing”.
Kenny says that although the Witcher universe is a dark one, he can identify with and relate to certain characters within, adding “I suppose in many ways I am like Dandelion; I delight in telling tales, I am a bit of a musician… I’d like to think I’m not as feckless as he is but… hmmmn! He does have a good heart… I hope I can claim that!”
On the point of dandelion, the beloved, yet sometimes cowardly bard, Kenny says that he specifically loves to bring to life the main character Geralt, and Dandelions relationship, as the two’s personalities clash and coalesce simultaneously: “The byplay between Geralt and Dandelion is always fun to do, there is sometimes a real poignancy to their friendship”.
British Born, but Poland based translator David French also spoke about the importance of being true to Sapkowski’s style, while adding that he naturally has to add his own style to the translation: “I guess the answer has to be yes, although it would be impossible to pinpoint what my style is. You ask ten people to bake a fruitcake using the same ingredients and each one will be different, because they all put something original of themselves into it”.
Looking past the novels and their involvement in them, both Kenny and French spoke of their excitement at the future Netflix series which will be based on the books. French told us that “The books have everything you need to capture audiences: a wonderful world, action, compelling plotlines, well-drawn characters, tension, monsters, romance and sex, great fight scenes, intrigue and political wrangling.”
Alternatively, while Kenny also expressed his seal of approval on the series, he also couldn’t help to cast himself in a few minor roles: “Physically I don’t suit any of the principals… Perhaps one of the dwarves like Zoltan Chivay or Milo Vanderbeck, the Hobbit surgeon in the battle sequence from Lady of The Lake. Of the humans… probably Houvenaghel the loathsome provost from Tower of The Swallows!”
Season of Storms is out May 22, on Amazon and as audiobook from Audible.