At the end of Time of Contempt, Ciri joins a band of Rats. On their first night, Kayleigh tries to rape her.

He lay down beside her, slowly and cautiously. Ciri tried to get up, but Kayleigh pressed her down onto her bed with a strong and firm, though not rough, movement. He placed his fingers gently on her mouth. Although he needn’t have. Ciri was paralysed with fear, and she couldn’t have uttered a cry from her tight, painfully dry throat even if she had wanted to. But she didn’t want to. The silence and darkness were better. Safer. More familiar. She was covered in terror and shame. She groaned.

‘Be quite, little one,’ whispered Kayleigh, slowly unlacing her shirt. Slowly, with gentle movements, he slid the material from her shoulders, and pulled the edge of the shirt above her hips. ‘And don’t be afraid.

You’ll see how nice it is.’

Ciri shuddered beneath the touch of the dry, hard, rough hand. She lay motionless, stiff and tense, full of an overpowering fear which took her will away, and an overwhelming sense of revulsion, which assailed her temples and cheeks with waves of heat. Kayleigh slipped his left arm beneath her head, pulled her closer to him, trying to dislodge the hand which was tightly gripping the lap of her shirt and vainly trying to pull it downwards. Ciri began to shake.

He is interrupted by Mistle

Mistle lay down beside her, and covered her tenderly with the fur. But she didn’t pull the dishevelled shirt down. She left it as it had been. Ciri began to shake again.

‘Be still, Falka. It’s all right now.’

Mistle was warm, and smelled of resin and smoke. Her hand was smaller than Kayleigh’s; more delicate, softer. More pleasant. But its touch stiffened Ciri once more, once more gripped her entire body with fear and revulsion, clenched her jaw and constricted her throat. Mistle lay close to her, cradling her protectively and whispering soothingly, but at the same time, her small hand relentlessly crept like a warm, little snail, calmly, confidently, decisively. Certain of its way and its destination. Ciri felt the iron pincers of revulsion and fear relaxing, releasing their hold; she felt herself slipping from their grip and sinking downwards, downwards, deep, deeper and deeper, into a warm and wet well of resignation and helpless submissiveness. A disgusting and humiliatingly pleasant submissiveness.

She moaned softly, desperately. Mistle’s breath scorched her neck. Her moist, velvet lips tickled her shoulder, her collarbone, very slowly sliding lower. Ciri moaned again.

‘Quiet, Falcon,’ whispered Mistle, gently sliding her arm under her head. ‘You won’t be alone now. Not any more.’

Did Mistle rape her instead? What happened here?

  • 5
    Just by the passages you're dropping here (I've not read the books myself), it's certainly so heavily implied as to leave no doubt.
    – Radhil
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 10:20
  • 2
    Not sure what you mean by did Mistle rape her instead. The passage seems pretty clear that, whatever it was Mistle did, Ciri both permitted and enjoyed it.
    – Misha R
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 16:24

5 Answers 5


It is quite hinted, that at the end of "The lady of the lake" Ciri is still a virgin in the traditional sense: she hasn't had intercourse with a man (willingly or not). It seems that the fate itself is against this: all her wannabe partners die before the deed can be done: one dies shot, one overdoses.

When it comes to the scene with Mistle: it seems that she seduced Ciri, not forced herself:

Certain of its way and its destination. Ciri felt the iron pincers of revulsion and fear relaxing, releasing their hold; she felt herself slipping from their grip and sinking downwards, downwards, deep, deeper and deeper, into a warm and wet well of resignation and helpless submissiveness. A disgusting and humiliatingly pleasant submissiveness.

Being submissive in sex doesn't imply rape.

Furthermore, Ciri and Mistle form a quite strong relationship and Ciri genuinely cares about Mistle (and vice versa)- something that would be hard to imagine if she was finding her as a rapist.

The young girls approached it. Mistle bought two stick wrapped in snowy sweetness and gave one to the gray-haired girl. She delicately nibbled. The white flacks stuck to her lips. Mistle wiped them off with gentle movements and careful treatment. The gray-haired ones emerald eyes widened, she slowly licked her lips, smiled and shook her head mockingly. [...] ‘My cotton candy,’ cried the girl, looking at the candy lying in the sand. ‘I dropped my cotton candy...’ Mistle hugged her. ‘I’ll buy you another.’

I am Falka. But I was not always. Not always. She pursed her lips together. I have been unpleasant to Mistle, she thought. I have hurt her. I have to apologize in some way.

Also, when she is having sex with another, she thinks about her lover:

When he touched her, she could not help but stiffen and was angry with herself as she was determined to show him she was proud and distant to the end. Her teeth, needless to say, chattered slightly. But the elf’s electrifying touch calmed her, and his fingers began to teach and give orders. To give directions. In time she began to assimilate so well to his indications she could almost anticipate them. She closed her eyes and imagined it was Mistle who was at her side.

Also, Mistle wasn't pushy with her attention:

‘I asked you,’ Ciri growled angrily, lying on her back, ‘not to touch me.’ Mistle withdrew her hand which was tickling the back of Ciri’s neck, stretched out beside her, folded her hands under her shaved head and stared at the sky.
‘You have been acting strange lately, Hawk.’
‘I just don’t want to be touched, that’s all.’

It is matter of discussion, was this act a rape:

Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent

or was it a mere seduction:

Seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person, to engage in a relationship, to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; to corrupt, to persuade or induce to engage in sexual behaviour.
Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal.

Let's in the end play a bit of lawyer here: sexual act is rape and persecuted as crime only when it is reported as such by the victim (since witness might take a consensual fantasy for a crime or real rape for consensual intercourse). Judging by the examples provided above, I don't believe that Ciri would say that she has been raped by Mistle.

  • 5
    I've seen certain interpretations in which the scene win Mistle is described as rape and later Stockholm syndrome. I agree with you, but with Sapkowski's style, one cannot know for sure. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 8:40
  • 3
    IMO the scene above heavily applies Mistle raped her, that's not to say she later wasn't later compliant with Mistle. Or as @Gallifreyan suggests she's suffering from Stockholm syndrome. It seems to be left to the reader to interpret the events in their own way.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 8:49
  • 2
    To suggest that Mistle could not have raped her because they form a strong bond and the two ultimately care about each other is, well, naive, to say the least. People are complicated, and sex is complicated, and dominance/submission is complicated. Based on the scene, I'd suggest that rape (rather than seduction as you suggest) is indeed the relevant term, particularly since there is nothing in the description which suggests that Ciri feels desire - only resignation and submission. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 3:25
  • 2
    @WhatRoughBeast it is complicated, but please notice, that almost straight after (well, morning after) this rape/seduction/whatever Ciri kisses Mistle and covers her up. That is not an action of someone who just got sexually assaulted towards the attacker.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 6:24
  • I'd say it was rape. I've read through the books 3 times i think, and I do not find anything wholesome about the relationship between Ciri and Mistle. It's clear from everything in the first time they are together that it is not what Ciri wants, and the situation has a feel of "price of not being alone" later, she states she loves Mistle, but i doubt it, it still has a sense of abuse relationship over it. Besides, Mistle is basically a pedophile; Somewhat prior to Mistle taking advantage of Ciri, she reprimands Kayleigh because "she's just a child"
    – rasmus91
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 8:56

I am a victim of unwanted sexual attention.
I have to say I am kind of shocked there is any question this was rape. Rape is not always screaming no and being held down. Minus the attempt before the rape this was similar to how I was first molested.

  1. The least SEXY moment for Ciri would have been immediately AFTER almost being forced by someone else. No one feels sexy after almost being raped. In fact there is a betrayal of trust in saving her only to commit the same act from which she had JUST been saved.

    Ciri's reaction is very accurate if she had no knowledge of sex and if no one taught her that her consent even MATTERS. Like many of us children who were coerced by someone we trust into acts we didn't at first understand.

    She had never been a victim before. It is clear from all the ambivalence, shame, and disgust that something she did not want to happen, in fact, DID happen to her.

  2. One of the most pervasive feelings after an assault is guilt over any pleasure. Truth is, tho you are being forced the aggressor is trying to pleasure themselves sexually and sometimes trying to bring you forced pleasure. The body is not always compliant in rejecting the unwanted advances. Pleasure during the act is not proof it was wrong.

  3. Also, I agree with the Stockholm syndrome theory. Her aggressor adjust saved her, was known to her and trusted by her. Not surprising afterwards, that although Ciri continued to have a friendship and relationship. Also, the reasons many of us victims report LATER is that takes time to understand WHY what happened was wrong. That is part of the grooming and strategy of perpetrators. They count on our disgusting compliance, silence, unfamiliarity with how sex and consent actually work. My aggressors were older female and male cousins with whom I continued to have a relationship and even, yes, friendships.

  • 4
    I disagree: 1. Ciri is a royal princess, later raised by witchers and enchantress. All those traits have taught her to know the value of her own approval. She also lives in a world where girls barely after puberty are getting married and are expected to bear children, so you can't use your XXI century judgement to that. That scene was not about "feeling sexy" but finding comfort - intimacy can bring it too. The "revulsion" is coming most likely from the fact, that it is another woman that she is intimate with, something she probably hasn't heard of.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 0:13
  • 2. While it is true, that pleasure is not excuse for abuse, again - this is more likely coming from the fact that Mistle is a woman, not a man. The guilt is coming not from the fact that she enjoyed the act, but that she was enjoying having sex with another woman. Many gays coming out of the closet feel horribly guilty at enjoing the "forbidden pleasure". 3. Stockholm syndrome is valid only in the case of constant threat - no one is bullying Ciri after she joins the gang, no one forces her to do anything.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 0:23
  • This is a great answer. Welcome to the site! Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 0:36

To answer your question no. Kayleigh tried to rape her but didn't cause he was interrupted. But Mistle didn't force her it sounds like she was pleasured by it. Read the passage again it said

"A disgusting and humiliatingly pleasant submissiveness.
She moaned softly, desperately."

Most rape scenes in both books and movies the girl not only says the word no but she cries and screams and the moans are loud and you can hear the pain they're not soft and desperate. So since Ciri doesn't cry, scream, or beg or speak the word no. It wasn't a rape.

  • It looks like you're trying to provide a quote from the books, if you are try to use the quote breakdown to show the quote clearly. Also you speak of other examples, maybe you could provide them as evidence?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 4:42
  • Well I can try but I'm not exactly sure how. But I did use exact quotes from the book. Also I support my answer that it's not a rape with the fact in comparison with rape scenes you and read in other books and movies the way the victim reacts is nothing like how Ciri reacts if I had a good example of a rape scene to show in comparison and knew how to attach it to my answer I would show it as evidence. I just don't know how to do this.
    – Melinda
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:12
  • But I do hope answer helped and was a good answer but I understand if that is just how I interpreted the seen and someone else interpreted it differently.
    – Melinda
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:13
  • I personally haven't read anything with regards to the series, hence why I haven't agreed nor disagreed with your statements. Providing the evidence allows non-experts, like myself, to judge your answer and credit it with upvotes. To add a quote you can either click the little quotation marks in the top bar or copy+paste/type the quote into the answer box prepended with a >. I am sure your answer is a good answer, and the asker (with more knowledge) will be a better judge than I. I was merely suggesting improvements :)
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:14
  • I've edited the your answer to show an example of a quote, if that quote should be on sentence, or two separate paragraphs, feel free to edit to make those changes.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:16

If you read on, Ciri regretted the act the next morning, as she woke early to wash. It is said that "everything had washed away in the fog" and the way it was written made it sound like regret and shame. Furthermore the way both interactions were written, Ciri acted the same in both so to call one rape and the other one not is nonsense.

Stockholm Syndrome can play a factor considering that Mistle "saved" her from the other one. Ciri was scared and confused at that point, not knowing what to do or where to go.

  • 3
    I can't really understand the conclusion of your post - Ciri might regret that she she had sex with Mistle (something that I don't agree with), but fact that she regrets it doesn't mean that she was raped. Also how do you get the idea that she regretted it - she covers Mistle and even kisses her gently when she sleeps.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 23:02

The books imply it was rape, and you have to remember that this is a child (very young teenager) which was taken advantage of. She has little understanding of sex and relationships at this point, and to say it was consenting or mutal is disgusting to me tbh. It just seems like people are trying to justify rape because it was with a woman against a woman.

As an abuse victim the way its written is exactly how people who are taken advantage of feel when it happens to them. So i dont really understand whats ambigous about it. I dare you to replace mistles name with John/he, and reread the chapters and see how you feel about it then.

  • 3
    Hi, welcome to the site. This answer would be a lot stronger though if you were to edit it to include one or more quotes supporting the assertion that "The books imply it was rape". Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 12:46

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