Read It!The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski 
Read It!

Review of "The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher" by Andrzej Sapkowski
by Nicole S.

Hello again! Like I said before I have been participating in a virtual book club with some of my friends from Wisconsin which has been incredibly enjoyable for me to be able to read other books I normally wouldn’t choose for myself and learning more about my friends’ reading tastes.  

After reading two different suspenseful thrillers in a row we decided to dive into the fantasy genre with our next pick - “The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski. For those who don’t know this book is actually one of two collections of short stories that paves the way for the Witcher Saga novels surrounding the main character Geralt of Rivia.  

The Last Wish

This book was originially published in Polish in 1993 with an English translation later in 2007. This book contains six short stories which sheds a little light on Geralt’s many adventures. Having been injured in a battle and while resting at a temple, he is experiencing flashbacks from certain time’s in his life.  

These short stories have been adapted to video games, film and a recent television series on Netflix starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia.  

The character Geralt of Rivia, one of the few remaining witchers on the Continent, is a traveling monster slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts. This puts the series of the Witcher in the fantasy genre. “Fantasy is defined as a form of literary genre in which a plot cannot occur in the real world. Its plot usually involves witchcraft or magic, taking place on an undiscovered planet of an unknown world. Its overall theme and setting involve a combination of technology, architecture, and language, which sometimes resemble European medieval ages. The most interesting thing about fantasies is that their plot involves witches, sorcerers, mythical and animal creatures talking like humans, and other things that never happen in real life (https://literarydevices.net/fantasy/)”  

For those starting this book who haven’t read or watched any of its adaptations could make getting through the names and places a little difficult. One of the big reasons I wanted to start reading the Witcher novels was due to the first season of the “Witcher” on Netflix. I enjoy reading and watching anything fantasy and the different characters portrayed throughout the show were amazing. My favorite being Geralt of Rivia. Being trained to be a monster hunter from such an early age, Geralt is seen as both highly respected and highly feared. He has a gruff and cold demeanor towards everyone he meets yet at the same time he has a strict moral code when it comes to the monsters he hunts and kills. He is a very complex character and I thought that the books would give more of an insight to how he thinks because it is hard to portray someone’s inner conscience on the screen.  

It is recommended to start with “The Last Wish” and even the other short story collection “Sword of Destiny” before diving into first of the “Witcher” novels, “Blood of Elves”. The reason behind this is because the first book in the series precedes the events that occur during the two short story collections. You follow Geralt of Rivia on his quests while meeting some key characters along the way.  

If you do end up enjoying the short story collections then continue on and immerse yourself in Geralt’s journey through all six of the Witcher books! Check out the series from APL here.

Once you finish those and need to have more high fantasy novels check out “The Red Knight” by Miles Cameron or ‘”Assassin’s Apprentice” by Robin Hobb

Check back for my next review of the next book club pick - “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine.  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 24 July, 2020 at 4:57 PM  

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