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Paperback The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher Book

ISBN: 0316438960

ISBN13: 9780316438964

The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher

(Part of the The Witcher Series and The Witcher Publication Order Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Geralt the Witcher -- revered and hated -- holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures in the New York Times bestselling series that inspired the Netflix show and the hit video games. Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A very enjoyable read

This book has more emotional depth, and maturity than most in this genre. It ties in a lot of children's stories, Snow White, etc, and provides an adult perspective on them. Stimulating and engrossing. Like Lord of the Rings, it has a dark edge, set in a time where the old world is fast disappearing. One of the best books I have read in a long time.

Grim(m) Fairy Tales

I came by The Last Wish via The Witcher video game, and I am quite satisfied with both. As a European, Sapkowski seems not to have been tainted by the triteness and commercialism that has afflicted so much speculative fiction in the U.S. His writing is gritty and dark, like the original fairy tales on which it seems to be based. The protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is a classic anti-hero--a warrior who has made himself into a monster in order to combat still greater monsters. His task is necessary yet thankless, and he approaches it with the attitude of a hardened mercenary--as just another job. I cannot express how refreshing that is in an era of Tolkien-clones and shallow D & D novelizations, in which every character has some Grand Destiny(TM) and good and evil regularly clash in Titanic Battles for the Fate of the World(TM).

A fun twist on many fairy tales

You probably know by now that Geralt is a Witcher, a monster slayer, and is a typical fantasy fiction hero. If you like fantasy fiction or the PC game The Witcher, the odds are good that you will enjoy this book. What surprised me upon reading "The Last Wish" were the references to classic fairy tales and their somewhat twisted incorporation into Geralt's world. Stories about Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rumplestiltiskin, and others are woven into the tales in a dark and untraditional way. I found this added to the fun and elevated this book above your typical hack and slash fanatasy novel.

Dark and Complex Fantasy World

In short, a great read and a welcome break from cookie-cutter fantasy. I feared that the stories may fall flat in translation, but this is not the case. These short stories compiled into novel form leave no doubt about why this world was adapted into one of the most popular role playing games in recent memory. The world portrayed in the book is deep and layered with blood and shades of gray. There are rarely any real heroes or villains. Everyone has secondary motives. Even the "monsters" have sympathetic qualities, and a recurring theme is that people are far more dangerous than anything mystical.

Eagerly awaiting the rest of the stories...

I got this English edition from a UK seller, and had it in my hand less than a week after ordering, so if you don't want to wait until May, try that. I really enjoyed this book, which is a collection of short stories strung together in the form of flashbacks as Geralt is healing up at the temple of Melitele after battling the strzyga. It roughly follows the episodes in the Wiedzmin TV series (coughTorrentcough) but are of course much better. I don't imagine they retain the apparent charm of the original Polish versions, but they still stand up as very engaging middle-brow fantasy. It's not meant to be Tolkien, but neither is it Robert E. Howard pulp (which isn't to say I don't very much enjoy the Conan stories!). Geralt is a somewhat conflicted character, fighting against the standards of his upbringing and his own moral impulses, and the choices he makes result in poignant and realistic stories. He's not the typical nihilistic douchebag character that many modern medieval/fantasy writers like to use to pretend to be 'deep' or morally ambiguous (Cornwell!). Rather, Geralt is dealing with a world where the ideals he's set for himself are becoming less and less applicable, and telling the difference between human and nonhuman monsters is difficult. But it's not heavy-handed philosophy- the situations he encounters invariably involve some sweet action where he uses his brains as well as his swords to slice up baddies. And when he wins without fighting I didn't feel cheated or that it was some Kumbaya preaching. There were some points, like in the bar in Wyzim, where I felt he was unnecessarily violent, and it seemed a bit gratuitous or a cheap device to move the plot. But these are I believe the first of the Witcher's stories, so they can be forgiven for being a little inconsistent. The sensibilities of the stories could only have emerged, I think, from a place like Poland, which has until only recently suffered some of the worst manifestations of 'human' ugliness and has more than theoretical or philosophical acquaintance with it. Geralt is an extremely rich and fascinating character, and I look forward to the English translations of the rest of Sapkowski's stories.
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