The Last Wish, by Andrzej Sapkowski

Title: The Last Wish
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-0-316-43896-4
Copyright © 1993 Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish is the first book about The Witcher. It is a collection of short stories that work as an introduction to the main series. Our main character is Geralt of Rivia, and he’s a witcher that hunts monsters for money. Each story works loosely; it does not specify a chronological order, so one can assume that each quest/story happened at different times.

All of the stories are interesting; it was hard for me to put the book down. I got hooked from the beginning to the last story called “The Last Wish.” However, I must admit that the opening could be a little uncomfortable, to say the least, for some readers. I am not against sex scenes, but I can see many people closing the book after the initial paragraph. Once you get past that, the story moves on quickly; as I mentioned, these stories are short quests or looks at the witcher’s life. The most beautiful thing about them is that I perceived some as fairy tales; I am sure there were many references that I’ve missed, but I felt the charm similar to the old fairy tales.

The world presented in the book and stories is a medieval fantasy setting, and the subtle Polish folklore makes it feel unique. Our protagonist is very professional, but despite the way people see the witchers, he can make friends, be kind, sarcastic, and unintentionally funny. The other characters are a great addition to the world; their interactions with Geralt make everything even more entertaining.

It is a fantasy book worth the read. Even if you have limited time, a collection of short stories adjusts perfectly if that’s the case; but I doubt you’ll be able to put it down once you start reading. Do not be quick to judge the initial paragraph. Everything after that gets better.

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