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' a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer' advertises the description of the book. I don't know who wrote that sad sales pitch, but 'The Witcher' is neither an assassin, nor a murderer, so ignore it. Ignore the Mills & Boon book cover as well, because 'The Witcher' has white hair. Seriously, this book deserves better.
Anyway, on to the actual book.
Read this Witcher book before the others. I read book 1 to 3, then this one. Only to find this one is set before the events of the main series - books 1 to 5(?) - I wish I'd known that before starting reading.
Books 1 to 3 (and maybe 4 and 5 too, I haven't read them yet) are all one epic story, split over several books, and flow one into to the next almost seamlessly.
This book is a collection of short stories, all set prior to 'Book 1'. The stories themselves are a mixed bunch - varied length and quality - but several provide some very important background for the Book 1 - 5(?) epic. Because there are several short stories here there is a lot less of the lengthy geopolitical exposition you get in the multi book epic - the stories are far 'more personal' by necessity. That said, you still get the philosophising and moralising.
Of the stories in this book: one is quite predictable, one is very sad (brought a tear to my eye anyway), one is very clever (unexpectedly thought provoking), one is very confusing (maybe deliberately so because of the nature of the story it is telling) ..... and so on ...... but all are well worth reading. Read it before 'Book 1', and don't skip any of the stories. You won't regret it.
The second book in the series, and it follows similar pattern as the first book, The Last Wish, in that it is a collection of short stories. However, upon reading book one and two you realise that these stories intertwine and make a whole big picture. I cannot recommend the witcher series enough, it's by far the best fantasy series I have ever read. Only warning from me would be that, just as much as the games, the books are aimed at adults.
As with the first book of short stories, you can't help but feel that every story has its worth. They're all slightly different, all introducing you more and more into Geralt as a person and his companions along the way. The lore and world that is built is dizzyingly exciting and has left me wanting to consume everything about this world.
If you liked the first book, you'll love this. If you like the games, you'll love this. If you like fantasy books, you'll love this!
I first saw the Witcher Netflix series so was inspired to read the books. This book is a great introduction to the Witcher, it is nice to see the Netflix series didn’t diverge too much from the first book; the book give a much deeper sense of the Witcher’s background and definitely worth reading in combination with the Netflix series to appreciate the true depth of the character.
This is very well crafted. They say that, in a short story, every word has to earn its place; in this book it's amazing how much is evoked by so few words; whole complex societies, a complete world, the timeless world of field and forest, hedgerow and stream, the world untouched by technology. I do wonder if young adults today could truly get it, whether the barbed wire they find at every boundary might not prevent them from feeling the endless possibility that being away from push button instant life, with its security, offers and threatens. What comfort do we have to turn to when choices are endless, when the vastness of possibility feels overwhelming? Stay on this side of the fence, little darlings, on the other there be dragons!
The stories weren't as thrilling as in The Last Wish, but it is a great book albeit a little hard to read at times, due to the poetic rants characters go on when they're talking about love. I really enjoyed it and it sets the stage for the coming larger story quite nicely. Each short story in this book has its own message/meaning/moral and really delivers. There was a single one I just didn't understand though.
Definitely start with The Last Wish if you haven't read that, as there are references to events that transpired in it.
Along with A Last Wish, Sword of Destiny as well as being a fine collection of stories about Gerald of Rivia, lays the foundations for the five book story arc concerning Ciri, Child of the Elder Blood. The book can be read as a standalone collection of short stories. If you have played The Witcher: Wild Hunt you will see where certain literary echoes have influenced the game. My only issue with all of the Witcher books is they are so enjoyable that they never seem to last long enough.
I came to the world of the witcher through the third game not knowing it was based on a series of books, upon getting said books i have powered through three so far. Each character know matter how mind is given enough time in these stories to make you want to see how things turn out for them in their misadventures, geralt is so well written he comes across as unfeeling at times but for those he cares about he has this softer side! Give this a go
Predecessor of J.Abercrombie and many more in genre of fantasy. Absolutely recommended reading and very satisfying story with hints to Slavic fairy tales and nordic ancestry from North of Poland.Read it first time 22 years ago and now enjoying the ride again.
Still half way through this book but I am enjoying it very much. I bought this as it's the first book in the Witcher series, and based on viewing my housemates enjoyment of the game I thought I'd sample this before playing it. I will be getting the next book in the series when I finish this, and have already ordered the game, looking forward to it!
This translation is also very good quality, I've read translations in the past that sometimes confuse the occasional bit, but this is flawless.