The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher

The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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Now a Netflix original series!
Geralt the Witcher -- revered and hated -- holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures in the NYT bestselling series that inspired the blockbuster 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 and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good...and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
Andrzej Sapkowski, winner of the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement award, started an international phenomenon with his Witcher series. The Last Wish short story collection is the perfect introduction to this one of a kind fantasy world.

Witcher collectionsThe Last WishSword of Destiny
Witcher novelsBlood of Elves
The Time of Contempt
Baptism of Fire
The Tower of SwallowsLady of the LakeSeason of Storms
The Malady and Other Stories: An Andrzej Sapkowski Sampler (e-only)

Translated from original Polish by Danusia Stok

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316055086
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 12/14/2008
Series: Witcher Series
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 135
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Andrzej Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt of Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer. He is now one of Poland's most famous and successful authors.

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Last Wish 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
Phantom00700 More than 1 year ago
Well, I picked this book up after hearing nothing but good things about the video game The Witcher, and, being a curious person, I decided to see where it all started. As a fantasy nerd I heavily enjoyed this book; it was original (which is a hard to find trait among fantasy novels), and it pulled me into the universe that Sapkowski created. Although, I was surprised that it was a collection of short stories (not that that's a bad thing). Pros: - Originality. - Interesting. - Developed Characters. Cons: - Poor copy Editing on the Nook. - Confusing dialogs and descriptions at a few points. - Some character names were very hard to pronounce.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timeline jumps around, which surprisingly worked and was quite refreshing. The battle scenarios were a bit drawn out; while exceptionally descriptive I found myself skipping over some of the details in order to get to the next plot/scene. I really liked the crossover stories with traditional myth and Grimm's fairytales, especially since it was a more adult and sometimes dark perspective. Excited to read the next installment.
clb2525 More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad that Andrzef Sapkowski's Witcher books were translated into English. This story is "old school fantasy" - utilizing some ancient monsters and fairy tale characters in a new and exciting storyline. Universal theme of "good vs evil" leaves you wondering which team each character plays on. The reader experiences the story of the Witcher through a series of flashbacks which can be slightly confusing at times, but helps to tell the Witcher's story in a fun and unique way.
Janus More than 1 year ago
Apparently the stories contained within Last Wish have been made into a video game called "The Witcher". I haven't played it, but I have read the book and it is excellent. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are the two genres I've never been able to get interested in. I couldn't read Lord of the Rings and I never finished the Harry Potter series. Try as I might, I have trouble suspending my disbelief to the level that most of these books ask. The Last Wish was somehow different. Yes, there was magic and monsters and swords and all that jazz, but the heart of each of the stories contained in this novella are morality issues. Issues of mercy, bigotry and corruption are really what drive each of the stories. Don't think that this is a boring book though. Geralt keeps the reader entertained constantly.
Bookaholicgirlmb 20 days ago
I loved it! Love Geralt and Dandelion! The show was great and this was just as good if not better!! I love the humor! A quick entertaining read, I can't wait to read the rest of the series!!
Mel-Loves-Books 14 days ago
“‘People’—Geralt turned his head—‘like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.’” I am officially a fan of The Witcher series by Adrzej Sapkowski! Ok so I have only read this first little installment, The Last Wish, but it was lovely. I am a fan that was introduced by the wonderful Netflix series, but seeing the show did not take away from my reading experience. In fact in this case it may have added to it. I was hungry for more information about these characters and I still am, so it was very easy for me to get sucked in. I give this book 4.5 stars and I am off to start the next one. “Yennefer kissed him and he understood that he’d never desire any lips other than hers, so soft and moist, sweet with lipstick. He knew that, from that moment, only she would exist, her neck, shoulders freed from her black dress, her delicate, cool skin, which couldn’t be compared to any other he had ever touched. He gazed into her violet eyes, the most beautiful eyes in the world, eyes which he feared would become... Everything. He knew.”
DoomKittieKhan 19 days ago
Like most of the nerdverse right now, I've been reading The Witcher saga by Sapkowski. Already a fan of the video games, I was excited/nervous to learn that they were based on a Polish fantasy series from the early 1990s. Excited because, I mean...books! But also nervous because I didn't want these books to be like the D&D novelizations. No offense to you if that's your bag, but I could never get into them. Understandably, I'm a little cautious about RPG-centered books. 'The Last Wish' is a short story collection that introduces readers to Geralt of Rivia, a mutated man who fights monsters for coin, otherwise known as a Witcher. Witchers undergo a mutation process when they're young so that their bodies can absorbs magic and elixirs to help them fight all sorts of baddies. Due to these mutations, Witchers are often white of hair, can dilate their pupils at will to see in the dark, and cut rather imposing figures. Witchers are known for their cold and calculating manner and are described as emotionless and unfeeling. However, as the stories progress, we learn that Geralt is a bit of an unusual Witcher. He's kind of...bumbling. He's also very sarcastic. He tends to get himself into more trouble than is truly necessary. Many of the stories use Grimm's Fairytales as their backbones. However, these aren't the Grimm's stories we're amiliar with. For example, in one instance, Geralt encounters a beastly monster living alone in a manor house. The manor house is surrounded by a beautiful rose garden, and the beast can command the manor house at will (slamming doors, opening windows, manifesting objects, etc...). You get where I'm going with this right? Geralt befriends the beast and the two share a drink together. The beast reveals to Geralt that he isn't actually a monster at all, but that he was a boy cursed by a priestess (rightly so, but no spoilers). The beast also explains that occasionally fathers bring their daughters to him in exchange for payment. These girls stay with the beast for about a year before returning home with sizable dowries. However, the beast is bored of these "beauties" and...well, you just should probably read the story to see how this one ends. In another story, Geralt comes up against a Snow White character who's a rouge princess set to destroy the sorcerer who encased her in crystal. 'The Last Wish' reads almost like a mis-adventure tale of a hardworking hunter just trying to make a living. It can be outright hilarious at times, and I was not expecting to find this series to be so funny! I'll heartily read more Sapkowski just for his sense of humor.
PollyBennett 10 months ago
Very interesting world. I enjoyed these short stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski is a great introduction to a great series. I would suggest reading this one first, then Sword of Destiny and Blood of Elves. The short stories introduce a lot of recurring characters in the series. The stories are quick and enjoyable reads, with lots of humor. As soon as the book ended, I was ready to pick up the next one.
GingerbreadMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Geralt is a witcher, which is kind of the practical end of wizardry. More about swords than wands, witchers specialize in killing the monsters that frequently terrorize villages and towns. For a reward, of course. Respected, but not particularly loved, witchers are the result of mutations and deforming exercise from a very early age. This collection of stories tells of some of Geralt¿s assignments, but also gives a glimpse into the witcher¿s place in this society.In many ways, this is much too muscular fantasy for my taste. I¿ve never been a big fan of deep set, brooding eyes, bulging biceps and lightning fast sword play. But Sapkowski redeems this by creating a hero that also has fears, weaknesses and doubts. Geralt¿s attempts at holding on to his moral compass makes for a more complex main character, but also some pretty interesting philosophical discourse. One of these short stories, for instance, deals with the concept of ¿a lesser evil¿, and devotes several pages to explore it in conversation between the characters. Pretty unusual.I also much enjoy the world Sapkowski creates, using strong fairy tale elements in a dark context. This is a world full of evil step mothers, transformed princes and threefold wishes, but where those things feel very real and scary. It¿s the kind of book that gives you a feel what it might actually be like to live in a village where a curse claims a child every year or a dragon looms in the nearby hills. It¿s not unique, but well executed. Sapkowski also derives some dry humour from this setting. I love how Geralt, for instance, sighs over all those dimwitted third sons of millers who for some reason feel the need to challenge monsters and get themselves killed.In the end, though, the book lacks something. It never quite grips me, despite all its qualities. It feels a little bit like it doesn¿t use its themes enough, that the stories could have been just a little¿more. Mind you, it could very well just be me not having the time to read lately to really get into it. It¿s absolutely worth checking out.
dakobstah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very good dark fantasy novel. It centers on Geralt of Rivia who is strangely similar to Elric of Melnobone. Like Elric, Geralt is a potion-swigging albino. Unlike Elric, Geralt is a mutant--superhumanly strong, fast, able to dilate his eyes at will, etc. Nor are his adventures quite so epic. Geralt is just a simple guy who wants to make his way in the world. It's simply an unfortunate coincidence that his way in the world involves the slaying of monsters. One would think that his reputation as a monster-slayer would work to his advantage but people tend to fear him rather than admire or respect him. After all, anything that can kill a monster is more powerful than that monster and more capable of destruction.Further complicating matters, Geralt is a very philosophically inclined monster-slayer who lives by his own code, which sometimes conflicts with the code that was instilled in him.The story also provides twists on several classic fairy tales, giving it a Neil Gaimanish quality to it at times (not throughout the whole novel, but at times).
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't been a fantasy reader for probably 20 years, but I enjoyed watching a friend play the video game version and then the (next) book recently won a literary award. It was a fun read with very well-structured action sequences, although not as high-minded as I was expecting from the award. Enjoyed the short story format. And all the familiar fairy tales that went in unpredictable new directions. Really, it was a medieval Hellboy. In a good way. The main character doesn't have much of a personality, but that's usually the case with his archetype. He's like Solomon Kane or Jonah Hex, including the necessary-but-unwelcome elements.
KidDork on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very surprising. I had expected a thin, Conan-rip off, but instead found a book of surprising depth and humour. Nice little play with fairy tales, but by book's end, there seems to be a much bigger story beginning.
cat8864 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was a decent book with several very interesting twists. However, there are a few spots that made for hard reading. The various fairy tales and imagery that are incorporated and twisted make for an interesting read, and compensated for the lack of detail in the characters. The world could have been fleshed out more. I don't think I'll ever re-read this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nicely assembled collection of short stories with well thought out twists and turns
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this after playing the Whitcher 3, and was excited to learn more about Geralt. Really enjoyed the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great short stories that introduce the world and It's characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good book was torn on finishing it in two days and wanting to make the experience last longer! Looking forward to the next book
jamsreadsbooks More than 1 year ago
The Last Wish is the first set of short stories chronicling the adventures of Geralt, a monster slayer for hire. Although this book was published second, in terms of chronology it is the first book in the series, with several stories detailing the origins of how Geralt became tied to several key characters, namely his main love interest Yennefer as well as the destined child, Ciri. I ended up picking these books up for my husband who is a very big fan of the video game series. While I myself had never played the games and was only vaguely familiar with the base story and characters, I decided it would be fun to read along with him and make it an activity for us to do together. That being said, with this book being my first experience with The Withcer I am HOOKED. I found myself blazing through the stories, usually at least one a night and I had a hard time putting the book down! The stories were filled to the brim with action and Sapkowski did a phenomenal job balancing serious plot points and discussions with some lighthearted humor. My absolute favorite story out of the entire collection was the titular story, The Last Wish, and I am utterly in love with Yennefer. She is my dream girl fantasy heroine partially because she breaks many character stereotypes. I of course admired Geralt as well, the Witchers are truly interesting and he’s a thoughtful hero, I greatly enjoyed the love story between him and Yen. Really I ended up liking most of the main cast of characters, even Dandelion as terrible as he is provided some much needed comic relief. One of my other favorite aspects of Sapkowski’s stories was the clever retelling of classic fairy tales. I absolutely adored the way that Beauty and the Beast was re-imagined in a way that was really refreshing amidst all the other variations of the original story. There were also many other references to lesser known fairy tales, such as The Princess in the Chest and Hans My Hedgehog. The tales are blended seamlessly into Geralt’s adventures and they were truly magical. I think the only issue I had personally as a reader was that at times during the action scenes, with the very detailed descriptions of combat, I tended to zone out and struggled to follow along. It’s probably just a me thing, but the writing otherwise was top notch. This book has sold me on The Witcher series and I’ve recommended it to several friends, especially the ones that are fans of the video games, and strongly recommend it to fans of fantasy books in general. It’s definitely a bit different from the usual high fantasy, but I found it to be a real treat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it and the whole series
Ariam More than 1 year ago
As a fan of The Witcher video games series I was very much looking forward to reading the book series that started it all. While the video game series is amazing on it's own (without having read the books), the books fill in small gaps on how Geralt met many of the characters I'd come to both love and loathe in the games. The Last Wish introduces Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf - Witcher of renown. This book was fast paced, well written and very engaging - though jumpy. Again, I say that after playing all three games. I think that if someone just picked it up without any background it might be a little difficult to dive in. It was easy to follow along having had played the games but the chapters are written jumping around a little from different times in Geralt's life. We do find out more about beloved characters such as Yennefer, Ciri and Dandelion which the games don't necessarily address fully. I also found the characters seemed to differ, in my opinion, quite a bit in the book from how the were portrayed in the game - again, personal opinion. The end result though is if you ARE a fan of The Witcher video games even in the slightest, I highly recommend this book. If you are just becoming acquainted with the Witcher, through hearsay or word of mouth, it might be a little difficult to get into, but believe me, the next books in the series are written more in a "typical", flowing novel form and completely worth continuing the journey. My recommendation would be to play the games first then read the novels for the backstory. However, if you're not a video game fan and strictly a fantasy fiend, this book series will be worth it - even more so after this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago