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The Last Wish Paperback – 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 639 customer reviews

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A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Product Details

  • Series: Gollancz S.F.
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575077824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575077829
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (639 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
First off, the Product Description does this book a great disservice when it says:
"Geralt de Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer."

Well...he's not a sorcerer...at least not in the sense they mean in the book. He's not an assassin - they actually go through great lengths in the book describing how witchers are not hired killers. And he is by no means a cold-blooded killer. I don't think it's too much a spoiler if I say I can count the number of things Geralt kills in the book on one hand. A witcher, as described in the book, is supposed to save lives rather than take them.

I don't know why the publishers chose this description, but I guess the description "A philosophically-minded warrior confronted with moral ambiguities" would not sell many copies.

Now the review:
This book chronicles the adventures of Geralt of Rivia in a series of loosely tied adventures. A convoluted way to describe his job would be to say he slay monsters, but a better way would be to say he helps people with monster troubles, resorting to violence as a last resort.

The book is written in short story form with a overarching mini-story which acts as a segway between each story.

The book itself, honestly, falls flat for about the first half of the book. I felt quite a bit was either lost in translation or the author was trying too hard to define his character.

The book becomes much, much better once Geralt's foil, named Dandilion, is introduced. I would also say that the very last of the six short stories, named "The Last Wish," is superb and more than enough to warrant a purchase of this book.
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13 Comments 253 of 261 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow. I got this book for my hubby for Father's Day, since he enjoys the PC game based on this book. I was literally in the middle of quite a large fictional novel when I picked up his book, this book, and read a few pages. I was hooked on the main character, Geralt, immediately. I took a wonderful liason from my current book, and the streets of NYC, and went directly into a medieval, magickal world full of monsters and sorcerers. The author is great with his adjectives and after a few sentences you really can imagine for yourself what the author is describing. Also, Sapkowski gives us humor and that humor doesn't encroach into the seriousness of the tone in the entire story. I absolutely LOVE that the author mixed in some of the older faerie tales, old wives tales and even some general well-known stories into the story. This is a quick and amusing read with some ancient 'history' intertwined. I loved this book! I want more! You will too!
2 Comments 81 of 88 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
Comment 25 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
Comment 24 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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).
6 Comments 126 of 153 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
2 Comments 25 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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