- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (May 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780316029186
- ISBN-13: 978-0316029186
- ASIN: 0316029181
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,355 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2008
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"The universe of Sapkowski's The Witcher is one of the most detailed and best-explored in modern fantasy, offering endless opportunities for fresh ideas ... Complex character relationships enrich this already complex world; this is the sort of series fantasy fans will cherish."―B&N
"One of the best and most interesting fantasy series I've ever read. Though it functions well as adventure fiction, it has added depth and value as satire and commentary on fantasy literature ... Sapkowski is a genuine stylist."―Nerds of a Feather
"Like a complicated magic spell, a Sapkowski novel is a hodgepodge of fantasy, intellectual discourse, and dry humor. Recommended."―Time
"Like Mieville and Gaiman, [Sapkowski] takes the old and makes it new ... fresh take on genre fantasy."―Foundation on The Last Wish
"A breath of fresh air in a well-worn genre. Don't miss it!"― Fantasy Book Review
"Sapkowski has a phenomenal gift for narrative, inventing sensational events, creating a suggestive mood, and building up the suspense along with a dazzling, slightly cynical sense of humor."―Jacek Sieradzki, Polityka on The Last Wish
"Sapkowski's The Last Wish is a great collection of short stories centered around a witcher, Geralt - a rare sorcerous breed who hunts down the monstrous but is feared by the innocent. With a wondrous mix of Eastern European folklore and myth, beautiful princesses, mischievous demons and where all is not as it seems, The Last Wish is a great read - perfect for dipping into or just reading cover to cover, as I did."―Waterstones
"It is [his] world-weariness combined with his battle-honed powers that make Geralt such an interesting character. Here's hoping The Last Wish is merely the opening chapter in his English language adventures."―Edge
"I really, really enjoyed this book ... None of the characters in Sapkowski's world are black or white; they are all shades of grey, including Geralt and the monsters."―The Deckled Edge
"Sapkowski is very good at creating interesting, imaginative characters with unusual levels of depth to them ... The Last Wish is an enjoyable book full of stories both melancholy and comic."―The Wertzone
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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• The Last Wish and most of the series were published in the 1990’s
• They spawned from Poland, not the United States or United Kingdom
• Inspired the Witcher game series a decade later (2007-ongoing)
• More to come, the author and series continue
Andrzej Sapkowski’s Geralt of Rivia is a “Witcher,” a superhuman trained to defeat monsters. After hundreds of years killing creatures, there are fewer threats and witchers. Actually there is less hunting monsters than Geralt sleuthing mysterious altercations. Sapkowski’s stories have conflicts that are not lone-Witcher-in-the-wild vs. monster conflict; they are more humans/vs strange forces in which Geralt referees (and usually kills). His investigative methods are a bit rougher than Sherlock Holmes. Each story was as if Conan was dumped into the Grimm's Fairy tales. But all is not grim. Lots of humor present is reminiscent of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series. Humans tend to persecute or shun the weird witchers; sustaining future witchers is addressed as the seeds of an apprenticeship are sown.
Geralt has dialogue with antagonists often. Lengthy interrogations are common. This approach allows for funny banter, philosophizing, and entertaining information-dumps. This makes for a fast, entertaining read. Sapkowski stands out as a leading non-English writer. No map, table of contents (TOC), or glossary were featured in the paperback translation. I provide the TOC below. The structure reveals the over-arching narrative of “the Voice of Reason” which attempts to connect all the others. This works pretty well, but is not always smooth. This was designed as an introduction to the series. I was impressed enough to order the Sword of Destiny when I was only half way through. It is not until the third book does a dedicated novel emerge. The series and the games continue to this day with books 7 and 8 awaiting English translation (as of 2016).
The Last Wish Table of Contents
1- Voice of Reason #1
2- The Witcher
3 - Voice of Reason #2
4- A Grain of Truth
5- Voice of Reason #3
6-The Lesser Evil
7-Voice of Reason #4
8-A Question of Price
9-Voice of Reason #5
10-The Edge of The World
11- Voice of Reason #6
12- The Last Wish
11- Voice of Reason #7
Andrzej Sapkowski Blood of Elves saga:
1. The Last Wish; Short Stories 1992 , translated from Polish to English 2007 when the first Witcher Video Game was released
2. Sword of Destiny Short Storeis 1992 translated 2015
3. Blood of Elves 1994 [novels begin] translated 2014
4. The Time of Contempt 1995 translated 2015
5. Baptism of Fire 1996 translated 2016
6. The Tower of Swallows 1997 translated 2016
7. Lady of the Lake (1999…being translated for a 2017 release in US)
8. Season of Storms (Sezon burz) written 2013, set between the short stories in the first book in the series, The Last Wish. English edition TBD
2007 Witcher PC
2011 Witcher 2 (Assassins of Kings) PC, Xbox, Mac OS
2015 Witcher 3 (Wild Hunt), PC, PS4, Xbox
I bought this book after playing the wither 3 on ps4. I love the entire story and lore that accompanied the witches universe.
As immersed as I felt while playing the game, the book took me to the next level and I now want to buy the entire series of books.
I am a fan of Andrzej Sapowski's books and you will be too. It also looks really cool on my coffee table when I have guests over.
The Geralt of the books is much more cerebral than most monster hunters in modern fiction (more so than in the games, even), preferring to cure them of their curses or appeal to their senses of reason, when able, rather than just slashing them down. Most of the "monsters" he actually ends up slaying in the book are humans, which come off as being the biggest monsters of all (there's a particular story in this collection where that, in fact, seems to be the overriding lesson).
The stories are excellently written, with some nice takes on old fairy tales. I don't know if it's because these stories are originally from Eastern Europe, or just skill of the author, or what, but this was the first fantasy novel (or, rather, collection of fantasy short stories) I've read in a long time where I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I didn't know quite where things were going until they got there. Sapkowski doesn't stick to the same tropes we westerners are used to, or if he does, he uses them in unexpected ways. His monsters have just as much personality as his protagonists, and often have many of the same motivations. In the few stories that have outright villains, those villains are shown having understandable reasons for being... antagonistic. I hesitate to use the word "evil", because the author does an excellent job of showing that "evil" is, in many cases, a difference of perspective.
So, if you're a fan of good fantasy, I would definitely suggest picking this up, even if you've not played the games and don't plan to. I don't think you'll be disappointed with what you find in the world of The Witcher. I myself plan to do much more exploration of that world.