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Review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so my review today is one of those sort of oddball ones. Like, it took me two attempts to be able to read this book. The first time I picked it up–a couple years ago, I might add–I struggled and slogged through the first 50 pages. The book just wasn’t grabbing my interest like I was hoping it would. So I did a temporary DNF, I set it down and focused on other books.

Then came the announcement that Netflix was making a series based on these books, and I started seeing the full-length trailers come out…and they were pretty cool looking. This book just started calling to me. Even then I made it halfway through the book and then set it aside for a little while…until we started watching season one on Netflix.

And…well, I guess I’ll save the rest for the actual review portion of this post, so let’s get started.

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Book Details

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publication Date: July 18, 2017 (originally published January 31, 1993 in Polish)

ISBN: 0316438960 (ISBN13: 9780316438964)

Summary

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

All right, so this is a set of short stories that introduces us to the Witcher, AKA Geralt of Rivia, and all of these stories take place before the main books of the series. However, it should be noted that you do not have to start with these stories. You can start with the first full-length novel. I just wanted to start with these, because it made sense for me to try and read everything in chronological order.

So, when I first picked this up, I just didn’t really find myself compelled to keep reading, and I struggled to figure out why this interesting concept just wasn’t working for me. I decided the smart plan was to step back and read something else. What I didn’t expect was that I would leave this book alone for a couple of years.

It wasn’t just the Netflix series trailer that made me want to pick this up, though that was probably the first spark. I also skimmed a couple of reviews on Goodreads, and found out that each of the stories in this book is based on a fairy tale: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

But here’s what fascinated me this time around: the twists to each of the stories we all know only made the stories more interesting to me. It was great. Plus, since I picked it up (for the third time) after Damian and I had watched a couple episodes of the show, I felt like I had a bit more of a grasp on the characters and the world and the story.

Because okay, here’s the thing, I’m not really that good with reading translated works. A vast majority of the time the words flow in an odd way to me and it makes the writing sound less good overall, and so I have a difficult time with it. But I also realize that I only am fluent in English, so I take breaks from the story when I need to, and I remind myself that the story is still good. Because it is good. I’ve just spent most of my life reading books in English that were written in English.

So I’m excited to pick up the next story collection soon, because I’m really enjoying this world and the characters. Damian and I still have four episodes to watch on the show, but I’m kind of glad that we didn’t binge them. It gives us time to process and enjoy them more before we’re waiting for season 2, which is currently being reported as being released in 2021.

Where to Get a Copy

You can get your own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski”

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