Book – The Last Wish
Author – Andrzej Sapkowski
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. – Goodreads Synopsis
Awhile back you may recall that I did a little post about the video game The Witcher 3. This book series is what inspired that video game. With how much I loved the game… it was easy for me to move The Last Wish to the very top of my TBR stack.
Book vs Game
One of the biggest debates in the reading community is how faithful movies and TV shows are to the books, and the vast majority of the time we always vote in favor of the books. (I know that I do, but I also most certainly biased too…) I don’t know if it is because I experienced the games before the books first in the case of the Witcher, but I believe the game to still be the best way to enjoy the world of the Witcher. This is a rarity of a decision for me, but the game can just combine so many different elements to really polish off a great entertainment experience.
Geralt is exactly the character I thought he was going to be. Reading his parts I could imagine the voice over artist from the games speaking. Geralt as a character is very well written, and for someone you would expect to come out of a cheap action flick, he has surprising a lot of depth. His professional and no bullshit attitude is always there, but you get to see how his character develops throughout his journey. For someone who has undergone mutations to make him less human, he shows a lot of genuine human emotion. It as as satisfying to read about Geralt slashing up succubi as it is to read him in turmoil over his star-crossed lover.
The novel perfectly sets up an atmosphere of which I love to read.
It has that grimdark grit that I have been growing to love over the recent years. It helps set the stage for a bleak world that is ridden with evil, and who better to destroy the evil than the great butcher of blaviken?
The structure of the novel is split up into different parts of which I like to think of as “quests”. These short story like quests prove to be a terrific medium in world building, and give a little hit of character development in each. The telling of the main story is structured through the use of flashbacks. Now flashbacks are usually a hit or miss and can be done wrong easily. You always end up thinking “SIGH ANOTHER FLASHBACK!?” in the worst cases, but if done properly, they end up with you craving them to get more of that backstory. In the case of The Last Wish, they are very satisfying to read.
The Last Wish was one of my favorite books that I read last year, and I am definitely going to continue to read the whole series. I have very high expectations for all of the books that come after this one in the series, and I hope that I am not let down! Netflix has also recently announced that they are going to take a stab at creating a TV version of the Witcher! The main part being played by Superman himself: Henry Cavil. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that this adaptation remains as faithful as the games did.