The Last Wish, Introducing The Witcher
The Last Wish is our introduction to Geralt, the Witcher. His job is straightforward. You hire him to kill monstrous beings for money. But his services don’t come cheap.
The book is a series of short tales, interconnected with various flashbacks. We jump around in time, but always focused on the main character, something not done much anymore in fantasy. There are a couple other important characters: Dandelion, Yennifer, and Nenneke. But the adventures of the Witcher are what we really care about.
Those adventures are sprinkled with elements from well-known fairy tales. Many of these are commented on in passing but set the tone for the mystical beasts Geralt comes across. We quickly discover that Geralt is not simply a great swordsman (which he definitely is) but clever with his words and ways. In order to complete his jobs, he can’t simply rush in swords drawn.
The whole book is full of action and adventure. It is violent at times but more PG-13 than R (mostly). Geralt’s character becomes increasingly complex as the story evolves. He is what makes The Witcher a page turner and I look forward to reading more of this series (and eventually watching the Netflix series).
The Last Wish is written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, one of Poland’s most celebrated authors. His writing style is crisp and to the point, another fresh feel from “epic” fantasy series.