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The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
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The Last Wish (original 1993; edition 2008)

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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1,326515,861 (3.95)64
Member:jgaiser
Title:The Last Wish
Authors:Andrzej Sapkowski
Info:Gollancz (2008), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Ebook
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Witcher

Work details

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (1993)

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English (40)  Finnish (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Light, episodic fantasy. Different in tone from the games: Geralt is much more of a cipher, as well as more grimdark, and marginally less interesting in comparison. All in all, not a bad experience, exploring a well-constructed setting. The writing, in translation, is pretty serviceable, which is damning with faint praise, I guess. ( )
  scrapironjaw | Jul 24, 2016 |
Reseña más extensa y en español próximamente.

Longer review soon.


Somewhere between 2,5 and 3 stars.

This book was ok, but nothing special. I hope that I like the main series more. This one was just a couple of short stories, that weren't even in chronological order. I got the impression that it would have been a better book to read after you've read the main series and know who all these people are. I don't mean to imply that it's confusing, because this is not the case. However, knowing more about the characters would have made reading this book much more enjoyable.

About the stories, some where better than others, but considering them all together, they were ok.

I may go back to this review and change a few things once I've started reading the main series and can put these stories in a bigger context. ( )
  Hellen0 | Jun 22, 2016 |
Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish is a must read for sword-and-sorcery aficionados.
• The Last Wish and most of the series were published in the 1990’s
• They spawned from Poland, not the United States of 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 interrogation stand offs 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 Stories 1992 translated 2015
3. Blood of Elves 1994 Novel translated 2014
4. The Time of Contempt 1995 Novel translated 2015
5. Baptism of Fire 1996 Novel translated 2016
6. The Tower of Swallows 1997 Novel translated 2016
7. Lady of the Lake (1999… Novel being translated for a 2017 release in US)
8. Season of Storms (Sezon burz) Novel written 2013, set between the short stories in the first book in the series, The Last Wish. English edition TBD

Games
2007 Witcher PC
2011 Witcher 2 (Assassins of Kings) PC, Xbox, Mac OS
2015 Witcher 3 (Wild Hunt), PC, PS4, Xbox ( )
  SELindberg | Jun 21, 2016 |
This was a pretty good read. It contains a series of short adventures or quests on which our anti-hero embarks as he fights his way across the land.

Nutshell blurb: A witcher, Gerault is resting in a convent/nunnery/temple and flashes back to the adventures which brought him there.

I’m going to start with the negative things about this book. The first thing is that I didn’t realise he was flashing back to his adventures until I happened to read it in The Witcher wiki which I looked at to find which came first: The Witcher or The Last Wish. (Incidentally, it was The Last Wish.) I don’t feel that it was made clear in the writing, unless I’m just super unobservant and wasn’t paying attention. Through the entire book. I thought that he just really liked this temple that he was staying at and kept going back to it. I would almost count that as a cardinal sin. Mysterious = good. Vague = not so good.

The second thing that I didn’t like was that all of the stories were told as flashbacks. I don’t mind a flashback here and there, but I want peril. I want to find out at the end whether or not our hero/anti-hero survives. I don’t want to know that he’s relaxing with some hot chicks through the entire book while the action is going on in his memory. There’s no sense of immediacy. No threat of something really bad happening to him.

On to what I did like. I was pleasantly surprised that this book contained re-tellings of various fairy tales. I think that I might have told you in a previous post that I’m becoming more fascinated by re-tellings and although they weren’t the focal point of the stories, they made it interesting. I liked reading the author’s take on these fairy tales and how they could fit in with a dark and gritty story. They certainly weren’t inspired by Disney.

The characters were interesting and the action was action-y which is always a plus for me.

Overall, it was pretty standard fantasy fare but I found it fun to read. ( )
  BuffyBarber | Jun 5, 2016 |
I enjoyed this one more then I thought I would. The novel is structured as a series of stand alone stories scattered through a later narrative that ties them all together. The fairy tale references were fun, with many of the stories turned on their heads. I've played the games, so it was also interesting to see how much of these stories made it into the games, in one form or another. I did have to draw a bit of a line between Geralt the character and Geralt my avatar, but I can enjoy both versions. I'll definitely read more of these, and I'm glad to see there are a bunch of them that have been translated. ( )
  duchessjlh | Mar 22, 2016 |
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She came to him toward morning.
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Contains 7 short stories. do not combine with 5 story editions.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316029181, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

The international hit that inspired the video game: The Witcher.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Geralt de Riv, a witcher, uses his vast sorcerous powers to hunt down the monsters that threaten the world, but he soon discovers that not every monstrous-looking creature is evil, and not everything beautiful is good.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0575077832, 0316029181

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