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The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish (original 1993; edition 2008)

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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1,234456,440 (3.94)61
Title:The Last Wish
Authors:Andrzej Sapkowski
Info:Gollancz (2008), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Ebook
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Witcher

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The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (1993)

Recently added byLT_Ammar, AltheaAnn, guido47, ddueck88, private library, chessakat, bryanoz

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English (34)  Finnish (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (45)
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This is the book the popular videogame "The Witcher" was based on. I haven't played the videogame, so I can't say how similar the game might be to the book, but my guess is 'not so much.' However, I can see how the book would lend itself to such a conversion, because it's written in an episodic format - different adventures loosely tied together. The Witcher Geralt is a man, but one trained and treated from youth for his profession of catching and killing supernatural monsters, until he may have near supernatural powers himself. But in a world where fewer and fewer monsters plague the land, Witchers may be a dying breed as well. This makes for a nicely angsty hero, but there's still enough for him to do in his mercenary-like lifestyle to fill up some quite entertaining stories. Most of the adventures refer in some way to traditional legends and fairytales, but with surprising twists.
In a few places, the language is a bit awkward (probably a result of the translation from the Polish), but overall, this was a very entertaining, and sometimes thought-provoking fantasy.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Full Review at Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/07/13/audiobook-review-the-last-wish-by-andr...

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski surprised me, not only in the fresh, yet familiar style, but also in that it is actually a collection of short stories, all with a common character of Geralt. The Voice of Reason is the opening and framework story, as Geralt recounts past events in the form of the other short stories. As each short story concludes, we return to The Voice of Reason which will proceed a bit and segue to the next story. Another aspect I didn’t expect was how these stories are like fairy tales. Dark and twisted (the best kind) of fairy tales. I actually enjoyed how many of the elements of the story were told in a more conversational style. It strips the story down to just the important elements, quickly getting to the meat of the story and the core of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy some good, elaborate world building and descriptive prose, but I found this to be a refreshing change of pace.

In some of short stories I could recognize elements of modern, well known fairy tales, such as Beauty and the Beast. Others, I was not as quick to identify with something specific, but they still all held that style to them. There is also a very good chance they could be using elements from fairy tales and folklore that I am unfamiliar with. And trust me, these are not Disney fairy tales. They are dark and bloody. And Geralt lives through them on his own. I can tell you, being a Witcher does not have much appeal as he seemed to just travel from one life threatening disaster to another, but of course along the way, there are lessons in love, trust, patience and price. And honestly, I think there’s a lesson to never make deals unless you know the exact price. I would not trust anyone in this world. But, untrustworthy and deceptive/deceitful characters make for great reading!

The simpler style of story is reminiscent of older fantasies I have read. And I don’t mean simple as in there is no complexity to the story, because there definitely is. I mean simple as in there is no more information than is needed. You may get the names of plants, and some descriptions, you certainly get some great tension and suspense at all the appropriate times, but there are no meals that are detailed over 5 pages. It was simply to the point, detailing conversations, battles and anything else of importance. There were many elements in this book that quite surprised and delighted me. From the creatures Geralt had to fight, which ranged from familiar to new and unexpected (at least for me). Overall, definitely recommend if you are looking for something a bit different, particularly if you are a fan of dark fairy tales.
( )
  tenaciousreader | Oct 6, 2015 |
Having enjoyed the games which arose from these books, I decided to try the books to see if the character of the witcher is accurately portrayed in the game. I am delighted to confirm that he is.

Geralt of Rivia does not remember his parents or how he ended up in the care of the witchers but he went through the intensive training and underwent the painful process of mutation that gave him his unique abilities. He now travels around the land looking for work taking care of monsters. His frequent companion is a troubadour named Dandilion .

Along with the action (and boy, is there action) are moments of humor and compassion which help to make this series (both the game and the books) so enjoyable.

If you've played the game, you'll enjoy the books. If you've read the books, give the games a try. ( )
  mamzel | Sep 27, 2015 |
I read the German translation. It was like Noir Fantasy with some slapstick dialogs. Can't wait to read the sequels. ( )
  kenzen | Feb 23, 2015 |
The Last Wish follows Geralt, a witcher that slays beasts and were-creatures for gold.

This book is essentially broken fairy tales. Instead of the light and fluffy fairy tales with happily ever afters and other feel-good moments, these stories are dark with unexpected twists and monsters.

I liked this book a lot because even though many authors have written fractured fairy tales, those books still seem to focus on the heroine. Here, this is a bit darker. It's is not contrived. The stories don't follow the fairy tales to a fault but the themes within the stories can still be seen.

We travel from story to story - and each fairy tale has a monster that Geralt is paid to kill or deal with.

I particularly loved the last few stories. I thought the story about the elves was fantastic because of the horribly dark prophecy Geralt flung at the elves's faces. That they will wither away and come down to fight to retrieve a semblance of their honor. Ahhh so dark, beautiful. I loved the "Snow White" story with Shrike and the magician both asking for the same request of Geralt. It does give morally gray scenes and I think it was very well done.

I wish there was more about Yennefer, but I think that will probably be in the sequels. Unfortunately, I don't think the sequels are translated to English and I am devastated. I read the last page of this book and was in complete disbelief - that could not have been the ending! It didn't tie up anything at all!

I have a soft spot for fairy tales, especially dark ones. Four stars. I really enjoyed this book.
Highly recommended. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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She came to him toward morning.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"Meinst du nicht" - er lächelte -, "dass mein Unglaube an den Sinn solch einer Trance ihren Zweck von vornherein zunichte machen würde?"
"Nein, das meine ich nicht". Und weißt Du, warum?"
Nenneke neigte den Kopf, blickte ihm in die Augen, ein seltsames Lächeln auf den bleichen Lippen. "Weil das der erste mir bekannte Beweis dafür wäre, dass Unglaube irgend etwas bewirken kann."
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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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