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Der letzte Wunsch: The Witcher Prequel 1 by…
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Der letzte Wunsch: The Witcher Prequel 1 (original 1993; edition 2017)

by Andrzej Sapkowski (Author), Oliver Siebeck (Narrator), Audible Studios (Publisher)

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2,319784,269 (3.96)83
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.
Member:Patrick_R
Title:Der letzte Wunsch: The Witcher Prequel 1
Authors:Andrzej Sapkowski (Author)
Other authors:Oliver Siebeck (Narrator), Audible Studios (Publisher)
Info:Audible Studios (2017)
Collections:Fantasy, Kurzgeschichten, Gelesen
Rating:***
Tags:The Witcher, Magie, Polen, Kurzgeschichten, Serie, Monster

Work details

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (1993)

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English (63)  Finnish (5)  German (4)  Spanish (2)  Polish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Once a human, Geralt has undergone a series of rituals to become a witcher. A hunter of monsters. In this novel, readers will experience a collection of short stories that show snippets of Geralt's life. But while he hunts monsters for money, he also lives by a code. Geralt understands that not all monsters are killers.

The novel is structured around Geralt recovering from a monster attack. As he stays at a temple to heal, the short stories of his life are woven in between his interactions with the priestesses. Geralt is encouraged to seek a vision of his future as the past is strung out before the reader's eyes. Readers will learn that Geralt is not someone who can be swayed when he puts his foot down and outright refuses to see his future. And why might you ask? He seems to already know. But how he attained this information I have no idea.

A common theme throughout the novel is that Sapkowski prefers his readers to put the pieces together themselves. Readers are thrown into the world of witchers with next to no explanation. Those who have played the video games will be able to grasp the concepts quicker than readers who have not. I fall into the latter category and I was left grasping at straws. The first few short stories were confusing and not well translated. The number of adverbs used to describe just about everything wanted to make me scream. I did notice as the novel continued, the use of language improved and I was able to immerse myself in the story.

I did happen to notice that each short story is based around a fairy tale. It seems an odd mix of worlds, but Sapkowski does a good job of blending the two. I did, however, find that the short stories never connected. While they all featured the witcher, they seemed to be a random progression of his life. I was left confused and wondering what in the world the point of all the stories was. I can say I am interested in continuing the story of Geralt because he is a worthy character, but I hesitate because of the number of unanswered questions left behind.
( )
  Letora | Nov 24, 2019 |
Once a human, Geralt has undergone a series of rituals to become a witcher. A hunter of monsters. In this novel, readers will experience a collection of short stories that show snippets of Geralt's life. But while he hunts monsters for money, he also lives by a code. Geralt understands that not all monsters are killers.

The novel is structured around Geralt recovering from a monster attack. As he stays at a temple to heal, the short stories of his life are woven in between his interactions with the priestesses. Geralt is encouraged to seek a vision of his future as the past is strung out before the reader's eyes. Readers will learn that Geralt is not someone who can be swayed when he puts his foot down and outright refuses to see his future. And why might you ask? He seems to already know. But how he attained this information I have no idea.

A common theme throughout the novel is that Sapkowski prefers his readers to put the pieces together themselves. Readers are thrown into the world of witchers with next to no explanation. Those who have played the video games will be able to grasp the concepts quicker than readers who have not. I fall into the latter category and I was left grasping at straws. The first few short stories were confusing and not well translated. The number of adverbs used to describe just about everything wanted to make me scream. I did notice as the novel continued, the use of language improved and I was able to immerse myself in the story.

I did happen to notice that each short story is based around a fairy tale. It seems an odd mix of worlds, but Sapkowski does a good job of blending the two. I did, however, find that the short stories never connected. While they all featured the witcher, they seemed to be a random progression of his life. I was left confused and wondering what in the world the point of all the stories was. I can say I am interested in continuing the story of Geralt because he is a worthy character, but I hesitate because of the number of unanswered questions left behind. ( )
  Letora | Oct 19, 2019 |
I’ve first read “The Last Wish” in 2011. It was recommended to me by my friend Ingmar (who still has to read it, I suppose!) who – as it turned out later – used me as a guinea pig for books he intended to read but didn’t know if he would enjoy them and, thus, enticed me into reading them first.

Little did that scoundrel know that he had involuntarily introduced me to what is today one of my favourite fantasy book series.

It took a few years to really set in, though, because while I enjoyed “The Last Wish” well enough, at the time it was a three-stars-read to me – which means “it was ok’ish but nothing special”.

Nevertheless, I wanted to read more about that strange man, a witcher actually, who hunts monsters for a living. Unlike some other heroes in fantasy, Geralt is not a killer-for-hire and he won’t indiscriminately slaughter any non-human but consider them first – and sometimes confuse them:



“The monster shifted from one foot to the other and scratched his ear. “Listen you,” he said. “Are you really not frightened of me?”

- “Should I be?””



In Geralt’s open-minded world, “monsters” aren't necessarily evil and if they aren't, they don't have to fear him because he’s more likely to sit with them and drink instead of mindlessly murdering them. A commendable approach. In other cases, Geralt may try to lift the curse or enchantment that originally caused the change into a monster.

If Geralt really has no choice but to kill Sapkowski in turn allows even despicable monsters some degree of dignity (or maybe some remnants of former humanity?) which is something rarely seen in contemporary fantasy:



“She turned—and Nivellen forced the sharp broken end of a three-meter-long pole between her breasts. She didn't shout. She only sighed.”


Geralt himself isn’t unaffected either: “The witcher shook, hearing this sigh.”



And in such rather unconventional ways, Sapkowski almost playfully and gracefully explores topics like true love, the monstrosity of man, the nature of evil and choosing between evils. Especially the latter is something that I had – regrettably – forgotten about because many of us should subscribe to the witcher’s philosophy:



“Evil is evil, Stregobor,” said the witcher seriously as he got up. “Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I’m not a pious hermit. I haven't done only good in my life. But if I’m to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all. Time for me to go. We'll see each other tomorrow.”



I’m not going to “see” Geralt tomorrow because before I read the next book of the series, I want something new and exciting but I’m as certain that I’m going to pick up the next book rather sooner than later.



I wholeheartedly recommend reading Geralt’s adventures to anyone who is even remotely interested in fantasy.



P.S.: At the beginning, when I talked about my first “encounter” with Geralt I neglected to mention I read the German translation at the time. Possibly because the German translations were publicised prior to the English ones. In fact, I started this second reading in German as well but – after having played the Witcher computer games in the meantime – found that I wanted the names and terms in their English variants even though I very slightly favour the German translation over the English one. So if you prefer reading in German, this book is also available as “Der letzte Wunsch”.



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  philantrop | Aug 31, 2019 |
What is a witcher - a fighter mage devoted to protecting people by killing monsters to do when there are fewer and fewer monsters and people are starting to want to keep the ones that are left? A series of stories which romps through the tatters of a number of familiar tales, loosely connected by a framework of recollections during recuperation from the first tale. Not without charm or wit, but both best appreciated by someone more saturated with testosterone than I. There is an occasional awkwardness in the translation and inconsistencies in Geralt killing some folk needlessly - if not unprovoked - yet insisting that he doesn't kill for money. Convenience or whim, yes, money no? ( )
  quondame | Aug 29, 2019 |
I decided to read some of the Witcher books to get ready for the series this fall. Plus I'm trying to play the game and I figured some backstory would be helpful.
I was not prepared for how good these stories are and how well written. The world is fascinating, and the characters, while familiar from the game, are even more complex and engaging. The stories are more or less in a sequence, slowly introducing the world of the Witcher. Geralt is an interesting anti-hero, a mutant who's primary job is to kill monsters, yet is constantly trying to reaffirm his humanity.
There's a lot taken from fairy tales and other lore, some I knew and some I didn't. Some are Slavic and some Celtic, with some others thrown in, but all with a refreshing new take. Geralt doesn't always want to kill the monsters. He feels some are redeemable and tries to find alternatives.
I can't wait to dive further into this world. I already have the next two books on my reader. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Jun 10, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrzej Sapkowskiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Belletti, RaffaellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kenny, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stok, DanusiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0575077832, 0316029181

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