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The Last Wish (The Witcher #1)

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  32,670 Ratings  ·  1,730 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 7th 2007 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 1992)
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Popular Answered Questions

Wojtek Generally speaking: yes

Reading order should be: The Last wish -> Sword of Destiny -> Saga (starting with Blood of Elves)
There is Storm season,…more
Generally speaking: yes

Reading order should be: The Last wish -> Sword of Destiny -> Saga (starting with Blood of Elves)
There is Storm season, published recently. I’d say it could be read after saga
(less)
Susan If you enjoyed the side quests, then yes. You'll meet a lot of characters present in the game, and the type of stories is similiar, where almost every…moreIf you enjoyed the side quests, then yes. You'll meet a lot of characters present in the game, and the type of stories is similiar, where almost every character, important or not, has their backstory, there's no black-and-white morality. Stories are bound by Geralt telling them after some time to a young girl.
If you enjoyed the main plot and don't care that much for the stories and (mostly) unrelated adventures, you can start with Blood of Elves. That's when the whole drama with war and Ciri begins.
Also: the author himself considers the game to be very good, made in similiar style, and showing a faithful picture of the Witcher world (even though the games are not canon).(less)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
108th out of 2,572 books — 18,575 voters
Lalka by Bolesław PrusFerdydurke by Witold GombrowiczKrew elfów by Andrzej SapkowskiSolaris by Stanisław LemKamienie na szaniec by Aleksander Kamiński
Best Polish Books
17th out of 419 books — 372 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aaron
May 17, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Think about a fantasy book. Think about your favorite fantasy book. Chances are, it included elves or maybe dwarves. It probably had knights or something like them. It was, most likely, heavily influenced by Tolkien, or his successors, and it was probably based, at least in part, on a certain Anglo-saxon, or maybe French, sort of medieval culture. And if you read fantasy, there's probably 15 or so more like it on your bookshelf or your e-reader of choice.

So here's my recommendation: put down Lor
...more
Markus
“People” - Geralt turned his head - “like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.”

Arguably the least famous one among my favourite fantasy series, The Witcher Saga by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is something of a diamond in the rough. This is not something I’d recommend to just about anyone, but I would call it absodamnlutely amazing without a moment of hesitation.

While it is not a part of the main saga per se, The Last Wish is definitely my favourite
...more
♛Tash
Nov 29, 2015 ♛Tash rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy



Now that I've read the The Witcher in it's original form, well not exactly original because I do not understand Polish, I can say that The Witcher is truly worth the nearly 30 years of hype in both literature and gaming.

The Last Wish introduces us to the legendary Geralt of Rivia the White Wolf and his exploits as a Witcher. The story isn't linear as it is a collection of short stories as Geralt goes to different kingdoms and hamlets in need of his Witcher services. In here we read fantastic re
...more
Mangrii
Mar 23, 2016 Mangrii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2016
Este primer libro de la saga de Geralt de Rivia consta de una compilación de seis relatos sin ningún orden cronológico, teniendo a modo de hilo conductor una séptima historia intercalada entre cada relato; donde vamos conociendo al famoso brujo blanco Geralt de Rivia a través de diversos episodios y aventuras en su vida, así como el mundo en el que tendrá lugar toda su saga. o conocer algunos de sus futuros personajes más relevantes, como son su amigo, el trovador descarado Jaskier o su eterno a ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
At present, I'm working my way through The Witcher 2 video game which is probably the main reason why I've finally decided to tackle The Last Wish, which has been sitting in my to-read list for almost two years. I am in love with the game so far, and curiosity naturally led me to the books that inspired it.

The book collects seven short stories in a "frame" format, so we have an overarching frame story and six more that are told in a flashback or a memory, each forming a story of its own. Not sur
...more
Nena
Aug 12, 2010 Nena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the only time I've had a good experience with reading a book due to it being related to a video game. It probably helps a lot that the game was based on the book, and not vice versa. I really loved the way this book is paced, with interlinked short stories about the character cast that did not follow a linear chronological order. It was pretty ideal for reading in short stretches between working, which is the situation I'm normally in.

The characters in this are well written, and Geralt w
...more
Knjigoholičarka
Iako nemam šta pametno za reći, osećam da moram da napišem nešto o knjizi koju sam pročitala u 24 sata, doduše, nije da sam čitala sve vreme, stigla sam i kupatilo da oribam.

Elem, epska fantastika nije moj fah, moram priznati. Ok, "Hobit" je sladak, i "Gospodara prstenova" sam na jedvite jade izgulila, drugari me za rođendan uvalili u "Točak vremena", a treći drugar, podjednako sadistički nastrojen, u "Pesmu leda i vatre". Gde da strpam Lukjanjenkove knjige o moskovskoj Straži, još uvek ne znam.
...more
Lyn
Oct 10, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
The Last Wish, first published in Polish in 1993 and later in an English edition in 2007 by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, is a cool and different approach to high fantasy, distinct from Tolkien inspired adventures.

More akin to urban fantasy, Sapkowski’s The Witcher (Wiedźmin), was published in Fantastyka, Poland's leading fantasy literary magazine and the protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is closer to Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden than to Aragorn.

A witcher is kind of a cross between a sorc
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Mar 22, 2013 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Like a squinty eyed gunslinger in a Sergio Leone western, Geralt of Rivia travels the wilderness in search of bounty. Leather gauntlets and level-headedness come standard. He is a Witcher; a hunter of monsters.

This is actually a collection of short stories loosely strung together to form some sort of whole. It is really just an introduction to the world of The Witcher; a teaser, if you will, of things to come. This sat fine with me, since the stories were fascinating. Many of them have some bas
...more
Stuart
Feb 10, 2014 Stuart rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"Thou is a mixed bag, just like a bag of Revels"

Here's the problem. When eating a bag of Revels there are three flavours to risk eating; toffee, biscuit and coffee. For me I seem to always get a mouthful of coffee *ewww*. The Last Wish is exactly like that, given that the book itself is a series of short stories, with one slightly longer tale woven across seven separate chapters. The rest being slightly related to the Witcher known as Geralt. Some time ago I played the PC game (which is very goo
...more
Christopher
Apr 19, 2016 Christopher rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys the game series
"I've heard about witchers—they abduct tiny children whom they feed with magic herbs. The ones who survive become witchers themselves, sorcerers with inhuman powers. They're taught to kill, and all human feelings and reactions are trained out of them. They're turned into monsters in order to kill other monsters. I’ve heard it said it's high time someone started hunting witchers, as there are fewer and fewer monsters and more and more witchers. Do have some partridge before it's completely cold.”
...more
Penny
While this was an enjoyable read, it had a few elements that turned it into a not very good book by the end.

This book is written as a frame story which is a nice way of saying it's a set of stories within a story. Each of the shorter stories seem to be based loosely on fairly tales, while the main story is that of a witcher Geralt and his adventures and life.

Unfortunately the short stories within the main story arc were not all transitioned into smoothly which made for a bumpy ride. The "fairy
...more
Athena Shardbearer

"Only Evil and Greater Evil exist and beyond them, in the shadows, lurks True Evil. True Evil, Geralt, is something you can barely imagine, even if you believe nothing can still surprise you. And sometimes True Evil seizes you by the throat and demands that you choose between it and another, slightly lesser, Evil."



Mike (the Paladin)
A good read. It inspired a computer game(some will be impressed one way and some another by that...and others will say "so what". Probably the best reaction i suppose). I found the book enjoyable with a couple of weaknesses. This is a good idea, I think (and this is only my opinion) it could have been handled better. For on thing I'm just tired of stories about "the last" whatever. The last dragon, the last fairy, the last elf...on and on. Here we meet the Witcher. A sort of sorcerer/warrior who ...more
Martitara
Me esperaba un poco más. Creo que el formato de antología se relatos no me ha ayudado a conectar con el protagonista, aunque es cierto que al final Geralt engancha. Y los relatos van a mejor, aunque a pesar de todo no tenía pensado seguir con la saga... hasta que he llegado al final. Maldito e intrigante cliffhanger...
DΛV·D
Jan 26, 2016 DΛV·D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He disfrutado como un enano con “El Último Deseo”, repleto de aventuras, magia antigua, seres mitológicos, versiones de cuentos clásicos, un lenguaje sin tapujos y directo (como los personajes) en definitiva, muy entretenido y muy recomendable, solamente espero que al menos continúe con el mismo nivel en los siguientes volúmenes.
Joaquin Garza
Jan 27, 2016 Joaquin Garza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Me gustan mucho las novelas que parecen unir diversas tradiciones. Siempre he visto con muy buenos ojos a los autores que toman hilos y estambres y los emplean para tejer un tapiz completamente nuevo. Andrzej Sapkowski es uno de ellos.

Fuera de la fantasía anglosajona, absolutamente dominante en el mercado, sólo tenemos representantes alemanes importantes (Ende y Funke) y ya. No considero a ningún otro autor de alguna otra nacionalidad como verdadero ‘jugador’ del medio de la literatura fantástic
...more
Will M.
Jun 30, 2014 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Will by: Markus

He kills the horrors and monsters that awaits us in the forests and ravines. And those with the audacity to enter our dwellings."



Geralt is a witcher. He gets paid to kill those monsters that lurk around in town. People fear the monsters, but they also fear the witcher himself.

So this one was basically a collection of short stories of the adventures of Geralt as a witcher. I wasn't expecting to have this less action, compared to most Fantasy novels I've read. I was expecting brutality, but
...more
seak
Jun 26, 2013 seak rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
Old Review from Blog:

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski has so much going for it, but in the end it was a disappointment. The title is great, the cover is awesome, and the story premise is just cool. Who wouldn't want to read about a guy that goes around fighting monsters and demons for a living? And now that I have, I don't know if I can recommend it.

Sapkowski is one of the best known fantasy writers in Poland and it's sad because it seems like there are some things that were lost in the trans
...more
Teo Krecelj
Apr 04, 2016 Teo Krecelj rated it really liked it
Pa da počnem :D
"Poslednja želja" je jedna od dvije zbirke pripovjedaka koje su tu da bi se bolje razumilo sledećih pet romana koji slijede. Pošto je zbirka pripovjedaka, sastoji se od par kraćih priča u kojim se pominju različiti likovi, mjesta i vrijeme što je malo komplikuje. Andrzej Sapkowski (pisac) je priče poredao retrospektivno pa krene jednu priču, pa drugu, pa se opet vrati na prvu tako da kad konačno mislim da razumijem šta se dešava on me prevari.
Za razliku od nekih modernijih knjiga
...more
Andris
Apr 04, 2016 Andris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Teicams fantāzijas žanra darbs. Šo var visiem dot kā paraugu, ka fantāzija nav domāta tikai bērniem un pusaudžiem. Ļoti ceru, ka tiks tulkotas un izdotas arī nākamās grāmatas.
Jack
Apr 07, 2016 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Wish is the book I will recommend to friends who ask me “I don’t normally read fantasy fiction, but I’m interested – what do you recommend?” And I do not recommend it because it’s a compromise or watered-down version of fantasy fiction or “fantasy for people who don’t normally like fantasy.”

I recommend Andrzej Sapkowski's collection of short stories about Geralt of Rivia (aka “the Witcher”) because it’s a wonderful, exemplary piece of fiction that hits on all of the elements of fantasy
...more
Daniel Gonzalez
Jan 17, 2009 Daniel Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
The Witcher is an awesome series. Geralt of Rivia may have bought Poland a worthy legend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this lady translates Andrzej's other novels.

The book really delves into the blurry lines of what is good and what is evil. It poses the question, is every monster truly a monster, and is every saint truly a saint? Really thought provoking stuff with a good dose of butt kicking and sarcasm. I loved every second of it.
Dan
The Last Wish is a compilation of short stories about Geralt, The Witcher. A Witcher is a mercenary like profession, but the person is chosen and trained for the job at a very young age. The other difference is that Witchers don’t hunt humans, they hunt supernatural entities and monsters.

The stories themselves have a distinct traditional Sword & Sorcery type feel. Dark, violent and introspective, with a fair share of drinking and innuendo for good measure. Yet these stories still have a mode
...more
Lisa
Jul 26, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Full Review at Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/0...

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
...more
Michelle Morrell
I rarely listen to audiobooks, but with a new, daunting commute cutting into my reading time, I decided to give them another try. And damn, listening to this book was a lot of fun.

I am a Geralt of Rivia groupie, tis true. The games, my only other exposure, are strange and rich and engaging, so I wanted to see where it all came from. True to form, the book did not disappoint. Set up as flashbacks following Geralt through his travels and adventures (more commonly known as "side quests"), the tacit
...more
Srividya
This was an impulse read, largely started because I didn’t want to feel left out from the fun my buddy and others were having. However, I have to say that this was one read I enjoyed thoroughly. I am not a huge fan of fairy tale or folk tale retellings. I feel that they often spoil the fun, especially ones that have an erotic angle to it. The erotic retellings have an abusive angle to it, which I feel is largely contrived. So, when I started this book, I went in with a lot of skepticism and wari ...more
Mairita
Tā nejēdzīgi beidzās. Uzreiz gribas turpinājumu tik lieliskai fantāzijai. Sapkovskis radījis valdzinošu un bīstamu pasauli ar intriģējošu galveno varoni, par kuru pat grāmatas beigās zināms gaužām maz. Asprātīgs stāstījums ar pārsteidzošiem pavērsieniem.
Pilnā atsauksme https://gramatas.wordpress.com/2016/0...
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
ho said that the best fantasy stories came from UK or the USA (and Canada)? There are several interesting fantasy tales out there... Well at least I think there are.... The Chronicles of Black Moon a french fantasy tale (comic tales for that matter), or the Russian four books Watch Series and I bet there a lot more out there. This polish guy it sure can write and he created a little nice tale. For what I gather there are five novels and three short stories book. Unfortunally it took 15 years for ...more
Spigana
Viens sprigans action gabals ar jaudīgu humora izjūtu un simpātisku pasauli. Šo droši vien varētu izraut cauri arī vienā vakarā, bet jau tagad garšoja pēc vēl, labi vismaz, ka uz pāris dienām sataupīju.
Pirms tam baidījos par tulkojumu, bet tas nu gan bija lieki - valoda ir burvīga, vajadzīgajās vietās piemeklēti vecvārdi un pa kādam sulīgākam izteicienam un vispār radās iespaids, ka tulkojums ir pat ļoti veiksmīgs. Un, ja Zvaigzne netulkos pārejās daļas, es pieteikšu bada streiku.
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Andrzej Sapkowski, born June 21, 1948 in Łódź, is a Polish fantasy writer. Sapkowski studied economics, and before turning to writing, he had worked as a senior sales representative for a foreign trade company. His first short story, The Witcher (Wiedźmin), was published in Fantastyka, Poland's leading fantasy literary magazine, in 1986 and was enormously successful both with readers and critics. ...more
More about Andrzej Sapkowski...

Other Books in the Series

The Witcher (7 books)
  • Miecz przeznaczenia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #2)
  • Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #3)
  • Czas pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #4)
  • Chrzest ognia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #5)
  • Wieża Jaskółki (Saga o Wiedźminie, #6)
  • Pani Jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #7)

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“People," Geralt turned his head, "like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live.” 350 likes
“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.” 140 likes
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