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The Last Wish (The Witcher #1)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  20,571 ratings  ·  1,044 reviews
Geralt de 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.
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published December 14th 2008 by Orbit (first published January 1st 1992)
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Popular Answered Questions

Matt McClard It is a collection of (sometimes) overlapping stories. If you are interested in this world at all I highly recommend the book!
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
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aaron
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
Nena
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.
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Dirk Grobbelaar
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
Stu
"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
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
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
seak
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
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
Daniel Gonzalez
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.
Traveller
After reading The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter, I feel this one squarely deserves at least 4 stars. These retellings are a lot more edgy and a lot less sexist, I find. I loved the Snow White re-telling! Very amusing.
Matthew Le Sacksee
Here's a book some of you might want to check out. It's extremely popular in Poland but only 2 books from the series has been published in English so far.

This is a very peculiar book. It doesn't feature a dashing hero who kills some warlord or gigantic dragon and lives happily ever after. The setting is based on medieval Poland (pre-gunpowder era) but unlike other fantasy worlds that makes everything look ideal and nice to live in (I'm looking at you Harry Potter) the universe here is a very tro
...more
Milica
U pitanju je prva od sedam knjiga “Sage o Vešcu” poljskog autora Andžeja Sapkovskog. Ova knjiga ima cilj da nam na bajkovit I lagan način prikaže pozornicu na kojoj će se odigrati radnja glavne priče, one opisane u romanima, kao i da nas upozna sa belokosim Vešcem Geraltom koji je nosilac celog serijala. Geraltov svet kao da je iznikao iz bajki Braće Grim, sve vrvi od striga, gulova, trolova, gnomova, patuljaka, drijada, vilenjaka I sličnih. Odnosno, sve je vrvelo od njih, a onda je na scenu st ...more
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
Giuseppe
Prima che quel geniaccio di Jackson girasse "Il Signore degli Anelli" e la Rowling si inventasse Er Ripoter, il maghetto senza capelli, quelli che leggevano fantasy erano considerato la créme de la créme dei nerds (persino più nerd dei fan sfegatati della trilogia stellare di Lucas & co.). Certo, oggi continuano ad essere considerati figli di un Dio minore, ma vengono viisti con più benevolenza grazie all'ondata di cloni tolkieniani/maghetti-sociopatici. Non voglio dire che è diventato di mo ...more
Marta Conejo
Una muy buena lectura para aquel que le gusta la literatura épica. Además la fantasía de Andrzej está ambientada en los personajes fantásticos de el norte de Europa. Dinámico, con acción y mucho diálogo, los ingredientes que a mi me gustan de los libros. A los que les guste la fantasía que no sea tan de unicornios y dragones, este es su libro. Personajes bien construidos, con personalidad muy definida y que son amor.

Os animo a leerlo!
Wendy
The Last Wish is a collection of short stories that introduces Geralt of Rivia, better known – particularly to gamers like me – as The Witcher. I’m just a few chapters into the first Witcher game, slowly preparing myself for the upcoming release of The Wyld Hunt, but through my limited play and my vicarious play through my friend, I have a pretty solid feel for the game in general, and for the character and his world, specifically.

A witcher is a man taken from childhood into the service of this
...more
Alexander Páez
Una relectura muy interesante. Me ha gustado mucho más que la primera vez. Quizá porque lo leí en un mal momento o porque para acabar de captar todos los detalles hace falta una base de lecturas de fantasía más amplia que la que tenía en aquel momento.

Muy recomendable, pronto reseña.
Stephen
2.5 stars. The first book in the Witcher series. I really enjoyed the premise and the I think the potential is there for some excellent stories. Unfortunately, I wasn't overly impressed with these tales. Decent, but not great.
Giovanna
Jan 07, 2015 Giovanna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Giovanna by: Sara, Lys
3.75

Babba Lys colpisce ancora! *si tiene stretta babba Lys, nel caso qualcuno voglia fregargliela*
Comunque, me l'hanno consigliato Sara e Lys :3

Ho uno strano rapporto con le raccolte di racconti. Non so mai come valutarle e, a parte rare eccezioni (Fragile Things, The curiosities e pochi altri) finisco sempre per considerarle un terno al lotto o un giro sulle montagne russe: alti e bassi. Il guardiano degli innocenti è un libro particolare, perche in questo caso il protagonista narra parto del p
...more
Will M.
Jun 30, 2014 Will M. rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
AnnMarie
An excellent collection of short stories that introduce you to the fantasy world of 'The Witcher'.

I love Andrzej Sapkowski's turn of phrase & story-telling style. His alchemical mix of humour, tragedy, political machinations and moral ambiguity, makes for a wonderful read which may leave you contemplating the parallels in our current world.

13th Century Europe is brought alive in our imaginations and embellished with creations of fantasy. This series of books are a must read and this is the b
...more
JT
Take James Bond. Give him a standard sword and a silver, monster-slaying sword. Give him long white hair, a magic talisman, some arcane drugs instead of gadgets, and some stylish black clothes.

That's kind of what all of The Last Wish is. There's the soft-spoken, smooth monster-slayer guy (Geralt), his bumbling tag-alongs and acquaintances, the Moneypenny character (Nenneke), and the love interest, who also happens to be a bad-ass.

I won't go into plot detail, but for the most part, it's standard
...more
Nita
This was a really unique spin on some of the usual elements found in fantasy and fairy tales. Our protagonist, Geralt, is a 'witcher' whose job it is to basically find monsters and kill them. The world's setting is dark and has a medieval feel to it. We have sulky and ill-tempered elves, a slightly humorous yet interesting take on beauty and the beast, and evil* Snow White - just to name a few of my favourite parts. (view spoiler) ...more
Mikko Karvonen
Popular fantasy often leaves me more or less cold, but Witcher offers a refreshing exception to this rule. It's worth every praise and more.

On surface, Sapkowski writes pretty prototypical fantasy about a super-human monster hunter with exceptional fighting skills and mystical powers. However, that's pretty much the only typical thing about the book.

The most obvious difference is the structure of the book. Instead of a long, epic tale of saving the world, Witcher consists of relatively independe
...more
Deadwish
Pueden leer toda mi review aquí:
http://drdeadwish.blogspot.com.ar/201...

Esta novela no se siente como una sola historia. Parece en realidad un conjunto de cuentos que relatan las aventuras de Geralt a lo largo de los años, sin un orden cronológico. Entre historia e historia, existe un puente, una historia que entrelaza de manera algo tosca las otras.
Considero que esta obra es más una promesa que una realidad. Un breve preludio de lo que (espero) vendrá luego. Geralt es un personaje muy interesan
...more
uroš
The review is originally available at Realms of Speculative Fiction

Geralt was always going to stand out, with his white hair and piercing eyes, his cynicism and lack of respect for authority... but he is far more than a striking-looking man. He is a witcher; his sorcerous powers, enhanced by elixirs and long years of training, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. He is no ordinary murderer, though: his targets are the vile fiends that ravage his land, preying on the unwa
...more
Griffin Vanderschaeghe
This collection of short stories about the witcher Geralt is clad upon a main story arc. Both that arc and the individual stories are fun, witty and innovative. Sapkowski created a nice cast of characters all of whom rise above cardboard level. There are hints about a troubled history but that remains to be disclosed. Although there are Elfs and Dwarfs in these books, they don't take away the fame from the more imaginative monsters and creatures. The feeling remains that most of the world, creat ...more
Daniorte
La primera vez que me hablaron de Geralt de Rivia fue comparándolo con Canción de Hielo y Fuego. Siempre quise echarle mano pero iba dejándolo hasta que, tras una recomendación, me tocaba ya conocer a Geralt.

Para nada se parece a Canción de Hielo y Fuego, mientras que canción de hielo y fuego es más intriga palaciega aquí se hace uso de la fantasía épica. Me recuerda muchísimo al juego de Skyrim y es que es una fantasía medieval pura en donde hay brujos, magos, hechiceros y todo lo que puedas e
...more
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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)
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)

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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.” 226 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.” 72 likes
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