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359 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 31, 1993
“People”—Geralt turned his head—“like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.”
“In order to become a witcher, you have to be born in the shadow of destiny, and very few are born like that. That's why there are so few of us. We're growing old, dying, without anyone to pass our knowledge, our gifts, on to. We lack successors. And this world is full of Evil which waits for the day none of us are left.”
“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.”
“Love and blood. They both possess a mighty power. Wizards and learned men have been racking their brains over this for years...”
“During his life, the witcher had met thieves who looked like town councilors, councilors who looked like beggars, harlots who looked like princesses, princesses who looked like calving cows and kings who looked like thieves.”
- the voice of reason [***] this is okay. not really necessary, but a decent narrative to tie all the stories together.
- the witcher [****] a great introduction to geralt and the world of the witcher. very thrilling hunt and story.
- a grain of truth [****] i enjoyed this, probably because its new and not included in the netflix adaptation. i love the beauty and the beast vibes.
- the lesser evil [****] OMG THE BUTCHER OF BLAVIKEN!
- a question of price [*****] i LOVE this because it basically provides the reason for everything. i love a good origin story.
- the edge of the word [***] probably my least favourite story. dandelion is a delight, but overall the story is a little boring.
- the last wish [*****] geralt and yennefer are my OTP.
“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.”
“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.”
“They weren't lying. They firmly believed it all. Which doesn't change the facts.”
“There’s a grain of truth in every fairy tale”
“Nonsense,” said the witcher. “And what’s more, it doesn’t rhyme. All decent predictions rhyme.”
“No. I’ve no time to waste. Winter’s coming.”