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The Last Wish

(The Witcher #0.5)

by
4.18  ·  Rating details ·  134,902 ratings  ·  9,285 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.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the
...more
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published December 14th 2008 by Orbit (first published January 31st 1993)
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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)
Shoshánnah 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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Aaron
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Markus
“People” - Geralt turned his head - “like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.”

I have loved this series for many years now. When I read it, it was arguably the least famous one among my favourite fantasy series. The Witcher Saga by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is still something of a diamond in the rough, with its own very particular sense of raw beauty. This is not something I’d recommend to just about anyone, but I would call it absodamnlutely
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Miranda Reads
Jan 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
When you really want to read the series...

But the library has a 6 month wait.

And the digital library has a 8 month wait.

And your instincts scream that pretty hardcover editions are coming out soon (thanks to Netflix revival).

Oh, what is a girl to do??
Melanie
Last summer I became completely obsessed with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where I took screenshots like this:

(Add me on Steam!)

And once I was finished with the DLC I knew I had to finally read the books to fill the void I now carry in my heart.

This book was translated from Polish to English. It contains seven short stories, and introduces our main protagonist in both games and books, Geralt.

“People”—Geralt turned his head—“like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous
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jessica
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i accidentally watched the entire first season of ‘the witcher’ on netflix friday night and now i have a new obsession???

i wish i had decided to wait to watch the show until after i read this, because i think i would have gotten so much more out of it, but im in that early obsessive stage where i dont really care. i just want everything having to do with this world and these characters. ive never played a video game in my life, but i think i may start… or maybe i will stay in my lane and just
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Mark Lawrence
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
So, this is a collection of short stories loosely threaded around a stay by our point-of-view character, the eponymous witcher, at a temple while recuperating from his latest fight.

The stories are mostly (all?) retellings of / inspired by well known fairy stories, like Beauty and the Beast. They share a slightly fairy tale vibe too. It's a world where destiny is a real force and unlikely promises about first born children etc made to strangers carry their own weight both magically and in popular
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Tatiana
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Skip it and watch the show if you are really curious about Geralt
I had tried reading this book before, but DNFed it almost immediately, because it opened with this gem:

He did not move, did not stir. The girl flitted closer, threw off her mantle and slowly, hesitantly, rested her knee on the edge of the large bed. He observed her through lowered lashes, still not betraying his wakefulness. The girl carefully climbed onto the bedclothes, and onto him, wrapping her thighs around him. Leaning forward on straining arms, she brushed his face with hair which smelled
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Teodora
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, on-app, fantasy
See this?

This is the whole wave created by this series.
And there is me, riding the wave with all of you:

In The Last Wish there are six stories, all knotted together by The Voice of Reason chapters. Those chapters were, in fact, happening in the present, all of the other stories except for the first one, being only memories of past adventures of the Witcher. The stories are:
1. The Witcher (4.5/5)
2. A Grain of Truth (5/5)
3. The Lesser Evil (5/5)
4. A Question of Price (5/5)
5. The Edge of the
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Evgeny
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“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.”

It is my personal belief that when it comes to myths nobody
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Lyn
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kevin Kelsey
Fantasy isn't really my thing, but this was enjoyable enough. It's nice to read some non-English fantasy, especially since this didn't seem to be as influenced by the usual Tolkien style stories as most English written epic fantasy. A few of the stories were casually misogynistic, but there were also some really good ones in here as well. The second half is much, much better than the first.


The Voice of Reason: 3/5
Kind of an interstitial story, broken up into chapters between each other story. A
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Hmmmm, I listened to this on audio instead of reading my paperback and the sound was really low so I didn't catch all of it. I know! I'm going to have dad pick me up some proper headphones for the tablet. If I order some they will be wrong and blow things up!



I enjoyed the stories of Geralt and I really, really, really want to play the game! But I was told it was only for PS4 and I have PS3 =( That sucks, really, really, really sucks! I don't know if or when I could ever get a PS4 so I shall
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I tried to make this short. I really did. I failed. I really did.

One thing before we begin this thing: I had never heard of this book/series/author until my Canadian Nemesis (aka Evgeny the Sometimes Wise One) read it/it/him. And given that 1/The Sometimes Wise One's book taste is not entirely despicable (view spoiler) and that 2/ The Sometimes Wise One seemed inclined to think I might not entirely not enjoy this book were
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carol.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like adult fairy tales
I'm not one for "as seen in the movie..." or tie-in type books, so I was initially dubious about reading The Last Wish until I learned it was the inspiration for the video game. The Last Wish reads like an adult fairy-tale; not because of graphic sex or violence, but because of the melancholy and cynicism that permeate the characters. It follows the story of Geralt, a man who has become 'something more' than a man through training as a witcher. Witchers are a specialized guild, "itinerant ...more
Gavin
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This is a series that has been on my to-read list for years as it is well loved by the vast majority of my Goodreads friends. I decided to finally make a start to it since the Netflix TV adaptation is due later in 2019. Reading book series before watching the TV adaptations worked out fantastic for me with Game of Thrones and Altered Carbon. Sadly, The Last Wish was a bit of a flop. I still think Netflix might get an OK TV series out of this but only if the use the concept as a basic template ...more
Spencer Orey
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall pretty fun! There were some generic epic fantasy issues, especially mundane sexism, which was boringly rampant. The dialogue was also pretty uneven, had way too much exposition, and varied wildly in tone, but some of that at least had to be the translator's fault.

But the mythology was great, and it opens up some great mysteries for the series. I particularly liked the references to and retellings of old myths a lot (was there something about an evil Snow White???). The world feels
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have to give you a secret! My admiration for the Witcher based on video games! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not video game fan! If I would have been, I could have never written a word or read any books! But my ugly singer neighbor’s kid (can you imagine to listen the worst covers of least likable boy bands’ song every day! I can because I have this maniac living next door) escape from his father’s encore times and hides himself at my living room with his PS4. So I started to rent my place to him in ...more
Bookwraiths
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Before picking up The Last Wish, I was briefed by my friends on what to expect, prepared to experience a pulp fiction story similar to Robert E. Howard’s Conan and Michael Moorcock’s Elric, so I was not surprised to find this novel a “frame” tale collecting a series of unrelated short stories. Certainly, I could see that there was an overarching plot right under the surface, but the fascinating thing about this volume was the unique spin on old fairy tales, the
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Hamad
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Review Blog Twitter Instagram

“There’s a grain of truth in every fairy tale”


One reason that made me the reader I am today are fairy tales! I grew up reading them and I like how they usually deliver a full story in the least number of words!

Do you know what else I love? I think you do because I am always shouting this but I love mythology! This book is based on Slavic mythology (At least that’s what Google tells me so correct me if I am wrong.) and it is my first time venturing
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Samir
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this I knew there was a review somewhere in the darkest depths of my mind. As I’m currently playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which inspired me to start reading this in the first place, I thought it would be a good idea to seek help from virtual Geralt and hire him for this quest and help me find it and it turned out to be a quest filled with illusions and borderline insane thoughts.

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. He was forced at young age to undergo training and numerous
...more
Joey Woolfardis
I used to read pretty much nothing but High Fantasy, with a dash of Dickens here and there, and the occasional other classic, but High Fantasy was where I mostly lived. Deciding that there was more to reading than High Fantasy (which I absolutely and truly believe) I moved away and left it alone for a little while. Magician was really the first book I read that broke the High Fantasy drought, but it wasn't very good and I was disappointed. But it did make me hunger for some fantasy again...

And
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Charlotte May
So I’ve just seen they’re making a Netflix show out of this series. I can’t believe I’d never heard of it before, this sounds awesome!
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
...more
Adina
Jan 23, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sf
I could not resist starting the series. I need something to do with my time until season 2 of the Witcher comes out.
✨ A ✨
I want to watch the Witcher series so badly but I'm ridiculously strict with myself when it comes to not reading the book before the Tv show/movie. I either read the book first.... Or... I just don't watch it.

My book-to-movie adaptation tbr is a mile long.

Do I even make sense? Absolutely not. Send help
Raeleen Lemay
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2020
*3.5/5*

I feel like my enjoyment of this book was both helped and hindered by the fact that I’ve watched the show. I feel like it was much easier to understand the bigger picture that connects these stories having seen the show, but the actual scenes themselves were a bit repetitive because season one and this book are basically the same, plot-wise. I quite liked it, but I’m now even more excited to jump into Witcher stories and novels that I haven’t seen yet!

Side note: I feel like Sapkowski is
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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
TS Chan
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feeling hyped from the teaser trailer of The Witcher by Netflix.

The Last Wish was more than up to task in satisfying my burning curiosity about The Witcher with its compelling eponymous protagonist, Geralt of Rivia.

I abandoned my gaming self a long time ago and as such, have not heard about The Witcher until someone mentioned that the image of Anomander Rake brought to mind Geralt of Rivia from the video game. That piqued my interest immediately, for Anomander Rake from the Malazan Book of the
...more
Bradley
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2020-shelf
I may be coming at this from an entirely weird direction, at least for me, but I'm FINALLY setting my sights on the Witcher after sooooo many years of putting it off, and putting it off, and putting it off. Why the heck would I start now?

*hangs head in shame* I watched the tv show. I loved the tv show. I had too many unanswered questions.

I even have the three video games! I just haven't PLAYED them. *hangs head in shame again*

So I had this idea that this first of two short story collections set
...more
James Lafayette Tivendale
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
4.5/5.

The Last Wish short story was brilliant, although many of the others were great too!

Onwards to the next book! x
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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

Other books in the series

The Witcher (5 books)
  • Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
  • Czas pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #2)
  • Chrzest ognia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #3)
  • Wieża Jaskółki (Saga o Wiedźminie, #4)
  • Pani Jeziora (Saga o Wiedźminie, #5)
“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.” 948 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.” 470 likes
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