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The Last Wish

The Last Wish

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Andrzej Sapkowski

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 104mm x 170mm x 25mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0316029181
  • ISBN 13: 9780316029186
  • Edition statement: Orbit in the US.
  • Sales rank: 1,360

Product description

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."

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Author information

Andrzej Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt of Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer. He is now one of Poland's most famous and successful authors.

Customer reviews

By Lethe 22 Aug 2014 4

Great book! Great game! Much recommended! However, be aware that you won't get the cover shown in the describtion. I was particulary looking for this one but got another instead. Sadface.

By Karolis 22 Jun 2012 4

Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski is the first book in the Witcher saga that is translated into English.

The book Last Wish does not have a one consistent and linear story line, instead it consists of several short stories that are weaved into a broader story line. While at first it might seem that the short stories are disjointed from the main story, towards the end of the book the events begin to relate to each other. Thus, making the composition of the book interesting to follow and cleverly written.

The book is written in an episodic fashion, and because of this the story is fast passed and does not get boring. Last Wish also is easy to read, which makes it great for beginners of the fantasy genre.

However, such structure has some flaws as well. Firstly, it must be noted that almost all character development is made through the main story line, which is being told in between the short stories. Therefore, a couple of stories may seem to fall short and does not give bring enough to the table. Furthermore, the episodic writing, which on the one hand makes the events to develop faster, can lead to confusion, as the reader might get lost. This can happen because the events in between the episodes are not explained, and the reader must find out what has happened himself.

Despite the shortcomings of the book, it is interesting and catchy. The book starts with an erotic scene, is filled with action, and ends with a cliff hanger. The tempo and light-hearted fashion of the book sucks the reader in, and does not let go until the very last pages.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, and find it an excellent start to the saga. I would recommend it to fans of fantasy genre, people who have played the video games and would like to know how it all have started, and to those who simply enjoy a good read.

By RedOberon 20 Aug 2011 5

I decided to get into the Witcher Saga after watching playthroughs of the game online. Even then, without actually playing the game, I was captivated by the thrilling adventures of Geralt of Rivia. The Last Wish is a collection of seven stories which set the foundation of Geralt's tale. Instead of recycling old, tiresome clich�©s, Sapkowski offers an original and exciting read with a fresh take on the supernatural. Even the hero of the book, the Witcher, is pretty much unclassifiable; is he a warrior or a magician and where do his powers come from? (Note: this book won't answer all of these questions, it's too early for that anyway.)

Sapkowski's style is very accessible, always enthralling but never too pompous or self-important. His writing has great flow and is unexpectedly humorous. He makes fun of some very well-known themes from classic fairy tales (e.g. princes saving damsels locked in high towers) and uses small anachronisms that only add to the entertainment value of the book.

This particular version (the red one from Orbit), is the so-called mass market paperpack edition published in the US. It's pretty light but compact and it can easily fit in a bag/purse if you like reading away from home. The print is sharp and totally readable. The binding is sturdy and, if you are a careful reader, it will look like new when you're finished with it. The spine and edges of my copy are intact after I devoured it in a couple of days.

The only con with this edition is the lack of maps. They aren't vital to the story, you won't get lost or anything, but to every fantasy reader the geography of a novel is as important as its history. However, a quick google image search will work wonders! There are some huge, beautiful and meticulously drawn maps of the Witcher universe online, let alone some very helpful wikis if you really like to emphasize on the details. I don't know whether the UK edition by Gollancz has maps, probably not but it's hardly a problem anyway.

It's a shame that Gollancz/Orbit decided not to translate the second collection of stories "The Sword of Destiny" and instead went on to publish "Blood of Elves" which is the first "proper" novel of the series. I hear it introduces some characters who become pretty major later on and I'm hoping it won't feel like I've missed something when I start reading "Blood of Elves". Because if the rest of the books are as good as this one and if there's any justice in the universe, in a few years the Witcher saga is going to be what Game of Thrones is today. And it will absolutely deserve it.