Welcome to a new segment that Kari and I are introducing to the blog: #bestiemademe! This is where we each recommend a book to the other for the month to read and review. This month I read The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowksi, which is 0.5 in The Witcher series.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
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 first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny.
Initially when Kari started recommending this series to me, I didn’t really want to read it. I don’t always want to jump into a high fantasy series, and I wasn’t super duper interested. However, then I watched the Netflix adaptation of The Witcher and realized I would be waiting forever for the next season, and thought, well, I might as well read it. This challenge that we created for ourselves just gave me even more of an excuse to read the book. Furthermore, my boyfriend is reading this series and really enjoys it.
I gave The Last Wish 4 stars on Goodreads, and I read it as an eBook as opposed to a physical copy.
I definitely did things the opposite way around when I read this book. I should have read the book first before I watched the show. However, it’s definitely too late to fix that now, but the upside of getting into the series now is that I will be reading the rest of it before watching the rest of the show. Well, maybe not all of the series before the next book comes out but you know what I mean.
This was a really interesting introduction to the series. Personally, I really enjoyed the collection of short stories. However, if I hadn’t seen the show, I think I might have been a little bit confused about what exactly was going on. The book kind of just throws you straight into the hot water and expects you to understand everything. I think I might had struggled to continue if I didn’t already have some conceptions about what might happen. I just think that it’s a really interesting way to introduce a story and a world to readers. After all, this was the first published book in the world of The Witcher.
That being said, details do come clearer as the stories continue on. I liked Geralt and the other characters we are introduced throughout the stories. Dandelion is a special favourite of mine because he’s just a little bit ridiculous.
Having watched the show, I definitely had a certain perspective about what was going to happen. The stories felt pretty close to the way Netflix had adapted them. There were certain obvious differences, but all in all it was a pretty good adaptation.
I liked the episodic nature of the stories, and how they fit into the greater narrative of the book. It was an unusual way to tell a story, but somehow really worked. The scenes in the temple that were peppered between Geralt’s adventures, showed me a different side of Geralt that I didn’t see as much in the show. It was a softer side of him.
My favourite story is probably “A Question of Price.” I enjoyed the introduction of Calanthe and seeing the way the Law of Surprise played out in the story. It felt different from the episode but I didn’t mind that either.
Overall, I highly recommend that if you’re at all interested in the series, that you check out this book. The show was great, and I feel like the books are going to add extra context. Plus, the books are all out so you can have an idea of what’s going to happen before the show is fully out.
Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below? What should I read next?