I’ve wanted to read the books for a while now, and I’ve finally managed to get through this first one. My fascination with The Witcher goes back to when I played the second video game, back in 2011. I never actually liked the game, but the story stuck with me. And since the release of The Witcher III in 2015, I’ve been hooked. I’m still playing that.
Anyway – if you’re not familiar with The Witcher series, in either book or game form (there’s going to be a Netflix adaption as well, with Henry Cavill, and there’s already been some movies and other series), it’s all in the name. We follow, The Witcher – or one of them at least – Geralt of Rivia. A Witcher is a sort of monster hunter, a mercenary you can hire to kill monsters for you – and believe me – in the world of Witchers, there’s a lot of monsters.
Witchers such as Geralt come about through a lot of hard training from a very young age, as well as mutations. The mutations are what really grant Witchers their powers, such as increased strength, speed, and agility, as well as cat-like eyes that are yellow and can see in the dark, and their unusual white hair.
The Last Wish is the first book in the series, and as so very many ‘first books in series’ it’s a collection of several shorter stories. They’re all told as flashbacks, or recalled, by Geralt as he rests in a temple. I won’t go into detail about the plot of the stories, they’re all great, they’re all worth it, but I felt maybe the last one fell a bit short.
Something that surprised me about this book is how much it all reminded me of old fairtytales I used to hear as a kid. It’s a different brand of fantasy, I’m not sure how to explain it, but it feels older in a sense, with more wonder, more imagination.
Though I loved this book, I feel like I haven’t quite gotten to know Geralt yet. I want to see more of his adventures, more of his monster-slaying, and more of the trouble he gets himself in. Because that’s what being a Witcher is all about, and seeing as I know quite a bit about the Witcher-lore already, I know how much better it’s going to get (hopefully). So I’m looking forward to another, preferably longer continuing story about The Witcher. But this books serves exactly it’s purpose, to set up various characters, to showcase Geralt, The Witcher and what he does for a living, and to introduce us to the world.
The Witcher series is also known for being quite sexy, at times. Geralt is as much of a lady killer as he is a monster killer, so don’t go buying this to your young son who’s enjoying the Hobbit.
I loved this book, and I’m looking forward to getting on with the next one, I plan on reading them all.