Tuesday 21 January 2020

THE LAST WISH by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After watching and LOVING the hell out of The Witcher on Netflix, I decided I wanted to read this book of short stories in 2020.


Well, that was a short and very well-written introduction to the world of the witcher's easy seduction.


When Geralt, witcher of Rivia arrives in Wyzim, things take a violent turn. But he's there for a reason that involves King Foltest and the striga terrorising his land...

I really enjoyed this story about a cursed princess, the father determined to believe she can be saved, and the witcher who might be able to help them both.

Loved how on the surface, this story seemed so simple but introduced the shitty prejudices against Geralt, the undermining of a clever king, and how many shadowmen are willing to exert their shifty ways into the mix.


Oh! The interlude that started with The Voice of Reason continues to reveal Geralt is inside a temple (after his encounter with the striga) with an old wise friend immune to his charm.


While Geralt and Roach are travelling through the forest, they stumble on a few corpses, a beast and a very mysterious woman...

This was such an excellent story! I love how Geralt and Roach have wonderful conversations when they're alone together. It was also awesome how this is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a wicked twist I wasn't expecting.


Looks like the interludes just took a violent turn with the introduction of the obnoxious Knights of the Rose entering the temple of Melitele in Ellander with threats and warnings. But Nenneke's relentless nature keeps them at bay and pushes them towards trouble.

I have no doubt about that.


When Geralt arrives in Blaviken it's to a warm reception from an old friend. But as he discovers a wizard is also in town, things take a turn for the worst...

Loved this one too! It was just like watching the show, but with an awesome addition of Snow White. Renfri was just as dangerous, clever and ruthless as she was on-screen, but I got a deeper attachment to her plight. It was a shame that she was poisoned from such a young age, but it made for an amazing tale.


A very clever interlude where Geralt talks freely about his past, how he became a witcher, and how talking it through helps him feel better. Not to mention, he teases about the child and Yennefer. 😳


During a banquet hosted by Queen Calanthe of Cintra, where she's meeting possible husbands for her young daughter, things take a strange turn when her use for a witcher twists their destinies together...

This was quite action-packed and full of devious political turns that get shattered by an unexpected voice. It's so much like the scene in the show, yet has several differences. Some, which strengthen and further explain why destiny is so important to Geralt the witcher.


An awesome way of meeting the cheeky poet and bard, Dandilion. And a great way for Geralt to ponder about the ever-changing world and his refusal to kill anything that isn't an actual monster.


While travelling with Dandilion looking for work, Geralt stumbles on a beautiful field that is being tormented by what the locals call a devil. But there's a lot more hiding in the flowers...

I loved this story, and Dandilion is a great companion. He's annoying and foul-mouthed, doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, but he's also a very loyal friend. And I enjoy their banter so much. Plus, adding a member to this group is very cool.

Not to mention that I'm intrigued by the elves, and especially Lille.


Another interlude consisting of Nenneke and Geralt. This time they're in a beautiful cave full of flora and are discussing what a bad idea it is for him to leave the temple before he's fully healed. Oh, and then the mysterious Yennefer becomes the focus of their uneasy exchange.

She's finally taking shape as a real person and the importance of her in Geralt's life. Can't wait to meet her.


While trying to do a spot of fishing, Geralt and Dandilion stumble on a djinn that gets them into so much trouble they end up crossing paths with a powerful sorceress who has some very wicked plans...

Yennefer! We finally meet Yennefer in this crazy story, and she doesn't disappoint. This is one powerful and wicked woman who does what she wants, even if that involves holding an entire town hostage. Yikes.

Personally, I think Yennefer and Geralt are totally meant for each. They're so different, yet so alike. Two very powerful beings warped by magic and living their lives by their own rules who don't really fit anywhere... Yeah, soulmates. 😍


Ah, the Knights of the Rose are waiting for Geralt to leave the temple and things don't go the way these morons expected.

Great way to end the book!

Wow. This short story collection is something else. It's an incredible introduction to a magical and dangerous world full of monsters. The people who live in it lead complicated lives, the creatures are dwindling away, and the royals are too busy trying to get the upperhand.

I loved how the interludes happen in a different timeline to the main short stories, yet complement each other. Not to mention how well the fairy tales we all know are interlaced into this world, but have a bloody twist of their own.

Oh! And the writing was outstanding. I'm really fussy with fantasy stories and that's usually because I get bored with the stilted writing style. That didn't happen here! The storytelling is smooth, modern, and reveals all the relevant information via very cool dialogue.

And Geralt. I love Geralt. He's one of those misunderstood characters who's just trying to live his life under the shadow of labels other people put on him. He doesn't need to explain who he really is because he shows them with his actions. He's awesome and I can't wait to find out more about him.

I LOVED this book as much as the show. The differences are small and varied, but also shed a brighter light on the important stuff.

I'll DEFINITELY be reading more books in this world. Definitely.


In December, we decided to watch a fantasy show on Netflix called The Witcher.

I wasn't expecting much because fantasy stories often disappoint and I didn't know much about the games. Still, we decided to give it a go and were hooked instantly. We loved it so much we ended up watching the whole season over the weekend.

There was so much to love about the show: awesome characters, interesting monsters, complicated relationships, the magical and dangerous world of the Continent. It was AWESOME!

So awesome that I wanted to read the short story collection it was based on. And, now that I have, I want to read more. 😁

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