Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 1, 2017
2019-11-13: (5 star) It's been one day longer than three years to the day since I last read this. I just noticed that. Totally unintentional, but kind of funny nonetheless. Anyhow, I'm back in the world of the Witcher for my second read. The impending TV show from Netflix had me all hyped up and I decided to revisit this collection, and read the next as well if I ended up enjoyed it more. Which I did. A lot more, actually. I don't know why that is. Probably it was just a mood thing, which is so often the case with entertainment, but I also think that reading it the first time around while simultaneously playing the video game (The Witcher 3) was a mistake. You'd think it would actually be a good idea, but the games and the books don't share continuity. The games are set further down the timeline than the books, and are their own story which doesn't infringe upon the story line in the books. So I think that essentially following two different stories at once about the same characters threw me off. I really enjoyed this collection this time around though, and settled on 5 stars after deeming more of the stories as being worthy of 5 stars than 4.

The Last Wish is a collection of six short stories surrounding The Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, and they are intersected by a frame story (entitled The Voice of Reason) that follows Geralt's time with his friend Nenneke at Melitele's Temple. Geralt, while outwardly appearing to be a vicious, dangerous, and ill-tempered man--well, more than appearing, he is those things--is also a thoughtful, inquisitive man, with a complicated past; often of good humor. Each of these six stories offers us a view at who The Witcher is, where he comes from, and the manner of man he is. The world is changing. And these days, for a man whose job it is to hunt monsters for pay, it is a tough pill to swallow that humans are often capable of as much monstrosity as the monsters themselves. Maybe even more so.

I am going to list out the six stories below, and say a bit about each of them.

THE WITCHER: In which Geralt is called upon to deal with a striga at the palace of Foltest, king of Temeria. An excellent introduction story.

A GRAIN OF TRUTH: In which Geralt is welcomed into the house of Nivellen, a most interesting host. But as Geralt soon learns, Nivellen does not live alone. This story is in my top three, and I felt like it did a great job of showcasing Sapkowski's writing chops. The man is very descriptive at times, and sets a nice scene. The translation did not bother me so much this time around either, for whatever reason.

THE LESSER EVIL: In which Geralt visits the town of Blaviken (a name of some infamy for Witcher fans) and battles with choices, and, well, lesser evils. One of the most important stories of the collection when it comes to characterization of our White Wolf, and definitely in my top three.

A QUESTION OF PRICE: In which Geralt is invited by Queen Calanthe of Cintra to the banquet of her daughter Pavetta on her fifteenth birthday. This story rounds out my top three, and very well may be my favorite of the bunch. But you know, as I type this, my top three is less certain. Because the next story is darn good too.

THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: In which Geralt is traveling with Dandelion near the supposed edge of the world, the end of civilization, and struggling to find work, when a man tells them of a devil making mischief on his property. This story also serves as our first look at the elves, the Aen Seidhe.

THE LAST WISH: In which Geralt and Dandelion (let's be honest, mostly Dandelion) accidentally unleash a Djinn after a fishing mishap. This story serves as our introduction to Yennefer of Vergerberg, and Triss Merigold is also briefly mentioned.

And that's it. There you have it. A really nice collection of stories to introduce Geralt of Rivia, The White Wolf.

'“Evil is evil, Stregobor,” said the witcher seriously as he got up. “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."'

2016-11-12: (3 star) I decided to pick this up because I've just started playing 'The Witcher 3', and thought it would be interesting to play and read simultaneously, regardless of the separation of plot. I'm glad I did, this was a fun read. It is a series of short stories following Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher - monster slayer for hire.

I think that this book actually suffered from my reading it directly after The First Law trilogy, which I enjoyed immensely. It didn't quite live up to the hype I'd built up from that series. That and I feel that the translation (this series was originally written in Polish) is a little clunky here and there. All in all, its a short, fun read and I'll continue the series somewhere down the line.
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink