Book Review: The Last Wish - Andrezej Sapkowski

Title: The Last Wish
Author: Andrezej Sapkowski
Year: 1993 (Polish) 2007 (English)
Pages: 384
Reading time: 7 days (June 2008)
Rating: 9/10

Who said that the best fantasy stories came from UK or the USA (and Canada)? There are several interesting fantasy tales out there... Well at least I think there are.... The Chronicles of Black Moon a french fantasy tale (comic tales for that matter), or the Russian four books Watch Series and I bet there a lot more out there. This polish guy it sure can write and he created a little nice tale. For what I gather there are five novels and three short stories book. Unfortunally it took 15 years for the first translation. I don't know if the game came first or not but I'm glad it did. Both the game and the book are pretty good. I understand that there is a movie and a tv series... Must see it.
Well now for the book. This was the first book translated. The second is called Blood of the Elves and the third will only be released in 2 years (why the delay? Maybe they are waiting for the Witcher 2 PC Game). Marketing blah.

First of all the "Geralt de Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer."
is wrong. This is what it's written in the background information. Geralt is not a sorcerer, even less assassin and even less cold-blooded killer. Why in Hades did they wrote that if Geralt is nothing like that? I truly don't understand. Maybe it sells more like this no?
Now for the book itself... This is one of the short stories book. It has several stories inside a story arc called "The Voice of Reason". Said that what can you expect?
The stories are action-packed and take place in a world which is part medieval Europe and part Grimm's Fairytale. If you like the idea of Evil Alice in Wonderland and other dark twists on children's stories then that is the sort of thing you will encounter here, since Sapkowski's world often portrays the "true" meaning behind fairytales, where princesses are locked in towers for good reasons and heroic rescuing princes often get their throats clawed out. Good and Evil are just concepts. In this book the Witcher fights ghouls, vampires and djinni, the reader quickly learns that nothing is what it seems. The beasties are often the good guys and the humans the predators. Geralt is operating in a world in a state of change - the old ways are dying out, and the classical races like Dwarves and Elves are being pressed to extinction. As a Witcher, Geralt has adapted to the new world, by helping humans kill the monsters that prey on the outskirts of towns - but he doesn't do this without a twinge of guilt. More often than not, Geralt looks to cure, not kill - often to the disappointment of his bloodthirsty employers.
This is a quote from the book. There are several interesting quotes but this one is one of the most important. I copy from wiki:

"People," Geralt turned his head, "like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live."

This is a book hard to enter, maybe you won't undestand until you reach the second or third part of Voice of Reason. Then I bet you won't be able to stop. This is a book to another read another time. I can't say that from many novels... Fans of Drizzt or Conan come and lo...
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