Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Translated from the Polish original, The Last Wish introduces a witcher called Geralt. So what is a witcher? A witcher is a sorcerer/assassin trained as child and boosted with magic potions to fight things that go bump in the night (and occasionally in the day in this book!). 

The story follows his roaming travels taking on assignments hunting hideous creatures, but his journey is not just one of self-discovery but a deeper understanding of the different beings he encounters. Geralt makes for an interesting hero and I instantly liked his character. 

One thing I absolutely love in books is fairytales and this one has a really original twist on many of them which I really enjoyed. The fairytales featured however are far from childish versions, having been sexed up and injected with a hearty dose of violence which appeals even more! 

There are some very strong and well crafted characters littered throughout – a beast man named Nivellen and a cheeky troubadour named Dandilion were a couple of my favourites. The chronological order of events of the story was a little hard for me to discern at some points although that didn’t detract from the overall story. Other than that, I find it difficult to raise any negatives within this story. Once I got into it, I really didn’t want to put it down. 

There are currently sequels in the series out now, but this is also a great chance to share the news that Gollancz have acquired three more books in The Witcher series. 

The first of these, The Sword of Destiny, is out in May 2015 and another two books are due for release in 2016 and 2017 and will conclude Geralt’s story which means there are many more exciting exploits in this critically acclaimed series to look forward to. The Witcher books’ popularity is even further boosted by the spin off computer game that I haven’t tried myself but I’ve heard is pretty damn good. 

Jam-packed with magic, action and adventure; although its sounds like an ending, The Last Wish is an awesome start to an addictive fantasy franchise. 

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