The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok (Translator)

‘She came to him toward morning.’

And so, I picked up this book because after living through years of comments about how good The Witcher PC game is and seeing series one of the television program, I thought I’d go to the books. Yes, the game interested me, series one held my attention, but I’ll always prefer print.

And so, I read this collection of stories which served to introduce Geralt of Rivia, before either the game or the series. Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. His sole purpose is to destroy the monsters that plague the world.

‘But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.’

In these stories, in addition to killing monsters and escaping from dangerous situations, Geralt tells us:

‘In order to become a witcher, you have to be born in the shadow of destiny, and very few are born like that. That’s why there are so few of us. We’re growing old, dying, without anyone to pass our knowledge, our gifts on to. We lack successors.  And this world is full of Evil which waits for the day none of us are left.’

I enjoyed these stories, with their reminders of fairy tales, with heroic quests and a (seemingly) invincible protagonist. A little bit of escapism in the pandemic world. Yes, I will be reading more of the novels and watching series two. As far as PC games go, on the rare occasions I play, I am still enjoying Skyrim and Civilization. Yes, I am a dinosaur.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith