The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
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Once a human, Geralt has undergone a series of rituals to become a witcher. A hunter of monsters. In this novel, readers will experience a collection of short stories that show snippets of Geralt's life. But while he hunts monsters for money, he also lives by a code. Geralt understands that not all monsters are killers.
The novel is structured around Geralt recovering from a monster attack. As he stays at a temple to heal, the short stories of his life are woven in between his interactions with the priestesses. Geralt is encouraged to seek a vision of his future as the past is strung out before the reader's eyes. Readers will learn that Geralt is not someone who can be swayed when he puts his foot down and outright refuses to see his future. And why might you ask? He seems to already know. But how he attained this information I have no idea.
A common theme throughout the novel is that Sapkowski prefers his readers to put the pieces together themselves. Readers are thrown into the world of witchers with next to no explanation. Those who have played the video games will be able to grasp the concepts quicker than readers who have not. I fall into the latter category and I was left grasping at straws. The first few short stories were confusing and not well translated. The number of adverbs used to describe just about everything wanted to make me scream. I did notice as the novel continued, the use of language improved and I was able to immerse myself in the story.
I did happen to notice that each short story is based around a fairy tale. It seems an odd mix of worlds, but Sapkowski does a good job of blending the two. I did, however, find that the short stories never connected. While they all featured the witcher, they seemed to be a random progression of his life. I was left confused and wondering what in the world the point of all the stories was. I am interested in continuing the story of Geralt because he is a worthy character, but I can only wonder where it will lead me.
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