Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.
He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naivety.
©1993 Andrzej Sapkowski (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group
A collection of short stories following Geralt and laying the foundation for several interesting characters. The stories are descriptive and well written and the characters are interesting and unique. The voice acting is incredible, it is easy to forget one person is doing the reading. My only grip I have is the series of short stories gives the book an awkward progression that doesn't really head to any kind of overarching conclusion.
Being a fan of the the Witcher game series, I was curious to see where it all started. Best decision I could have made was listening to the audio books, because now the whole story makes sense and the books set up the mood for the games. I recommend listening to the audio book Witcher set before playing the games.
Geralt is one of the greatest fantasy characters of all time. He walks a difficult path, and a lonely one too, and he carries his burden without complaint as he struggles between his humanity and his calling as a Witcher. And these stories! They're masterfully told, with intrigue and cleverness, eloquence and intelligence, building to thrilling climaxes and thoroughly satisfying conclusions! Truly my favourite of all the fantasy series I've ever read. A perfect voice actor with great dramatic talent. Can't wait to listen to the others.
An expertly crafted adventure novel that also has strong character development - the moral and emotional contradictions faced by the main character reflect the harshness of reality in the most captivating and accurate way. A must read.
"Spectacular Introduction to "The Witcher""
I absolutely love this book. It is full of rich detail and vivid imagery. I can imagine myself right alongside Geralt as he goes from one amazing adventure to the next. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I will just say that I couldn't put it down. The world is so believable, despite the high-fantasy setting. It's a world similar to our own, but with magic and an array of majestic or horrifying creatures. The world is dirty and rife with evil and corruption, but with enough glimpses of goodness and light to give you hope for the future (much like our own world).
I read this via "immersion reading". I read the Kindle version (and sometimes the paperback version) as I listened to Peter Kenny's incredible voice-over. He is a master storyteller. I loved his changing voices and the life he gave to each character on the page.
The only critique I have would be the chapter for which the book is named after. "The Last Wish" is a thrilling and action-packed chapter, especially towards the end. However, Peter Kenny spoke the dialogue of Yennefer and Geralt a little too plainly during the action sequences. There is so much happening I would have expected him to at least change his pitch a little. I read the chapter on my own without the voice-over and let my imagination do it justice.
Aside from that, I will still say that Peter Kenny did an excellent job. I will not hesitate to get an audiobook he voices in the future. I will also move on the other novels in the series, once the "Sword of Destiny" is released as an audiobook. I hope Peter Kenny is brought onboard once again.
Also, as I wrote in the Kindle review, I wholeheartedly recommend "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" game. It's the greatest game I have ever played.
"A rich world explored through vignettes"
I enjoyed the richness of the world, the sense of history, the previous world events and social changes.
I felt the narration did not distract from the story.
I found the audio a little disconcerting as the story jumps in time and location without preamble. In the book, there would be a new chapter to help you with the jump. At times I felt lost, particularly if I had taken a pause, it took me a while to figure out what was happening.
This is a great world, well described. That said, it is a little different in style from more common fantasy stories. I found the concept epic in nature, yet the scenes were more like stand alone short stories. Not a bad thing, just different.
Second time I'm listening to this. I Love this series and Peter is doing an excellent job at reading it!
each story was quite engaging. i cant wait to see where this goes next. will be picking up the other books
"Amazing narration, a must if you liked the games"
At first I had trouble understanding the narration, but downloading it in high quality helped a lot!
I really like the voices the narrator makes, as always at first they are kinda weird but you get used to it so fast.
"Good story made great by Peter Kenny"
Just like with any book, and especially a collection of short stories, there will be some dull parts. Some short stories were more slow than others, and some kept me up way past bedtime.
But even the slower stories came alive thanks to Peter Kenny's great storytelling and amazing voices. Thanks to him I bought the second collection of short stories as an audiobook rather than a paper copy because I can't imagine Geralt without the voice acting of Peter Kenny.
"A Brilliant Introduction Into "The Witcher""
Thrilling, brilliant, engaging
Who's everyone's favorite character? It's Geralt, of course! Before reading the book, I was under the impression that he would just be a Batman-like stoic hero, but he's far from it. Sure, he's a badass, he knows everything about killing monsters and all that you'd expect from him, but he's also a good listener, he's considerate and not condescending, he even demonstrates a sense of humor at a few occasions!
While it is, once again, the boring answer that everyone would go to, it's definitely the voice acting. While some of the characters were a bit hard to understand (if you listen, you'll know exactly who I'm talking about), he overall did a very good job giving each one a personality, to the point where I was honestly a bit disappointed when I learned that Peter Kenny didn't voice Geralt in "The Witcher" games. He nails the character!
"Last Wish - The Beginning of The Witcher" Boring and obvious, but hey, that seems to be the theme of this review, so who cares.
Overall, I can't find much wrong with "The Last Wish" - it's just great from start to finish. Definitely a good read for anyone regardless of how familiar they are with the franchise.
I played all games. This book is very nice background, as the games refer to it's events often. Very entertaining and not as predictable as I'd thought.
"Great story and awesome variety of accents"
I would like to have in Audible more books of this author. The medieval-fantasy stories take another level with him, making the characters behave contemporarily. Geralt of Rivia is a witcher but at the same time is a great person. His romance with the other character will have more to tell us in the future.
The narrator does an splendid job using not only different voices, but different accents too. I love how Geralt speaks. I had a really good time listening this audio book!
10 out of 10 for both, the author and there narrator.
"One of most underrecognized fantasy books"
Yes I would, it is one of best books i've read, Sapkowski did a perfect job creating a world with a witcher as a hero. For the first time i felt like the main hero was complete.
I don't think there's any books to compare to it, none ever focuses on main character so much and lets you meet him from every aspect.
My favourite scene was in the tavern when people tell geralt which monsters they want to be taken out, yet the geralt realizes none of what they're saying is true, and they're making it all up because they're the monsters.
Lifting the curse from knight
"Surprisingly witty, funny and all round Amazing."
loved listening from start to finish. Had to stop listening at points due to the urge to burst out laughing at some of the wit but the humour is second to the amazing writing.
"Good performance of a decent story"
Decent story elevated further by a good performance by the narrator. Would be interested in further takes set in this world
"Big fan of the games, didn't disappoint"
Having played the Witcher games and fallen in love with Geralt's character I thought I'd give the books a look in. This collection of short stories was a refreshing change of pace from the epic fantasy I often listen to, but didn't seem disjointed (which I often find a problem with collections) as they are all linked together nicely. Well narrated at a good pace - I usually speed up to at least x1.5, my only criticism is the accent used for Geralt, but very minor and subjective after all. Great listen.
"fantastic Polish fantasy."
I am a fan of RPG videogame The Witcher and when I found out it is based on this novel, I did not hesitate to read it. it is very good. You meet Geralt of Rivia, a witcher whose job is to kill monsters.
This book is a collection of short stories telling tales of Geralt, his deals with politics ( unwilling but hard to avoid ) and the people who are friends in adventures ( Dandelion) and many lovers. Geralt is a mutated witcher and strange looking, but this only attracts women to him.
This book is for a more mature audience and should be the first one to read to get a glimpse of who the witcher is, but don't stop here. There are others to be read.
I absolutely loved this book. My only problems are the mispronounciations of some names of characters and places. Otherwise i loved this
"Not quiet what was expected"
It felt more like a collection of disjointed short stories rather than a complete book per se. They fitted togeather and didn't all at the same time, that said I did enjoy it, the stories moved swiftly, maybe lacked some depth due to the lack of background or history, but as a bunch of short stories put together it works and is a light and easy listen. The narrator wasn't too annoying either and he did grow on me as the stories progressed. Give it a try you will probably surprise yourself and enjoy it. Looking forward to seeing how the next book progress's the storyline.
"Not what I expected"
There were a number of clever references to common folk law and fairytales which usually have a twist to them. This was an interesting concept for a fantasy book.
I did struggle with the style of writing, the book is almost a collection of short stories which are not told in chronological order. This certainly left me at times trying to understand what events had already happened and which had not. I would also mention that the chattering of the audiobook is not the best, it chapters at separate stories but does not sub chapter the individual "parts" as they are described by the narrator.
I would have changed the order of the individual stories and tried to make the chronology easier to understand.
Some of the voices performed in this book were cleverly performed but, particularly the goat character was really annoying to listen to. Other than that it was a good performance.
"Phenomenal voice acting, good story"
Good build up of the Witcher's world and the characters, often presenting intriguing situations with shades of grey (an nice juxtaposition to the black & white of the fairy tales it derives stories from).
I only know Peter Kenny by his Witcher work, and it is all top-drawer. Easily the best audiobook performance I've ever heard. Delivers dialog with character, emotional nuance and differentiated voices.
Definitely. But pleasingly, as a short story collection with an overarching narrative, it holds up well to brief bursts too.
The translation is very good, and presents an interesting and coherent story in English. Dialog feels well-written and natural, with little to mark it as a translation rather than native.That "little bit" is the tendency to repeat the chapter titles in the dialog, which occasionally feels forced. In the original Polish Sapkowski is praised for his intricate wordplay, so I think these title repeats are non-translatable pieces of writing.
This tiny oddity is why I have deducted a point from the story. However I feel this book is very strong despite this minor flaw, and the voice acting is beyond criticism.
Anyone who wonders if the narrative strengths of the witcher III is repeated in the books, I can assure you that it is. These books match the best mileu and characterisation of the game.
Awesome fantasy world with a great collection of stories and characters. Geralt is a very likeable and captivating character.
"One of the best fantasy writers I've read in a while"
I've read all the books in this series now and can't wait for the next instalment to be published. If you like writers like Robin Hobb, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfus then you'll love this and other books by Andrzej Sapkowski. And Peter Kenny's narration, as always, is superb!
Really well written - brilliantly crafted characters and a story that grabs you from the start.
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