The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5)

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The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) audiobook

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Review #1

The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) audiobook free

Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish is a must read for sword-and-sorcery aficionados.
The Last Wish and most of the series were published in the 1990s
They spawned from Poland, not the United States or United Kingdom
Inspired the Witcher game series a decade later (2007-ongoing)
More to come, the author and series continue

Andrzej Sapkowskis Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a superhuman trained to defeat monsters. After hundreds of years killing creatures, there are fewer threats and witchers. Actually there is less hunting monsters than Geralt sleuthing mysterious altercations. Sapkowskis stories have conflicts that are not lone-Witcher-in-the-wild vs. monster conflict; they are more humans/vs strange forces in which Geralt referees (and usually kills). His investigative methods are a bit rougher than Sherlock Holmes. Each story was as if Conan was dumped into the Grimm’s Fairy tales. But all is not grim. Lots of humor present is reminiscent of Fritz Leibers Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series. Humans tend to persecute or shun the weird witchers; sustaining future witchers is addressed as the seeds of an apprenticeship are sown.

Geralt has dialogue with antagonists often. Lengthy interrogations are common. This approach allows for funny banter, philosophizing, and entertaining information-dumps. This makes for a fast, entertaining read. Sapkowski stands out as a leading non-English writer. No map, table of contents (TOC), or glossary were featured in the paperback translation. I provide the TOC below. The structure reveals the over-arching narrative of the Voice of Reason which attempts to connect all the others. This works pretty well, but is not always smooth. This was designed as an introduction to the series. I was impressed enough to order the Sword of Destiny when I was only half way through. It is not until the third book does a dedicated novel emerge. The series and the games continue to this day with books 7 and 8 awaiting English translation (as of 2016).

The Last Wish Table of Contents
1- Voice of Reason #1
2- The Witcher
3 – Voice of Reason #2
4- A Grain of Truth
5- Voice of Reason #3
6-The Lesser Evil
7-Voice of Reason #4
8-A Question of Price
9-Voice of Reason #5
10-The Edge of The World
11- Voice of Reason #6
12- The Last Wish
11- Voice of Reason #7

Andrzej Sapkowski Blood of Elves saga:
1. The Last Wish; Short Stories 1992 , translated from Polish to English 2007 when the first Witcher Video Game was released
2. Sword of Destiny Short Storeis 1992 translated 2015
3. Blood of Elves 1994 [novels begin] translated 2014
4. The Time of Contempt 1995 translated 2015
5. Baptism of Fire 1996 translated 2016
6. The Tower of Swallows 1997 translated 2016
7. Lady of the Lake (1999being translated for a 2017 release in US)
8. Season of Storms (Sezon burz) written 2013, set between the short stories in the first book in the series, The Last Wish. English edition TBD

2007 Witcher PC
2011 Witcher 2 (Assassins of Kings) PC, Xbox, Mac OS
2015 Witcher 3 (Wild Hunt), PC, PS4, Xbox


Review #2

The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) audiobook streamming online

I purchased and started reading the Witcher novels shortly after beating the Witcher 3 video game, and to be one hundred percent honet, I’m glad that I had unintentionally wait until after I had beaten the game. Granted, I put a TON of hours into that game alone, not to mention it’s predecessors, but to sit back and read the original material in which it was based off of – that was wonderful in more ways that I can describe. There were so many references to material from the books in the game themselves, and while I hadn’t previously understood them entirely, the books easily cleared everything up about it, explaining them all in great or at least sufficient detail. That said, I’m glad again that I started reading them -after- playing the games because otherwise they wouldn’t have held as much significance to me or made me laugh quite as much. Each book is well worth the read on itself for any solid Witcher fan, and as well for any general fiction fan looking for a great series to pick up, even if they don’t quite understand the Witcherverse before diving in.


Review #3

Audiobook The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski

I wanted to like this more. My friend highly recommended it as a great dark fantasy story with swords and sorcery, dungeons and dragons.

It has those things, but it doesn’t come off as very exciting or enchanting. Rather, we see the world through a tired grey lens, where humans are often worse than monsters, and the monsters are rarely evil incarnate. Rather they’re more just hungry like animals. And Geralt seems sick and tired of hunting them.

More broadly, the tales in this first anthology are a mix of twists on the old fairy tales, maybe mixed up with Eastern European folklore I’m less familiar with. The twists are mostly deconstructive, yet often end up less dark and gritty than the originals from the Grimms or from Hans Christian Anderson. They’re not uproariously funny enough to be parodies, either, though a few elements were worth a chuckle.

So, what does the author do well here? The way he weaves in and out from an overarching story down to the short stories he wants to tell is clever and interesting. The dialogues back and forth between Geralt and the other characters in the world are full of double entendre and puns (albeit some is lost in translation), but really help to build the world and the stories in a far more entertaining way than any of the actions and events that take place within the story itself.

So if your favorite part of fantasy or D&D is the part where you banter with the NPCs about quests and listen to spoony bards weave ballads out of half-truths and grog in the tavern, this series is definitely for you.


Review #4

Audio The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) narrated by Peter Kenny

There are so many good reviews of this book, so I strongly recommend potential readers to download a chapter and try it out before purchasing. If I had done that, I would not have bought this book. I have read 40% of it with effort and will add it to the very short list of books I have dropped half way.
I agree with others that call the writing ‘disjointed’. It stutters, short sentences that are good for fights but just don’t fit with a relaxed dialog. I can’t find a rythm in the writing, like those books that just take your breath out and force you to turn pages one after the other. The fights are quite good, but then there other things like rough and heartless sex scenes that make little sense (they would if the rest of the book was different, but as they are they add little). The reason for me to drop it is that the characters are all soulless. The witcher cannot talk straight, and if you take the character names out of the dialogs you don’t really know who is talking. It feels like there are just a few characters that just change name and face and appear in different stories… I don’t know, I cannot feel anything for them, just not my type of book. On top of it the stories don’t seem to have much depth and add little to the witcher character. Perhaps the other 60% of the book is awesome, but after what I have read, I rather invest my time in something else.
In summary, hope you really like it (most reviewers loved it), but just in case take a peek at a chapter before buying it.


Review #5

Free audio The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) – in the audio player below

Although I read fantasy, I first encountered Geralt of Rivia in the video game, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt and as I explored this gaming world, I was inspired to discover Andrzej Sapkowski’s books starting with this first collection.

The last story in the book deservedly took third place in a magazine competition and sowed the first seed that created a universe. I enjoyed these original stories, discovering Geralts origins in pre-game events. (And these stories are echoed in-game.}

The collection is assembled to reflect the chronology of Geralts life, although we have yet to learn many things and I look forward to reading more books. Sapkowski creates a brilliant and exemplary framing structure for these stories that gives them more impact and adds to the unfolding plotlines that I know develop. (This is a writing technique that I need to learn.)

Some amazing and complex characters are introduced, including the sorceress, Yennefer, whose life is woven into a complicated relationship with Geralt that opens great possibilities. And then there is Dandelion, the bard whose tales and exploits are something else amusingly different. These are origin stories perhaps before the Witcher-universe had fully-formed, but the characters are relatable.

The tales are rooted in heroic deeds even if Dandelion has a habit of re-telling them differently. The author demonstrates that he has been inspired by folklore. However, while the echoed fairy stories have a germ of truth, this is a grimmer tradition than Grimm, in a cutthroat environment. There are the Slavic monsters that a reader might expect but other mythologies play their part, adding to a rich tapestry.

The world rings with the realism of bloody steel and fangs, the smells of soiled streets and tempting food. The era doesnt feel not static, even across so few stories. The times are changing and so are the people. Evolving? Maybe not – but sowing many seeds. This is a medieval world of superstition and persecution and riven by discrimination that resonates today. Witch-burnings are inevitable, and nothing is black-and-white. Not all monsters are obvious or what they seem.

Is my interpretation coloured by exploring the game-world? Perhaps, but these are the roots of the legend that is Geralt of Rivia. I look forward to discovering how the writing evolved, and how the world of The Witcher builds in later stories and novels. This was definitely the place to start on my quest to enjoy how Sapkowski grew from a very good writer into a master craftsman.

Story five stars
Setting/World-building five stars
Authenticity five stars
Characters five stars
Structure five stars
Readability five stars
Editing five stars


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