SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF THE LAST WISH BY ANDRZEJ SAPKOWSKI
My rating: ★★★✦☆ 3.5/5 stars — as a witcher tv show and games fan, i definitely had a head-start in getting to know the characters, the plot and the world. while the book was entertaining, some of the short stories were quite slow-paced and had a looooot of descriptions, which made me want to fall asleep… all in all, i enjoyed the book because i already knew most of the plot, but it may be boring or confusing to someone who is new to the world of the witcher. here are my thoughts on each of the short stories:
- the voice of reason: happens after all the other short stories (it’s the “now” compared to the others which are the past), but it’s separated into sections and placed between the stories to give context. ★★☆☆☆ really jumpstarts the story into the action, but did leave me kind of confused because practically nothing was explained.
- the witcher: about the striga (you know if you know 😉) and honestly, this was really interesting! it was more detailed than in the tv show, which is not surprising, and i really like how sapkowski expanded on the characters to show not just the good side of geralt, and not just the bad side of the ~antagonist~. ★★★★☆ i enjoyed the action in this one 🙂
- a grain of truth: a beauty and the beast retelling, but with magical creatures. it’s an interesting take on the story, and the characters are written quite well. ★★★☆☆ the whole concept of beauty and the beast is problematic (stockholm’s syndrome, anyone?) and this isn’t much better. it wasn’t in S1 of the tv show, and i feel like it would get a lot of backlash if it gets put in S2.
- the lesser evil: OUR FAVORITE RENFRI! this explains in detail what happened in the first episode of the show, and i love how renfri’s backstory was expanded upon and shown how there really is no lesser evil. ★★★★☆ i love renfri a lot. and her dynamic with geralt was *chef’s kiss*
- a question of price: in which we travel to cintra and meet calanthe and her daughter. the tv show adapted this quite well, except for some details about the knight, and the inciting action is different (sadly dandilion/jaskier isn’t in the book version at all) ★★☆☆☆ it was okay, but i just didn’t love any of the characters? eXCEPT EIST I LOVE EIST- okay maybe another half star just for eist 😉
- the edge of the world: in which dandilion and geralt are looking for work and find a devil (the tied up part in the tv show). ★★☆☆☆ at this point, i just wanted to finish the book and meet yennefer. i really didn’t care about this story? the characters are meh and perhaps it was alluding to a part in the later books? to be honest, this is totally skippable.
- the last wish: YENNEFER OF VENGERBERG IS HERE! she is such a morally grey character (you can probably argue that she’s completely evil) but that’s why i love her! the tv show also adapted this pretty well, except the naked-nobles-dream-sequence thing never happened in the book. dandilion is a pure cinnamon roll and i love him. ★★★★★ i love this story so much! 10/10 would reread.
personally, i prefer the characters as they were depicted in the tv show, because that shows dandilion/jaskier and geralt’s friendship more in depth, which is so entertaining. dandilion was such a minor role in this book, he didn’t really have the charm that joey batey portrayed? but anyways, the book was good as bonus material (cue the hordes of book fans coming for me) and i enjoyed it while having a tv-hangover. i require season 2 of the witcher nOW or i’ll have to read the rest of the books as a way to fill the hole in my heart that the show punched through me ;(
- have you watched the tv show (or played the games)? if so, what did you think?
- in general, do you prefer the original books or their screen adaptations?