The Witcher, Book 1 — “The Last Wish”

A few words about it from a true fan

3 min readJan 10, 2022
Edited image of my 4 “The Witcher Books” (Romanian versions)

Have you played any of “The Witcher” games? Have you started the Netflix series based on “The Witcher” novels?

No matter if the answer to these two questions is either positive or negative, you cannot miss the books that these titles are based on. I bought my first 4 books in the series last year and I started reading the first one, with thirst! I am close to finishing it and I realize I should have read it before even touching the games or watching the TV series.

I did things in the following order: I played the first game, then the second one, and then I started to read the first book. I intend to finish all the books and then play “The Witcher 3” game, for a complete experience.

Books First!

The first book, titled “The Last Wish” is a collection of short and longer stories that as a whole, constitute the start of the journey of witcher Geralt of Rivia through the land of Temeria. He is a monster slayer who kills all sorts of monsters for money.

“The Last Wish” is the first book in the series of 8 “The Witcher” novels, written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Books from this series of novels were first released in the ’90s, but they were not much of a success until the first game based on them became successful.

I wrote a review about this game here:

The witcher is a mutant, not old, but his hair is completely white, from the transformations he suffered in his monster slayer training during childhood, becoming a mutant. This happened at Kaer Morhen, the home of all witchers.

In one of the best stories in the book, Geralt accepts the job of lifting a curse that turned King Foltest’s daughter into a monstrous creature called a striga. Geralt manages to lift the curse that fell upon her and start gaining money and reputation. From here, the adventure of a lifetime is just a step forward.

The writing is really good. It takes you to that state, the one that makes you crave for more. You finish a story, you want to get to the next one. From each story, you learn a little bit about the witcher’s personality, and about the main characters, such as Yennefer, Ciri, Triss, or Jaskier.

You will find the same things as you would find in a classic fantasy world, but presented from a darker, realistic perspective. It is a dark fantasy world, full of monsters to be slain, with wizards and witches that can unleash immense power, but also monarchs full of riches and weaknesses. It’s a unique atmosphere with medieval settings and dark fantasy influences.

My recommendation is that before you even start watching the Netflix series, especially if you didn’t play any of the games, you should read at least the first book. It will make you have deeper insights into the overall storyline.

Another reason would be that, once you get used to the actors in the series, it can be hard to imagine the characters looking any different, so you better let your imagination do some work first. It is fun! In the games, the characters are also a bit different in terms of looks compared to the ones in the series.

The Best Time to Enjoy Witcher’s Saga

I enjoyed playing the games mostly in the winter, after starting the fire in the stove, making the Christmas tree, and lighting it up, maybe even grabbing a glass of wine; in other words, after setting up the most pleasant ambiance, the one that would suit the storytelling in the best way.

All these settings can amplify the experience, will making it more immersive. Just do this and you will understand…

When it comes to reading the books from The Witcher saga, the winter holidays are again the best time to do the reading. It doesn’t mean that any other time is not a good time. Just create that perfect ambiance and get immersed…

Good luck!