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The Last Wish Paperback – 14 Feb 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 242 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082441
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"It's refreshing to see another take on familiar elements. There's a fairy-tale quality to much of THE LAST WISH." (Jonathan Wright SFX)

It is [his] world-weariness, combined with his battle-boned powers that make Geralt such an interesting character. Here's hoping THE LAST WISH is merely the opening chapter in his English language adventures. (EDGE magazine)

Sapkowski's 'The Last Wish' is a great collection of short stories centred around a witcher, Geralt - a rare sorcerous breed who hunts down the monstrous but is feared by the innocent. With a wonderous mix of Eastern European folklore and myth, beautiful princesses, mischievious demons and where all is not as it seems, 'The Last Wish' is a great read - perfect for dipping into or just reading cover to cover, as I did. (WATERSTONES.COM)

I really, really enjoyed this book. Despite the original language being Polish, the translation is quite good and captures much of Sapkowski¿s prose. None of the characters in Sapkowski¿s world are black or white; they are all shades of grey, including Geralt and the monsters. In fact, other humans tend to be greater monsters than the ones Geralt is sworn to track down and destroy. (THE DECKLED EDGE)

The Last Wish is an accomplished retelling of some well-known fairy tales, each transformed almost beyond recognition and given the darkest tinges of horror. This takes the book outside the norms of traditional fantasy writing, while still being anchored in (the more original edges of) sword and sorcery. (DREAMWATCH)

Sapkowski is very good at creating interesting, imaginative characters with unusual levels of depth to them, not least Geralt, whom people are consistently underestimating. The Last Wish is an enjoyable book full of stories both melancholy and comic. (THE WERTZONE)

This beautifully written character-based story from Polish author Adrezej Sapkowski is a refreshing champion in a genre that¿s starting to get a little homogenic. While there is the occasional nod to traditional European fairy tales (Snow White, among others), much of the application of supertext and tropes are from a new point of view. (THE SPECUSPHERE)

"Sapkowski's series has the potential to develop a new audience and appreciation of fantasy and like Mieville and Gaiman, take the old and make it new. This reviewer is certainly looking forward to the next installment of this fresh take on genre fantasy." (FOUNDATION) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The book that heralded the arrival of a European superstar!

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sapkowski has been a bestselling author of fantasy literature in most of Europe, but for some reason it took over 15 years for the 'English-speaking world' to notice him. Well, better late then never :)

I will admit I am not the greatest fan of fantasy: too often I have found the books to be simple clones of Tolkien work, and with writers paying no attention to how their fantasy civilizations would deal with such problems as trade or agriculture. Sapkowski's fantasy is one of my favorite exceptions: with lots of subtle references to the history of our world, we witness a an epic struggle between civilizations, where nobody cares about heroes or legends, but 'realpolitik' or economics are the real forces driving the changes. The series raises many concepts not common to fantasy: the issue of colonization, of history being written by the victors, of racial and ethnic hatred, of scientific (magical) ethics... Although to be completely honest I will add that most of the 'serious' stuff becomes really visible in the novels, and the stories, such as those to be found in 'Last Wish', are much lighter, some even humorous - although they all set the stage for the epic drama to come later.

Last but not least I should stress that although Sapkowski's world is harsh to 'would-be heroes', and Geralt has long ago shed any illusions that he can be one, he is quite intelligent and an extremely skilled and able fighter, so when push comes to shove, he will often end up victorious. I personally prefer such a main character to anti-heroes like Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, run-of-the-mills Conans or 'normal person caught in the middle'.

All in all, it's one of the best fantasy books I have read.
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Format: Paperback
I first became aware of Andrzej Sapkowski and Geralt the witcher through the video games, whioch no doubt many people did. I never played The Witcher, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Witcher 2 (though it was enjoyable), but The Witcher III blew me out of water; sumptuous visuals, amazing atmosphere, and a wonderfully rich open world to explore. The adventures of Geralt now had my undivided attention.

So I looked further into the history of the character and the world and picked up a copy of The Last Wish, Andrzej Sapkowski’s first volume regarding the witcher and an introduction into the larger world he has created.

It’s been a long time since a fantasy setting has really stuck in my mind - I had not yet come across any fantasy worlds that have excited me as much as Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, Howard’s Hyboria, Warhammer’s Old World or Fighting Fantasy’s Titan - but Sapkowski’s world is rich and alive, primarily through the actions and attitudes of the characters rather than any long-winded narrative on the author’s part. I suppose I had a lot of help from the computer games, too, what with the wonderful design work and the huge map to explore. The book far transcends that, though, and the stories are rich with detail and a sense of reality not often found in books such as these.

So, briefly, Geralt is a witcher, taken as a child and put through some rather terrible training to become a sorcerous witcher, able to cast spells and fight against the monsters of the continent, to protect unsuspecting normal people from the terrors that lurk in the dark... for a price. Think of him as a monster bounty hunter, but he does have principals and a sense of honour and duty.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book totaly randomly, having heard about but never played the witcher game. I expected it to be in line with the majority of comercialy driven stories, a kind of a metric fantasy filled with stereotypical and straightforward fabula, yet what I encountered was truly refreshing. Not long ago I was discussing what I think is a deterioration of the genre because lately no author seems to be capable of writing good, compact stories that begin and end in 200 pages, instead they all create these multi-volume, multi-thousand page behemoths that drag along and never end, as if they are payed by the page and not by the quality of the text. This book was the exact opposite. It is short, read in a single breath and leaving you some food for thought.

Sapkowski's writing is heavily influenced by slavic folklore, I even recognise some of the folk stories I was told as a child, but he does not copy them - instead, he just draws inspiration from them and wraps them deep inside the stories.

The book is emotionaly charged, and every part of the story makes you stop and think a bit about what has just happened. The world is not black and white and everything is a shade of grey - everyone has right from his own point of view. Geralt is nowhere near perfect - he just tries do do the right thing at the given moment, and doesn't always succeed.

It is very refreshing bringing you back to the core of the fantasy genre and I can't wait to get my hands on more of Sapkowski's texts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely fantastic, could not put it down. If you love the Witcher world or even just love fantasy then this is a must buy, known as the 'TOLKEN' equilivant, this is beautifully written and has a more mature feel compared to the 'nambi pambi kid-ish magicki' fantasy novels that are out there. Meticulous care has been implemented within the narrative especially with each character, forcing you to actually give a s**t about them.

I have ordered every other book that has an English translation.
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