While this cover looks decidedly modern, this novel and subsequently this character have been around for over twenty years. It’s very often that English works get translated into other languages, it’s less often that Polish works make the jump.
The Last Wish has an incredible fame for a big reason: it’s been developed into the highly rated and successful Witcher franchise. The three video games in the series are amazing by all accounts. So when my brother grabbed the first book to get into some of the lore, I tagged along for the ride.
The book is a series of short stories gathered together into a loose narrative of Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a Witcher. A not-human whose sole purpose in life is to know lots of things about magic and how to kill magical beasts. He roams the world as a beast slayer for hire.
The Brothers Grimm influence is very clear. The entire book has a fairy tale feel to it, and there are clear references to several well known ones: Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel. It’s also a great translation. Lots of varied word choice and fun descriptions. Easy world to find yourself exploring. The best aspect of the book though, is the main character. Incredibly stoic and chooses his words very carefully. Geralt does not play around.
I wanted more from the narrative. An overarching plot or story. But there was enough here that if my brother keeps buying them, I’ll keep reading them.
2.5 out of 4 stars.