"The Last Wish"
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Andrzej Sapkowski is a Polish writer who comes for the first time in English with the translation of his book, “The Last Wish”.
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. And a witcher is a hunter. Geralt hunts monsters for a living. He is a trained fighter and a sorcerer and he travels the world in search of the monsters. But sometimes not everything and everyone he meets is what it seems to be.
Andrzej Sapkowski’s “The Last Wish” is a collection of seven short stories. Actually one of these stories is written in episodes throughout the book and interpolated between the other six short stories. These stories (“The Voice of Reason”, “The Witcher”, “A Grain of Truth”, “The Lesser Evil”, “A Question of Price”, “The Edge of the World” and “The Last Wish”) although are not connected to each other build the character and the story of Geralt. The stories also outline the world inhabited by Geralt, a pretty dark and grim world and populated by a long list of monsters. It is not a developed world, but it is an interesting one. I cannot pick a story which I liked more, because I liked each one of them for their unique situation.
The first thing that made me love Andrzej Sapkowski’s book was the humor. The author brings in his stories myths, legends and fairy tales, including Polish and Eastern European ones, giving them a new interpretation and outcome, usually parodying them. I not only once found myself laughing from all my heart of the new interpretation given by the author. I also liked how Andrzej Sapkowski ridicules some aspects of our world and made me think even more of them. I entertained myself with author’s ironies to political aspect, plastic surgeries, inflation and insurances, to name a few. The author also manages to bring me a little closer to the story with the help of these aspects.
Geralt is not the strongest character I have encountered through my readings, I even think that he suffers a bit here. Still, I liked the character and his story. What attracted me the most to Geralt is that he is not the perfect hero and he has his defects. I also liked a lot his sarcasm and irony. When Geralt met Dandilion on some of the stories his relationship with the troubadour brought forth some amusing dialogues.
I believe that “The Last Wish” is a great asset of fantasy literature and Andrzej Sapkowski a strong voice of this genre.