"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
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Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naivety. One reviewer said: 'This book is a sheer delight. It is beautifully written, full of vitality and endlessly inventive: its format, with half a dozen episodes and intervening rest periods for both the hero and the reader, allows for a huge range of characters, scenarios and action. It's thought-provoking without being in the least dogmatic, witty without descending to farce and packed with swordfights without being derivative. The dialogue sparkles; characters morph almost imperceptibly from semi-cliche to completely original; nothing is as it first seems.Sapkowski succeeds in seamlessly welding familiar ideas, unique settings and delicious twists of originality: his Beauty wants to rip the throat out of a sensitive Beast; his Snow White seeks vengeance on all and sundry, his elves are embittered and vindictive.
It's easily one of the best things I've read in ages.'