I’m glad I read The Last Wish, but since it was originally published in 1993, it definitely has that old high fantasy feel to it.
This is the original series that delves into the world of the Witcher called Geralt of Rivia—before the popular video games, and before the TV show adaptation.
I’m not sure if it was just the translation or not, but this book is very heavy on the “tell” without a lot of “show.” Whenever there was imagery, I really enjoyed it, but this book is honestly 90% dialogue. I normally love dialogue, but it was a little too much, to the point that sometimes actions would only happen in dialogue.
I also found it interesting that Geralt is much more vocal in the book than in the show.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that the book is non-linear, just like the show. Suddenly, the show’s structure, which seemed all over the place at first, makes more sense.
This first book only delves into Geralt’s storyline, with one main scene with the sorceress Yennefer, and several of the adventures with the troubadour Dandelion, who is named Jaskier in the show. The main difference in the worlds is, like I said earlier, that the book feels very “old” high fantasy. What I mean by that it’s a medieval world, with elves, and dwarves and monsters, and pubs with beer, but also sexism.
The first section of the book opens with a sex scene. Several of the characters (though most are monsters, but still) talk very casually about being rapists, and unnecessary comments about women were made several times throughout the book.
I think the show feels more contemporary (and it should, since it was created decades after the book was written). Many of the characters in the book hold unsavory views of women, especially Dandelion, who comes off as a rowdy, rather than the foolish but lovable Jaskier. While the TV show still has sexist characters, both Geralt and Jaskier are respectable characters.
Overall, I’m glad I was able to see where this popular fandom originated. But I’m probably going to stick to only watching the show, which is rare for me when it comes to books!