The Witcher books

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#1
I'm playing The Witcher video game and although I am relatively early in the game I am really liking it. I recently discovered that it is based off of a fantasy book series. Has anybody read them? If so are they any good?

Edit by Alucard:
I decided to include the reading order and the book links in the opening post as well.
Here are direct download links for fan translations (in both kindle format and epub) from dropbox. Amazon links for official translations for kindle version, and kobobooks links for Epubs. Hope you find it useful.


  1. The Last Wish (Witcher #1) | Kindle|Epub |
  2. The Sword of Destiny (Witcher #2) |Kindle|Epub |
  3. Blood of Elves (Witcher #3) | Kindle|Epub |
  4. Time of Contempt (Witcher #4) | Kindle|Epub |
  5. Baptism of Fire (Witcher #5) | Kindle|Epub |
  6. Tower of the Swallows (Witcher #6) | Kindle|Epub | fan translation
  7. The Lady of the Lake (Witcher #7) | Kindle|Epub | fan translation
 
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Haven

Became a Faceless Man
#2
The books are quite popular among some people, I myself have never read any because
1) The translations took too much time and
2) For once, I think the game might actually be better.

Witcher 2, my god, what a game!

Shame I'll never be able to play Witcher 3 unless I win the lottery and am able to afford a really expensive gaming rig. :(
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#3
I read The Last Wish which is a collection of short stories about Geralt and Blood of Elves which is a 3rd book in the series. The Last Wish is usually taken as the first book and for some reason Gollancz decided to skip the translation of the 2nd book in the series Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia) which is also a collection of short stories as the first book.
There are 7 books in the series and English translations are up to book 5, excluding book 2 as I said.
If you can read Spanish or German, everything is translated in them.

I have read two books as I said in English and I'm a big fan. I can also read Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian (it's my native language) and everything is translated into this language as well (It's one language, don't let anyone tell you differently ;) ). So now I'm considering reading in my native language because originals are in Polish, and Polish and my language are in same family of languages (Slavic), so there's a lot less that is lost in translating and the structure of grammar is easier to mirror back and forth, than it is to translate in English, where you lose more.

I really love the world Sapkowski has built and the character of Geralt. I can recognize same old mythological elements that are present in my culture as well, and for that reason I feel very close to that world. I absolutely love the games and the books. I played both of them and I can't wait for the next.

For a person that is not sure, I would recommend reading The Last Wish, to get a taste of the Witcher's world through those short stories. If you like it go for Blood of Elves. Books are short (300 pages or so) so you're not investing so much time trying them out.

For people that can't wait there are fan translations (English) circling the Web, and although I haven't read them, people claim they are pretty good, so after book 5 if you get hooked and you can't wait for official translations, there are books 6 and 7 and book 2 which English translators decided to skip already out there.

Hope I helped you a bit. Good luck.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Witcher 2, my god, what a game!

Shame I'll never be able to play Witcher 3 unless I win the lottery and am able to afford a really expensive gaming rig. :(
I have been a console gamer for a long time and RPGs have always been my favorite. So having heard nothing but good things about the Witcher series it was the first game I got. I just recently got a PC capable of gaming after a member of my wife's family passed away. I am not a computer expert but I think it should at least run it on low settings. It has 8 gigs of RAM, an Intel i5 processor, an Intel HD graphics, and a TB hard drive. I know that there are different models in the processor and graphics card family but because I didn't buy it I'm not sure which ones I have but the couple of games I have I've had no problem running on high settings. The Witcher 3 is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One as well if you are interested in those.
I read The Last Wish which is a collection of short stories about Geralt and Blood of Elves which is a 3rd book in the series. The Last Wish is usually taken as the first book and for some reason Gollancz decided to skip the translation of the 2nd book in the series Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia) which is also a collection of short stories as the first book.
There are 7 books in the series and English translations are up to book 5, excluding book 2 as I said.
If you can read Spanish or German, everything is translated in them.

I have read two books as I said in English and I'm a big fan. I can also read Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian (it's my native language) and everything is translated into this language as well (It's one language, don't let anyone tell you differently ;) ). So now I'm considering reading in my native language because originals are in Polish, and Polish and my language are in same family of languages (Slavic), so there's a lot less that is lost in translating and the structure of grammar is easier to mirror back and forth, than it is to translate in English, where you lose more.

I really love the world Sapkowski has built and the character of Geralt. I can recognize same old mythological elements that are present in my culture as well, and for that reason I feel very close to that world. I absolutely love the games and the books. I played both of them and I can't wait for the next.

For a person that is not sure, I would recommend reading The Last Wish, to get a taste of the Witcher's world through those short stories. If you like it go for Blood of Elves. Books are short (300 pages or so) so you're not investing so much time trying them out.

For people that can't wait there are fan translations (English) circling the Web, and although I haven't read them, people claim they are pretty good, so after book 5 if you get hooked and you can't wait for official translations, there are books 6 and 7 and book 2 which English translators decided to skip already out there.

Hope I helped you a bit. Good luck.
Thanks for the help. The reviews on Amazon looked pretty good but I tend to trust people on here more. I do read Spanish and have read some of the free books on Amazon that are in Spanish and can understand the books with only rarely looking up a word but I'm not to the ability where I enjoy it as much as in English so I'd rather read it in English if possible. I will probably add it to my wish list.
 
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Hand of Fear

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I've read the Last Wish awhile ago I enjoyed the book and the story was pretty good, can't really remember to much more but if you like the game I'm sure you will like the book.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I've read the Last Wish awhile ago I enjoyed the book and the story was pretty good, can't really remember to much more but if you like the game I'm sure you will like the book.
Oh yeah, I'm loving the game. I'm still on the first chapter but the feel of the game is just right, I don't know how else to explain it.
 
I

Ian Blackport

Guest
#7
I absolutely love the Witcher games. Brilliantly crafted with such a dark, unforgiving world. I love when games tackle complex issues that are commonplace in Witcher. Too often fantasy video games have an obvious good and evil choice in every dilemma. You can either be a pure hero or heartless. But The Witcher just isn't like that. There were times I agonized over making a decision because no choice seemed right. And I loved that uncertainty. A few times I followed what I thought was a noble decision only to find I'd made the world a worse place. The games play with your mind in the best way. Plus in the second game you can miss entire towns and regions because of choices made earlier in the game, giving you a great excuse to replay it.


For once, I think the game might actually be better.
I found this to be true. I've tried reading the books but just couldn't get into them in the same way as the game. They're still on my list of books I eventually want to read though, if only because I love the world so much.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#8
I absolutely love the Witcher games. Brilliantly crafted with such a dark, unforgiving world. I love when games tackle complex issues that are commonplace in Witcher. Too often fantasy video games have an obvious good and evil choice in every dilemma. You can either be a pure hero or heartless. But The Witcher just isn't like that. There were times I agonized over making a decision because no choice seemed right. And I loved that uncertainty. A few times I followed what I thought was a noble decision only to find I'd made the world a worse place. The games play with your mind in the best way. Plus in the second game you can miss entire towns and regions because of choices made earlier in the game, giving you a great excuse to replay it.




I found this to be true. I've tried reading the books but just couldn't get into them in the same way as the game. They're still on my list of books I eventually want to read though, if only because I love the world so much.
I am obsessed with the game right now. According to Steam I have played 25 hours and I don't think I am half way done. True I try to complete any quest that I can find because it is such an amazing game. And I definitely feel the not knowing which is good or evil with the choices because most of them seem grey. I will definitely be getting Witcher 2 but I am going to try to wait until at least the Steam Summer Sale to see if it goes on sale.
 
I

Ian Blackport

Guest
#9
I will definitely be getting Witcher 2 but I am going to try to wait until at least the Steam Summer Sale to see if it goes on sale
The Steam Summer sale is any gamer's best friend. Witcher 2 will absolutely go on sale, probably around $5. Good call to wait until then. It gives you an excuse to replay the first game before summer. I hope you have a lot of bandwidth though. Yikes Witcher 2 is huge.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#10
The Steam Summer sale is any gamer's best friend. Witcher 2 will absolutely go on sale, probably around $5. Good call to wait until then. It gives you an excuse to replay the first game before summer. I hope you have a lot of bandwidth though. Yikes Witcher 2 is huge.
My broadband sucks. I honestly think it is the lowest you can have and still be considered high speed. If I get it during the summer I will probably get to enjoy it on Christmas.:(
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#11
OK, here's some more information from Sapkowski's official website, courtesy of Google Translate.

Book 1: "Last Wish"; "Sword of Doom" - Short stories, available in English, German, Spanish
Book 2: "Blood of Elves" - available in English, German, Spanish
Book 3: "Time of contempt" - available in English, German, Spanish
Book 4: "Baptism of Fire" - available in English, German, Spanish
Book 5: "The Tower of the swallows" - available only in German and Spanish
Book 6: "Lady of the Lake"- available only in German and Spanish


Of course, if you do speak Polish, then you could read it in the original.

I have read the books 2 - 4 in English, will now switch to the German editions for book 5 and 6, as I want to find out how it ends :)
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#12
Slight mistake there @Derk of Derkholm .

Book one is The Last Wish.
Book two is The Sword of Destiny. (Only fan translation available. No official release (in English), I'm reading it right now.
Book three is Blood of Elves.
Rest is as follows.....
.
.
.
.
.
There are 7 books in the series. Book 1 and 2 are short stories. The rest of them are novels.

Enjoy!
 
I

Ian Blackport

Guest
#13
as I want to find out how it ends
I think you'll need to be playing the games then, if you haven't been already. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the first Witcher game begins after the final book. So the entire saga will come to a close next year when The Wild Hunt is released. At least as of right now the plan is for it all to end.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#14
Sharing Alucard's super helpful reply from the other thread....

Ok I have just read the short story The Sword of Destiny and I can tell you that it's directly linked with The Question of Price from The Last Wish.
There is definitely a merit in reading The Sword of Destiny (whole book), because it's full of revelations regarding both Yennefer and Ciri. And some of those are pretty big, is all I can say without spoiling stuff.
So here's a fan translation where anyone can download mobi/epub version of The Sword of Destiny. As well as last 2 books that are not translated into English: The Tower of Swallows and The Lady of the Lake.
http://forums.cdprojektred.com/threads/16494-Our-Community-Fan-Translations
There's also 1st chapter of the new Witcher book -Sezon burz (Season of Storms), published last year. Also a fan translations. I hope they do the entire book. It's only available in Polish so far. The book in question:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18714223-sezon-burz
The fan translations are really good, you don't have to worry about quality at all.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Slight mistake there @Derk of Derkholm .

Book one is The Last Wish.
Book two is The Sword of Destiny. (Only fan translation available. No official release (in English), I'm reading it right now.
Book three is Blood of Elves.
Rest is as follows.....

.
There are 7 books in the series. Book 1 and 2 are short stories. The rest of them are novels.

Enjoy!
I know. I had it that way, but then I saw this list on Sapkowskijs website and thought if he wants it that way... :)

Best regards,
Andy
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#16
I know. I had it that way, but then I saw this list on Sapkowskijs website and thought if he wants it that way...
That's because before he published The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny, he published a collection of short stories in the book called Witcher.
According to wiki, that was in 1990, and the 5 stories that were printed there, were reprinted in The Last Wish in 1993.
But The Sword of Destiny was published in 1992, and those were brand new stories. It was always a separate book.

He may have put them on first place together because they are short stories. Nonetheless, The Last Wish is around 300 pages and The Sword of Destiny is around 350.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I can confirm that the fan translations linked by Alucard are pretty good :)

As I already mentioned, I had just bought the German edition of "Tower of swallows" before hearing from Alucard that there are English translations available. (German is my mother tongue, however, I normally prefer to read fantasy books in English).

Having now downloaded the English fan translation of "Tower of Swallows", I can confirm that it is pretty good. Of course, there are still a number or typos and small mistakes that the proofreader in a publishing house might catch, but other than that, the translation is very good, and I will continue to read the English version.

Best regards,
Andy
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#19
It started today and guess what? One of today's daily deals is Witcher 2. You can get it until tomorrow for $4, sopranosfan
Thanks for the heads up. I already got it because Steam had it at that price a couple weeks ago when they got it on Linux and it may be the best looking game I have played but I only played a few minutes.