19 Books in 19 Days: “The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski
I am currently reading 19 books (all of which I have never read previously) in 19 days, from August 1 through August 19. Some of them are from The Barbara Bush Public Library, some from my mother’s library, and others were resting dormant on my Kindle. Follow along as I get ready for the upcoming fall semester and review each book.
Fantasy throughout the 20th century was laden with poetic verse, highfalutin diction, and metaphors so extended that they would go on for pages. Anyone who’s read Tolkien (The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, and related works) understands the intricacy of the genre of high fiction. This type of literature takes quite a toll to sit down and digest.
Only from 1950 onward did we see a genre conceive itself in the disgruntled fan basis of fantasy. The most popular of the mentioned works in 2016 is likely “Game of Thrones,” as it upholds the prophetic demeanor of knights, castles, dragons, and monsters. In addition, it’s presented in a package that’s wholly accessible to those who aren’t particularly fans of fairy tale-esque stories. It’s essentially contemporary fantasy and it’s fantastic.
Enter Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish author who was born in the more modern era of fantasy writing. His works are translated into roughly 20 languages and have a way of recanting stories in a humorous manner.
The book I’m reviewing is one of his “Witcher” saga, “The Last Wish” essentially a prequel to the monster slaying tale of Geralt of Rivia. In Sapkowski’s fictitious world, monsters, ghouls, and the supernatural riddle town folk with queries, concerns, and often bites. Like werewolf bites.
The novel is split into 7 main stories, all linked together by various characters and subplots, the second most important after Geralt himself being the bard documenting the entire ordeal. His name is Dandelion and he’s a raconteur, wordsmith, and the worthwhile comic relief of the otherwise dark narratives. This book reads a bit like something from The Brothers’ Grimm, but its casual mannerisms, nonchalant conversations with booze flowing about, and camaraderie make it quite a delightful read.
Funnily enough, the way I came about these novels was by their video game adaptation aptly titled “The Witcher.” When I realized that the plot was rather dense for a video game (although I must give credit where credit is due, as video games are becoming increasingly more intricate in their attention to plot), I kind of figured it may have stemmed from a written work. It’s the same feeling you got when you saw Lord of The Rings for the first time as a kid. There’s this vast expanse that’s covered in only 2 hours and 45 minutes, but you have some innate knowledge that there’s something more beyond that. That being said, if you want short, quick, and darkly hilarious dialogue presented in stomachable segments, “The Last Wish” is a solid read.