Jump to content
Larry.

Andrzej Sapkowski II

Recommended Posts

The Witcher is really a 7-book series (now with a stand-alone prequel). The first two story collections (The Last Wish aka The Witcher and Sword of Destiny) really set up the characters and story that the novels follow in greater detail. Sword of Destiny is also a really important part of the series, and it was very silly that it wasn't published in English until years after most of the rest of the books.

As for the series title thing, that was Sapkowski's fault. The first book was called The Witcher (actually The Hexer would be a better translation - I believe - but for some reason "Witcher" stuck) and then at some point whilst writing Sword of Destiny Sapkowski seems to have realised that this was a mistake and had it withdrawn and reissued under the title The Last Wish, with a couple of new stories added and one old one about Geralt's mother that he didn't like anymore removed. That doesn't seem to have worked and everyone just kept calling the overall series The Witcher. Any chance of that being undone was swept away by the video games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that the story of Geralt's mother and (alleged father) fighting against Vrans? Would love to read that. The story of Geralt's mother healing him is one of my favourites, so it would be great to read more of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2018 at 9:15 PM, SeanF said:

[/Spoiler] She was trying to save Yennefer's life by surrendering.  Not that it was a wise decision.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

My point was that after so many books in which she was exposed to the evil and treachery of the world, you would think that she would know this was a particularly bad idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andorion said:

My point was that after so many books in which she was exposed to the evil and treachery of the world, you would think that she would know this was a particularly bad idea.

I love Ciri to death but she's suicidal and kind of stupid at various points in her life.

Rarely is a heroine suffering PTSD and also a person who committed war crimes as a teenager.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14.02.2018 at 1:03 AM, Werthead said:

The Witcher (actually The Hexer would be a better translation - I believe - but for some reason "Witcher" stuck) 

I have always believed that The Witcher is actually a perfect translation, as Sapkowski intended it to be a male version of the witch, just like in Polish original (female "wiedźma" and male "wiedźmin"). It's the author to blame for the fact that the witcher has very little in common with your average witch, not the translation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Andorion said:

My point was that after so many books in which she was exposed to the evil and treachery of the world, you would think that she would know this was a particularly bad idea.

You would, but I think she'd lost the will to live by that stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/15/2018 at 3:20 AM, 3CityApache said:

I have always believed that The Witcher is actually a perfect translation, as Sapkowski intended it to be a male version of the witch, just like in Polish original (female "wiedźma" and male "wiedźmin"). It's the author to blame for the fact that the witcher has very little in common with your average witch, not the translation.

Witcher is the perfect word. It's unique in that it gives Geralt, the world, and novels their own identity. Plus Witcher is just a cool word. Wish I had thought of it first

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very short interview of Sapkowski by Orbit Books

He's a funny guy...and he really likes potatoes lol :D

He confirms in the interview, that the main Saga is over and is a closed story,he will not write new books that continue on from The Lady of the Lake.

Any new book/books he writes will be sidequels.

 

edit: hehe..couldn't help myself , found this interview from 2016...i don't think i've enjoyed an author interview so much before....the guy is too funny...

 

Edited by AncalagonTheBlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I've been trying to read this series (never played the game, so comparison is not an issue). I started with Blood of Elves ("first book" in the series...), and realized it wasn't book 1, so I picked up Last Wish. It took me halfway through that to realize it was a series of short stories not a single narrative. I felt as though each story slogged and slogged and finally got interesting and then... new unrelated story started. I finally finished it but kind of turned off by the writing (English translation) and disjointed story structure. I re-started Blood of Elves ready for a different experience, but it too felt like a bunch of longer short stories that at least were in the same narrative. 

So, I'm interested in the overall story, but the style of the first two books I read were a slog. Does the translation of Time of Contempt get better? Or should I just accept these books are not for me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/18/2018 at 5:31 PM, Myrddin said:

So, I've been trying to read this series (never played the game, so comparison is not an issue). I started with Blood of Elves ("first book" in the series...), and realized it wasn't book 1, so I picked up Last Wish. It took me halfway through that to realize it was a series of short stories not a single narrative. I felt as though each story slogged and slogged and finally got interesting and then... new unrelated story started. I finally finished it but kind of turned off by the writing (English translation) and disjointed story structure. I re-started Blood of Elves ready for a different experience, but it too felt like a bunch of longer short stories that at least were in the same narrative. 

So, I'm interested in the overall story, but the style of the first two books I read were a slog. Does the translation of Time of Contempt get better? Or should I just accept these books are not for me?

The short version is you've been screwed over by both the oddity of Sapkowski's writing and Amazon's publishing.

The longer version is that the Witcher started as a serialized set of short stories in fantasy magazines. They're meant to be a bunch of adventures which have a loose narrative hook but are really just Geralt being the Man with No Name and two swords. The actual narrative you're looking for before Blood of Elves is THE SWORD OF DESTINY.

Which was not published in English until well after Blood of Elves and The Last Wish.

In other words book 1# and 3#.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read it in English but I've heard quite a few people complain about that translation.

Serbian translation was pretty good, but I guess it's because Polish and Serbian are much more alike than Polish and English, and I think it's fair to say that the Slavic mythology in books feels a lot closer to me than it does to English native speaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MyrddinWhat C.T.Phipps said. You should have read The Sword of Destiny before Blood of Elves and if you still felt disappointed then it's definitely not for you. Another matter, that from what I heard, the quality of translation definitely improved in later books.

Edited by 3CityApache

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I should just push forward, instead of moving back again... Feels like the story is finally starting with people hunting Ciri and the others in motion too. Assuming the story actually starts moving forward? BoE felt like all set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Myrddin said:

Maybe I should just push forward, instead of moving back again... Feels like the story is finally starting with people hunting Ciri and the others in motion too. Assuming the story actually starts moving forward? BoE felt like all set up.

Seriously, read Sword of Destiny before reading any more of the novels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Sword of Destiny pretty much explains huge numbers of plotpoints.

Like, "who the hell is Nilfgaard?"

And "Why is Ciri so damn important to Geralt?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second these. Know quite a few people who started like you @Myrddin, felt odd, and then, after reading Sword of Destiny, they said "now it all make sense at last".

I'd really give it a go. 

Edited by 3CityApache

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After BoE, I feel caught up with the story (Ciri was rescued from invasion, was smuggled out and has been trained as a Witcher and sorceress, etc. War is brewing and Ciri is seen was a threat and ordered murdered. Geralt and co are now trying to reach her and Yennifer before it's too late).  It's more that the writing (translation?) style and choppy narrative that are giving me pause.

Is the book after BoE better in terms of story progress, flow, character? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say Time of Contempt and Baptism of Fire are slightly better paced than Blood of Elves, but you really, REALLY need to do yourself a favour and read a slim, 200 pages long short stories collection first. Why are you so reluctant to do it anyway?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blood of Elves is easily the worst of the series. The only parts worth anything are the wizard revolt and the attack on the Dwarvish caravaner where it's discovered no matter how nice he is to humans and how much he wants peace, bigots gonna be bigots.

Time of Contempt is GRIMDARK and benefits from its horrific depiction of war. It has Geralt wandering through the horrific ruins of the Nilfgaard invasion and witnessing the casual atrocities on both sides. It also has poor Ciri going through her own mental breakdown.

Fun times!

Edited by C.T. Phipps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×