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Calibandar

Andrzej Sapkowski

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I'm sure it depends on how much you ever liked traditional fairytales. I did, a lot, read the lot of them and more as a child (Grimm, Andersen, Sinbad, thousand and one nights, chinese fairytales, you name it I read it), so I was over the moon to find something like this.

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Finished it and I'm quite underwhelmed. . . :huh:

The full review has been posted on the blog.

Patrick

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True, but it should be remembered that neither of you have souls ;)

I liked it and felt a resonance with the works of Jack Vance. Sapkowski's wordplay isn't quite as good (or it failed to survive translation) but it's a valid comparison, I think.

[i]The Witcher[/i] computer game, which I really need to get back to now I've patched it up, is pretty good as well, drawing as it does on plot events and characters in both [i]The Last Wish [/i]and the sequel novels.

I don't think [i]The Last Wish[/i] is YA at all. It merely has some humour in it (and humour doesn't automatically = YA). The world is very dark, there's quite a lot of violence and (admittedly only implied) rape, and there's no clear-cut good guys or bad guys at all, Geralt least of all. Also, whilst it's a short story collection there is a mild framing sequence, so I don't really get that complaint either. Hmm.

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[quote name='Blanc de Wert '79' post='1292882' date='Mar 29 2008, 08.40']True, but it should be remembered that neither of you have souls ;)

I liked it and felt a resonance with the works of Jack Vance. Sapkowski's wordplay isn't quite as good (or it failed to survive translation) but it's a valid comparison, I think.

[i]The Witcher[/i] computer game, which I really need to get back to now I've patched it up, is pretty good as well, drawing as it does on plot events and characters in both [i]The Last Wish [/i]and the sequel novels.

I don't think [i]The Last Wish[/i] is YA at all. It merely has some humour in it (and humour doesn't automatically = YA). The world is very dark, there's quite a lot of violence and (admittedly only implied) rape, and there's no clear-cut good guys or bad guys at all, Geralt least of all. Also, whilst it's a short story collection there is a mild framing sequence, so I don't really get that complaint either. Hmm.[/quote]

I liked it, but I think for those of us new to the series coming in on short stories probably lowered it some. I am excited for the translations of the novels as I could really sink into those and then go back and read the short stories as something extra.

I still think it's great. It reminds me of Vampire Hunter D without the HORRID translations.

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[quote name='Champagnh O'Toole' post='1293102' date='Mar 29 2008, 13.23']Vampire hunter D rocks, and even rolls.[/quote]

It truly does but every time I start a thread about in either here in Lit or over in Entertainment for the movies it gets like 2 posts and none of which are really focused on its "rockedness".

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I was going to comment on pat's review, but ellestra, whoever she is, said it all :)

I was around 13 when I first read the short stories, so obviously my impressions will be different. I wonder if people will change their minds after they read the novel; the short stories, after all, are just Sapkowski's bit of fun and practice ground before he wrote the big thing. Or maybe it's just big in my memory and nostalgia :)

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[quote name='Filippa Eilhart' post='1296655' date='Apr 1 2008, 14.53']I was going to comment on pat's review, but ellestra, whoever she is, said it all :)

I was around 13 when I first read the short stories, so obviously my impressions will be different. I wonder if people will change their minds after they read the novel; the short stories, after all, are just Sapkowski's bit of fun and practice ground before he wrote the big thing. Or maybe it's just big in my memory and nostalgia :)[/quote]

While the short stories didn't blow me away like I'd hoped they would, I am still eagerly awaiting English translations on the novels and I will still order them from the UK if I have to. I still think the novels will be amazing.

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Liked [i]The Last wish [/i]well enough, even if I'm not particularly found of short stories. I have high hopes for [i]Blood Of Elves[/i].

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Well, I guess this can be a sign of how much I liked [i]The Last Wish[/i]: I just spent over $60 for the second collection, [i]La espada del destino[/i], since the English translation might not be released for years, if ever. And since that was the only listed copy available in the US and to import it from Spain would have cost almost the same after the $25-30 shipping costs, I knew the price would be high. Now if only I can find a good Spanish translation of Goran Petrović's work for under $90...

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I like the cover they've chosen for Blood of Elves:

[url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Elves-Gollancz-Andrzej-Sapkowski/dp/0575083182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210150654&sr=1-1"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Elves-Gollan...0654&sr=1-1[/url]

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[quote name='Calibandar' post='1345510' date='May 7 2008, 02.58']I like the cover they've chosen for Blood of Elves:

[url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Elves-Gollancz-Andrzej-Sapkowski/dp/0575083182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210150654&sr=1-1"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Elves-Gollan...0654&sr=1-1[/url][/quote]
Ooo, very nice. I have to say I really like the covers that Gollancz have done for the UK versions so far. The US cover though is just terrible. It completely lost the elegance of the UK cover.

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[quote name='Filippa Eilhart' post='1296655' date='Apr 1 2008, 16.53']I was around 13 when I first read the short stories, so obviously my impressions will be different. I wonder if people will change their minds after they read the novel; the short stories, after all, are just Sapkowski's bit of fun and practice ground before he wrote the big thing. Or maybe it's just big in my memory and nostalgia :)[/quote]

Don't worry, I've read them first when I was 23 and I still think they are great!
People are comparing Sapkowski to Vance, which I find strange because I always thought Vance's works are the more "sterile" ones, especially the short stories, so maybe it's because of translation (must read the english version first to be sure, though). I for example always found Sapkowski wordplay to be excellent.
I'm afraid that especially in case of novels some Sapkowski subtle humour will be lost during translation.

But it is true that the Last Wish stories are more about "adventure" and action while the stories of later collections are more about character development etc.


[quote]I don't think The Last Wish is YA at all. It merely has some humour in it (and humour doesn't automatically = YA). The world is very dark, there's quite a lot of violence and (admittedly only implied) rape, and there's no clear-cut good guys or bad guys at all, Geralt least of all.[/quote]

Also novels are much darker than short stories (especially after the start of war and ending).

Also again warning - Blood of elves is openended (and not openended like AGOT which ends with the death of Eddard and birth of dragons but more like Hyperion). It is great novel IMO, but things really start to happen just in second book. The story I've read all 5 novels at once, so I never had a problem with it, but some people might be dissapointed.

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Good to know for the future it's been translated in spanish.

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Not only that, but the [url="http://www.bibliopolis.org/editorial/bibliofan/espadadestino.htm"]cover art[/url] is excellent.

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I finished The Last Wish today.

I don't get the love at all, though I'll chalk that up to a) presumed translation issues and b) not knowing going in that it's a not-so-serious collection of 20-year-old stories from some magazine.

I know the stories precede the game, but I couldn't help but think that it read like a transcript of video game cutscenes. One possibly written by Terry Goodkind, what with all the penetrating, lethal stares Geralt Rahl was throwing around.

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Well, by coincidence, I decided to re-read it today (since I expect the second collection, [i]La espada del destino[/i], sometime next week) and I found I liked it even more on a re-read. What I liked was the clever interposition of character attitudes towards Geralt and Geralt's own thoughts/actions, the wit displayed in many of the dialogue scenes, and the subtle inversion of reader expectations that flowed so well with the story being told (something a great many writers today would best heed).

And if you're comparing it to the video game or to Tairy, Rhaco, I might have to wonder if you've been sipping some of the same bong water that I think Pat did last month when he reviewed it and called it a "YA book" :P

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[quote name='Dylanfanatic' post='1348357' date='May 9 2008, 00.18']Well, by coincidence, I decided to re-read it today (since I expect the second collection, [i]La espada del destino[/i], sometime next week) and I found I liked it even more on a re-read. What I liked was the clever interposition of character attitudes towards Geralt and Geralt's own thoughts/actions, the wit displayed in many of the dialogue scenes, and the subtle inversion of reader expectations that flowed so well with the story being told (something a great many writers today would best heed).[/quote]

Yeah. One reason why I like Sapkowski, especially his later works so much is reread value. For example I think ASOIAF is better, still I've read Witcher saga more often. Not to find some hidden hints from author like R+L=J in ASOIAF but reading the dialogues is pure pleasure, especially when dwarwes are involved. His Narrenturm from hussite trilogy is the same - quite boring and long for first time read but gets better with every reread.

And BTW Dylan enjoy the second collection, the dragon hunt story is probably Sapkowski's best IMO.

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Book three, [i]Times of Anger[/i], is coming out September 2009. There is a plot synopsis at Amazon UK:

[url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Times-Anger-Andrzej-Sapkowski/dp/0575084952/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210363523&sr=1-15"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Times-Anger-Andrze...523&sr=1-15[/url]

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