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Calibandar

Andrzej Sapkowski

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Yes, we're discussing the second novel of The Witcher series here, not including short stories collections (one of these was published in English, the other was not). And I believe you're not the only one, though I personally have the privilege of having read all the series in Polish. And I can only say it's generally worth waiting.

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I'm just wondering, did anyone else find the English translation of The Last Wish absolutely impenetrable?

I've tried a few times now but the translation is so lifeless and dry that reading it is pretty hard.

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Yes, I've heard such opinions, but I haven't got the oportunity to check it out myself. But reading it in original is definitely NOT hard, that's for sure.

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I got as far as Tower of the Swallow then gave up after the first couple pages. I'll probably go back to it but I just got tired of it after reading all the others in quick succession and wanted to try something else.

Well, it is if you don't understand Polish ;)

They're in French, German and several other languages as well.

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They're in French, German and several other languages as well.

Oh, I know that, but I have little to no ability with those languages.

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I'm just wondering, did anyone else find the English translation of The Last Wish absolutely impenetrable?

I've tried a few times now but the translation is so lifeless and dry that reading it is pretty hard.

The English translation is much poorer in quality in comparison to the Spanish translation, which I thought was fairly good, as it conveyed more of the apparent wordplay going on (minus the name of Jaskier/Dandilion).

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Decided to finish reviewing the Witcher series (since I didn't get around to reviewing the last two volumes when I read them in 2010) before reviewing the first 2/3 of the Hussite trilogy (all read in Spanish translation). So here's the link to my review of The Swallow's Tower, with a review tomorrow or Monday of the final volume, The Lady of the Lake. It's really tricky reviewing a book read in a second language covering events that the target audience will not be able to read in English for a few more years (if at all, the rate things have gone since 2008), so I had to leave certain things vaguer than I would have preferred.

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I'm actually planning on playing the Witcher games sometime soon, but being the perfectionist I am, I want to read the books first. I've read the first two short story collections (one of them fan translated). Not bad, but I must admit, I'm anxious to get to the game. How are the novels? Is it worth reading the ones that aren't translated through a fan translation, or should I say screw it and just get to the game?

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Well, I've reviewed 4/5 of the novels (the final one I'll review shortly) and I think they're much better than average epic fantasy fare, so take that as you may. So I would say they are worth reading, but from what I know of the video game, they are set after the events of The Lady of the Lake and they only make passing references to the events of the seven volumes of the series.

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Just finished writing my review of the final Geralt/Witcher novel, The Lady of the Lake and I thought it was the best of the five novels (and on par with the two collections). Since there are, of course, going to be general spoilers for the volumes that have yet to appear in English, I'll provide only the link (as I've done for the past few volumes) for those who either don't mind such or have read the entire series in a language other than English.

Also read the Spanish translation of his first (mostly) non-Witcher story collection, Camino sin retorno, and I will review that and the 2012 English translation of the short story "The Malady" sometime later this week. Now to finish re-reading the first Hussite Trilogy book, Narrenturm, before reading the just-released Spanish translation of The Warriors of God (Los guerreros de dios) for later reviews.

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Started reading the Hussite Trilogy yesterday and am finding it to be more enjoyable (perhaps because I'm somewhat familiar with the setting/events). I just finished writing my review of Narrenturm and will try to finish reading The Warriors of God tonight or tomorrow. I have enjoyed it enough that I placed an order for the German translation of Lux Perpetua, despite my German being much poorer than my Spanish, so it might be a real slog to understand much of what I'd be reading. Oh well, as good of an excuse as any to return to reading German, since it's been 17 years since my last class in it.

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Well, I hope you won't be disappointed, unlike me. But there is a good chance, if you find Narrenturm more enjoyable than The Witcher series I guess. I just wonder if you would be able to catch all these little hints and wordplays Sapkowski uses mostly for Polish readers. Like introducing Zawisza Czarny (Zawisza the Black), one of the most famous medieval Polish knights, as an old and tired former hero.

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Yeah, there were moments like that which I didn't catch because I'm more familiar with German history than I am with Polish or Czech (and that's not claiming anything more than me being an American who concentrated on 20th century German cultural/religious history for his MA), but even despite that, the first two books have been very enjoyable (will write a review of the second later today/tomorrow). It'll be a bit before I read the third; I placed an order two days ago for the German translation of Lux Perpetua. Since I'm out-of-practice with my German and am no longer reading fluent in it, I probably will struggle quite a bit with it and may not write a formal review as a result. But I will give my impressions here. But that probably won't be until sometime in mid-to-late November, depending on how long it takes to ship the book to me from Europe.

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I'm actually planning on playing the Witcher games sometime soon, but being the perfectionist I am, I want to read the books first. I've read the first two short story collections (one of them fan translated). Not bad, but I must admit, I'm anxious to get to the game. How are the novels? Is it worth reading the ones that aren't translated through a fan translation, or should I say screw it and just get to the game?

The games seem a wee bit spoilery to me, having only read the books available in english. There's sequences of Geralt remembering stuff, including how he "died."

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Yeah, both The Witcher and The Witcher II are set several years after the books. Characters from the books show up and there are sequences reminiscing abou the events of the novels, including some spoilery stuff.

Going the other way, I'm not sure if the games are 'canon' to the books (i.e. they are 'officially' what happens next after the books). Sapkowski apparently advised on both games and provided some info and ideas, but it's unclear if they are canon (or if it even matters, since he's given no indication of writing new Witcher material in the future).

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I'm not sure if the games are 'canon' to the books (i.e. they are 'officially' what happens next after the books).

They're definitely NOT officially what happens next.

since he's given no indication of writing new Witcher material in the future).

Actually he did give such an indication once, a few months ago, in a really strange local radio interview, when he did say he's going to provide a new material set in the same world as The Witcher series, and he's going to do it soon, maybe even next year. It's strange because before that he used to always deny there was any chance for that. After that interview, he never confirmed it officially, but then again at Polcon he (or his publisher, I'm not sure) suggested there might be some truth in it and we can expect a new book connected in some way to The Witcher. He didn't give any more details, just said we would be surprised.

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According to Sapkowski, it's not canon ;)

eta:

He didn't give any more details, just said we would be surprised.

If it's anything like his last book, we will be very surprised indeed, and not in a good way.

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If it's anything like his last book, we will be very surprised indeed, and not in a good way.

Well, after his last book I wouldn't be surprised if it would be total crap, actually. And I would be surprised, if the said surprise was to be a pleasant one. Let's just say I'm mildly interested, out of nostalgia for a good, old witcher.

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According to Sapkowski, it's not canon ;)

eta:

If it's anything like his last book, we will be very surprised indeed, and not in a good way.

You mean that the new book might be a madcap adventure romp starring Filippa and Dijkstra? ;) I'm just waiting for the "real killer" to emerge from that :P

As for Viper, apparently it'll be published in Spanish sometime after Lux Perpetua is released there in the next 1-2 years.

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