An enjoyable collection of linked short stories about the Witcher, who recently was featured in a successful computer game. The character hunts and rids the world of dangerous monsters and magical mutations. It's an interesting character reminiscent of Elric, Conan, and other strong male characters who kick butt in brutal indifferent worlds but with a Warrior Code.
The stories were fun, but I am only giving the book three stars because it felt like a story was missing to complete the collection. Editing? I don't know. I do hope more of the stories are translated into English.
This book inspired the creation of a computer role playing game called The Witcher that PC Gamer Magazine awarded the RPG of the year back in 2007. Normally it's the other way around, a great game inspires a tie in novel. The book concerns a Witcher, a medieval monster slayer and his misadventures.
I was a bit reluctant being this book was a translation from Poland. My fears were put asunder when I began reading it, and soon into it, I was completely taken in. I'm looking forward to more work by A. Sapkowski, and I'm thrilled that The Witcher 2 is coming out within the next two months. Highly recommend reading this book and then playing the game. Or do as I did, play the game, then stumble upon this book and marvel at how much the two complement each other.
This is the book the popular videogame "The Witcher" was based on. I haven't played the videogame, so I can't say how similar the game might be to the book, but my guess is 'not so much.' However, I can see how the book would lend itself to such a conversion, because it's written in an episodic format - different adventures loosely tied together. The Witcher Geralt is a man, but one trained and treated from youth for his profession of catching and killing supernatural monsters, until he may have near supernatural powers himself. But in a world where fewer and fewer monsters plague the land, Witchers may be a dying breed as well. This makes for a nicely angsty hero, but there's still enough for him to do in his mercenary-like lifestyle to fill up some quite entertaining stories. Most of the adventures refer in some way to traditional legends and fairytales, but with surprising twists.
In a few places, the language is a bit awkward (probably a result of the translation from the Polish), but overall, this was a very entertaining, and sometimes thought-provoking fantasy.
Definitely a mass market paperback. The original stories of Geralt de Rivia were written in Polish and it feels like the story has lost something in the translation. There is a slightly strange story progression as each chapter is a short story wrapped up into a larger whole that really just ends up being another short story that was chopped into pieces and used to provide some continuity to the tales. If you love fantasy you'll find some redeeming qualities as it takes a very familiar D&D flavor and twists the black and white tones of those stories into shades of grey.