the last wish short stories

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, Short Stories Summary Part 2 and Commentaries

The Last Wish Short Stories

Introduction

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, Short Stories Part 2 and Commentaries explains the remaining 3 short stories in the book, The Last Wish, as well as the events that happened in the Temple of Melitele after Geralt was being healed after his encounter with the striga. At the end part of this post, I made some commentaries about my thoughts on The Last Wish.

A Question of Price Characters

Geralt/Ravix of Fourhorn

Is a witcher who slays monsters for money. He pretended to be the Honourable Ravix of Fourhorn as instructed by Queen Calanthe on banquet when Pavetta turned 15.

Queen Calanthe

She is the queen of Cintra and mother of Pavetta.

Eist Tuirseach

He is an excellent knight of Skellige who became King of Cintra upon his marriage to Queen Calanthe.

Duny

He is the Urcheon of Erlenwald who invoked the Law of Surprise to King Roegner of Cintra after saving the latter. Pavetta was promised to him by the Law of Surprise but they had been seeing each other secretly prior to the event when Duny presented himself in front of Queen Calanthe to collect his reward. Later in The Witcher series, a big twist was revealed about the true identity of Duny.

Mousesack

He is a druid who was an advisor to the king of Skellige and later on to Queen Calanthe.

Pavetta

She is the daughter of Queen Calanthe who was promised to Duny.

Haxo

He is the castellan in Cintra who helped Geralt to prepare for the banquet of Pavetta’s 15th birthday.

Roegner of Ebbing

He was the first husband of Queen Calanthe and father of Pavetta

Short Story 4 – A Question of Price – The Law of Surprise

Geralt under the alias of Ravix of Fourhorn was hired by Queen Calanthe of Cintra to attend the banquet in honor of her daughter, Pavetta’s 15th birthday. He needed to be at the banquet under the pretense of an alias, Ravix of Fourhorn. After some exchange of words with the queen about why the queen needs his service as the witcher, an uninvited knight with a helmet that covered his face arrived.

“Last winter Prince Hrobarik, not being so gracious, tried to hire me to find a beauty who, sick of his vulgar advances, had fled the ball, losing a slipper. It was difficult to convince him that he needed a huntsman, and not a witcher.”Geralt to Queen Calanthe

“It’s an invention, a fairy tale devoid of any sense, like all the legends in which good spirits and fortune tellers fulfill wishes. Stories like that are made up by poor simpletons, who can’t even dream of fulfilling their wishes and desires themselves. I’m pleased you’re not one of them, Geralt of Rivia. It makes you closer in spirit to me. If I want something, I don’t dream of it—I act. And I always get what I want.” – Queen Calanthe to Geralt.

 

It turned out the knight was Duny or Urcheon of Erlenwald and was seeking to collect his reward for saving the late King Roegner. His claim was that Pavetta was promised to her by birth by the law of surprise. The Queen confirmed Duny’s claim but with Geralt’s intervention, he was able to force Duny to reveal the conditions that come with his claim and that is the consent of Pavetta is needed to confirm the oath making Pavetta born under the shadow of destiny. It turned out that Geralt was also born under the shadow of destiny and also the reason he was taken from his parents to train to be a witcher.

 

When Duny removed his helmet, they were surprised to see the face of a fury beast. Queen Calanthe was satisfied at first, confident that Pavetta upon seeing the beast face would not voluntarily go with him. But, the Queen was wrong as she did not know that prior to the banquet, Duny and Pavetta had been seeing each other and were already in love. Pavetta agreed to go with Duny, and her suitors were very angry causing them to attack Duny. Geralt and Eist Tuirseach defended Duny. The attack on Duny also provoked Pavetta’s magical powers that threatened to destroy the castle. In the end, Calanthe agreed to Duny and Pavetta’s marriage. Calanthe accepted Eist Tuirseach marriage proposal as well. The Queen asked Geralt what price he would want for his service and he answered that he wanted the Queen’s emerald necklace which the Queen immediately gave.

 

Also, Duny felt that he was in debt with the witcher for saving his life so he asked Geralt what price he should pay him and in answer Geralt invoked the law of surprise,

“Duny,” said Geralt seriously, “Calanthe, Pavetta. And you, righteous knight Tuirseach, future king of Cintra. In order to become a witcher, you have to be born in the shadow of destiny, and very few are born like that. That’s why there are so few of us. We’re growing old, dying, without anyone to pass our knowledge, our gifts, on to. We lack successors. And this world is full of Evil which waits for the day none of us are left.” “Geralt,” whispered Calanthe. “Yes, you’re not wrong, queen. Duny! You will give me that which you already have but do not know. I’ll return to Cintra in six years to see if destiny has been kind to me.”

 

Hence, Pavetta and Duny’s daughter, Ciri was born under the shadow of destiny and was promised to Geralt. This became the start of the legend of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer and from the last short story, The Last Wish, in this book we will know how Yennefer became entangled in Geralt’s destiny.

The Edge of the World Characters

Geralt of Rivia

Is a witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Dandelion

Geralt’s loyal friend who is a singer, a bard, and a poet.

Dhun

He is a village elder in Lower Posada in Dol Blathana who explained to Geralt about the job to get rid of the “deovel.”

Filavandrel Aen Fidhail

He is a proud elf who lived in the mountains of Dol Blathana who hated to cohabit with humans.

Lille

She was the young girl in Lower Posada who was the avatar of Dana Meadbh, the Lady of the Fields who was said to communicate by telepathy.

Nettly

He is a peasant from Lower Posada who approached Geralt for help to get rid of the “deovel.”

Galarr

He is an elf of the mountains of Dol Blathana.

Vanadain

He is one of the elves of the mountains of Dol Blathana.

Torque

He was the “deovel” in Lower Posadas.

Toruviel

She is one of the elves of the mountains of Dol Blathana who knocked out Geralt and Dandelion.

Short Story 5 – The Edge of the World

On the way to Lower Posadas, Geralt has this to say about monsters in answer to Dandelion’s question.

“People…like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live.”

 

They were approached by Nettly for a work to get rid of the “deovel” that were bringing mischief to their lands in Lower Posada. Dhun, the village elder explained to Geralt about their problem with the “deovel” but instructed Geralt not to kill the creature in any circumstances. On the way to the fields, Geralt said this to Dandelion when the latter is insisting that there is no such thing as devil.

“I could never resist the temptation of having a look at something that doesn’t exist.”

On their first encounter with the “deovel” they were forced to flee when the “deovel” hurled at them some iron balls. Back in the village, they met with Lille, a deaf young woman who spoke through the old woman. There was an ancient tome as well that identified the nature of the “deovel” that was actually a sylvan, a goat-like creature. Lille turned out to be a prophetess and the avatar of Dana Meadbh, the lady of the fields, who was enriching the soil making the harvest abundant.

 

On the second encounter with the “deovel,” Geralt and Dandelion were knocked out by the elves. It turned out the sylvan’s name was Torque and that he was bringing the harvest to the elves in the mountains. Filavandrel ordered the execution of Geralt and Dandelion but Dana Meadbh appeared surprising the elves. Torque freed Geralt and Dandelion and Filavandrel finally released them. When exchanging disagreements with Filavandrel about his disdain of living with humans, this was what Geralt had to say.

“I manage…I manage because I have to. Because I’ve no other way out. Because I’ve overcome the vanity and pride of being different. I’ve understood that they are a pitiful defense against being different. Because I’ve understood that the sun shines differently when something changes, but I’m not the axis of those changes. The sun shines differently, but it will continue to shine, and jumping at it with a hoe isn’t going to do anything. We’ve got to accept facts, elf. That’s what we’ve got to learn.”

The Last Wish Characters

Geralt of Rivia

Is a witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Beau Berrant

Honorary ambassador to Rinde whose place is used by Yennefer of Vengerberg to deal with her clients.

Dandelion

Geralt’s loyal friend who is a singer, a bard, and a poet.

Chireadan

He is an elf in Rinde who was infatuated with Yennefer.

Errdil

He is an elf living in Rinde who owned an inn that was destroyed when Yennefer attempted to capture a djinn.

Yennefer of Vengerberg 

She is a sorceress who was practicing in Rinde and was approached by Geralt to heal Dandelion from the afflictions caused by the djinn.

Neville

He is the mayor of Rinde during the djinn attack.

Short Story 6 – The Last Wish – The Djinn

While Geralt and Dandelion were fishing, they found an old and sealed two-handled amphora. Dandelion would not listen to Geralt and he opened the vase releasing a djinn who in turn attacked him. Geralt exorcised the djinn and rushed to the nearby town to seek medical help for Dandelion. There he met the elves Chireadan, Errdil and Vratimir who informed him about Yennefer of Vengerberg who could help heal Dandelion.

 

Yennefer had taken refuge in the house of Beau Berrant where Geralt barged at the break of dawn. Yennefer healed Dandelion but she demanded payment from Geralt. The sorceress then cast a spell on Geralt and instructed him to punish those who had insulted her. Geralt created chaos and was imprisoned. He was then brought to the town mayor and the priest but was interrupted by the rampaging djinn. Geralt also learned that Yennefer was trying to catch the djinn for her own personal benefit that could entail greater risk that would eventually kill her. It turned out the djinn was bound to Geralt and was awaiting his last wish. Geralt pulled Yennefer to safety as she was being stubborn in catching the djinn. To save the town, himself and Yennefer from the attacks of the djinn, Geralt made his last wish. Although, such wish was never revealed in the book, Yennefer said this to Geralt after she heard Geralt’s last wish,

“That wish of yours… I heard what you wished for. I was astounded, simply astounded. I’d have expected anything but to…What made you do it, Geralt? Why me?”

and then they made love right after. The theory was that Geralt’s wish bound Yennefer to him by fate hence he was able to save Yennefer from the djinn.

The Temple of Melitele

Geralt of Rivia

Is a witcher who slays monsters for money. He is also known as the White Wolf.

Dandelion

Geralt’s loyal friend who is a singer, a bard, and a poet.

Tailles

He is a member of the Order of Flaming Rose who went to the Temple of Melitele to ask Geralt to leave the country.

Falwick

He is a count of Moen and a member of the Order of the White Rose.

Nenneke

She is a priestess of the Temple of Melitele in Ellander. Her temple is known for some renowned elixirs, potions, herbs, etc. She had known Geralt since when he was little.

Iola

She is a young priestess at the Temple of Melitele.

 

Each of the above stories were told or recalled when Geralt was staying in the Temple of Melitele after his fight with the striga. The story ended while Geralt and Dandelion were stopped by Tailles and Falwick but eventually backed down. A vision of Geralt’s future shown by bloody and violent images was shown forcing Nenneke to try to stop Geralt from leaving the temple. However, Geralt dismissed the vision and said his goodbyes to Nenneke.

 

Here are some of the monsters fought by Geralt,

“manticore, wyvern, fogler, aeschna, ilyocoris, chimera, leshy, vampire, ghoul, graveir, werewolf, giant scorpion, striga, black annis, kikimora, vypper…so many I’ve killed.”

The Last Wish Connection to The Witcher Saga Books

The events in the short stories entitled A Question of Price and The Last Wish were the events that started the legend of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer in The Witcher Saga books.

Overall Rating and Final Thoughts on The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt of Rivia’s Personality in The Last Wish

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski containing short stories about Geralt fighting monsters, dealing with the issues of royal leaders and different creatures like elves and dwarves give us an exciting introduction to the life of the witcher Geralt of Rivia and his world. Here, Geralt’s personality although brooding most of the time shined because of the certain code that he follows. He is brave and he doesn’t just slay monsters for money, he can spare them if they are not evil or violent. Geralt doesn’t want to be involved in politics and tends to be neutral but when faced with a situation where innocents were harmed, he would not hesitate to intervene. Geralt has his own internal struggles as well, especially in finding his importance to the world that needs the service of witcher less and less as time goes by. Here, we hear Geralt saying some witty lines and in some cases shutting down the person he’s talking to with his practical yet logical answers.

The Fairy Tale Connections

In The Last Wish, you may have noticed from the summaries of the short stories in this book above that the fairy tale connection is strong. We see the brutal version of Beauty and the Beast as well as Snow White. There’s even a mention of a Cinderella-like story and the strong connection of Law of Surprise to the story of Rumpelstiltskin. Don’t forget the djinn as well. Fairy tale adaptations may have been very common in books but in The Last Wish, I am simply amazed and impressed.

 

Overall, The Last Wish, is a fairy tale adaptation that best suits my personal taste. I find this book to have the right balance of adventure, magic, monstrosities, fighting & action, relevant conversations & humor and a strong hero. With these things in mind, my rating for The Last Wish is 5-star.

 

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Book Title: The Last Wish (The Witcher)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Publication Date: January 31, 1993
Print Length: 352 pages
My Rating: 5-star
Goodreads Link 
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