The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, What is it About? – Part 1

Introduction

This is the first part of my post about The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. This post explains the first three short stories told in the book entitled “The Witcher,” “A Grain of Truth,” and “The Lesser Evil” including the main characters and the detailed summary of each story.

 

Goodreads Blurb

Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—is a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

 

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

 

Book Review of The Last Wish by Book Estuary

The Witcher Series Reading Order

The Last Wish is the first book in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Here’s the suggested reading order for this series.

Short Stories

The Last Wish (1993)
Sword of Destiny (1992)

The Witcher Saga

Blood of Elves (1994)
Time of Contempt (1995)
Baptism of Fire (1996)
The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
The Lady of the Lake (1999)

Standalone Novel

Season of Storms (2013)

 

The Last Wish Short Stories and Characters

The Witcher Characters

Geralt of Rivia

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

Adda of Temeria

She is a sister of King Foltest of Temeria with whom they had a cursed child, Adda the White who became a striga but the curse was later lifted by Geralt. Adda died during childbirth.

Adda the White

She is the daughter of Adda and King Foltest who was cursed to be a striga.

Foltest

He is the King of Temeria.

Ostrit

He was in the cour of King Foltest of Temeria. He was in love with Adda and he was the one who put the curse on the princess who turned to striga.

Velerad

He was the castellan of Temeria.

Short Story 1 – The Witcher – Fighting the Striga

King Foltest of Temeria offered a reward to those who could lift the curse on his daughter. Velerad explained to Geralt about the striga who was terrorizing the town at night. King Foltest met with Geralt clandestinely to give him permission that he could kill the striga if she could not be returned to her normal form. Geralt explained to King Foltest that the curse can be lifted and suggested to him the ways on how to take care of the princess once the curse is lifted.

 

At the night when Geralt was about to face the striga, Ostrit appeared and tried to convince Geralt to just leave and let the striga as it is because he planned to overthrow Foltest and used the striga to instill fear and chaos in the town. Geralt knocked Ostrit and use him as bait.

 

Geralt fought the striga and eventually hid on the crypt to hold the striga until the third crowing of the cock. In the morning, when he approached the princess, he was clawed on the neck. It turned out the curse was lifted and Geralt was rewarded.

 

A Grain of Truth Characters

Geralt of Rivia

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

Fenne

She is a merchant daughter who lived with Nivellen for a year and was used to riding Nivellen’s back to scare away unwanted visitors.

Nivellen

He was a cursed man who lived in the woods of Murivel. He stood like a man but had the physical attributes of a beast. When he met Geralt, he was accompanied by Vereena in the area.

Roach

Geralt’s horse.

Vereena

She is a bruxa or a powerful vampire. She was a lover of Nivellen.

Short Story 2 – A Grain of Truth, A Bloodthirsty Beauty and The Beast, Nivellen’s Story

When Geralt was investigating the deaths of a merchant and his female companion nearby Nivellen’s manor, he came across Nivellen’s place and pretended to be a traveler. Nivellen was surprised that Geralt was not minding his appearance. Feeling that he could trust Geralt, he told Geralt’s about his story and how he was cursed up to the years on how he dealt with his cursed appearance. This included Nivellen rewarding some merchants with some of his treasures and eventually seeking the company of women to deal with his loneliness. One of them is Fenne who was used to riding Nivellen’s back naked and scaring away unwanted visitors.

 

Nivellen then told Geralt’s that he was with a company of a woman named Vereena. Geralt left Nivellen’s manor and in the evening, he encountered Vereena and they ended up fighting. Nivellen interrupted them and when he saw that Geralt was in a difficult position, he struck Vereena with a pole. She did not die immediately but moved closer to Nivellen through the pole and told him she loves him. But, she tried to bite Nivellen’s neck and just in time Geralt struck her head with his sword beheading her. Nivellen was surprised to see his face turning back into his original human face. When Nivellen asked Geralt how his curse was lifted, the latter answered as follows,

“There’s a grain of truth in every fairy tale…Love and blood. They both possess a mighty power. Wizards and learned men have been racking their brains over this for years, but they haven’t arrived at anything except that…It has to be true love.”

 

The Lesser Evil Characters

Geralt of Rivia

A witcher who slays monster for money. He is also known as the “White Wolf” and was called by the moniker “the Butcher of Blaviken.”

Caldemeyn

He is the alderman of Blaviken.

Renfri and Her Gang

She is a princess who was depicted as the dark version of Snow White. She was also known as Shrike and had been hunting Stregobor to execute her revenge. When she met Geralt in Blaviken, she was with her gang of 6 brigands.

Stregobor

He is a wizard who had a hand in ridding Renfri in Creyden and whom the latter seek to assassinate.

Short Story 3 – The Lesser Evil, A Brutal Snow White Story

Geralt arrived in Blaviken with a dead kikimora in tow. He approached Caldemeyn, the alderman, hoping to collect some reward for killing the monster. The alderman refused and told Geralt that the wizard in town might find value to the kikimora.

 

Geralt went to the wizard’s tower and was invited in. He was surprised to see the wizard Stregobor who was eventually revealed to be in hiding with Renfri. Renfri was revealed to be a princess of Creyden who carried the curse of the Black Sun. Her stepmother, the Queen used Nehalenia’s Mirror which revealed that Renfri could kill her and many others. Her mother tried to get rid of her by hiring some thugs to kill her. The thug raped and robbed her and upon seeing an opening, Renfri killed him and escaped. She lived as Shrike with the 7 gnomes but Stregobor tracked her and tried to kill her with a poisoned apple. She was saved by the gnomes and continued to hunt for Stregobor and plan for her revenge on Creyden.

 

On her last encounter with Stregobor, the latter turned her into a slab of glass and buried her in the tunnel. She was saved by a prince who paid to reverse the curse. She stayed as the prince’s mistress but not for long. She left, killed her Queen stepmother and continued to hunt Stregobor.

 

Back in Blaviken, Stregobor convinced Geralt to kill Renfri and choose to accept the lesser evil to whom Geralt answered,

“Evil is evil…Lesser, greater, middling, it’s all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I’m not a pious hermit, I haven’t done only good in my life. But if I’m to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

Renfri also spent the night with Geralt and convince him to kill Stregobor instead. Geralt refused. Renfri promised Geralt that she would leave the town peacefully. But, Renfri was lying and was planning to massacre the people in Blaviken to draw Stregobor out in the open. Geralt fought Renfri’s gang and killed her as well. This event eventually gave Geralt the moniker, “the Butcher of Blaviken.”

 

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski Part 2

Coming next on my blog is Part 2 of my summary and commentary on The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski including the characters and summary of the short stories entitled “A Question of Price,” “The Edge of the World,” and “The Last Wish.”

 

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Book Title: The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Publication Date: January 31, 1993
Print Length: 352 pages
My Rating: 5-star
Goodreads Link 
Buy on Amazon

 

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