The Library is now open Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Curbside is still available.
The Library is now open the following hours Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Curbside is still available.
 

 

Fantasy Bridge

Where to start reading the Geralt of Rivia Witcher series

If you’re an old epic fantasy fan, you’ve probably already read The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski. But, if you’re anything like me and are a more casual fan of older epic fantasy novels, you probably haven’t heard of them, and at the very least, haven’t read them. Chances are, if you have heard of them, you have either a) played the Witcher video games by CD Projekt Red, or b) watched the recent TV series from Netflix.

Regardless of how you found the books, these old novels are getting a new, magical beginning because of the popularity of their adaptations. But where should you start? If you do a quick search for the book order, you’ll find dozens of blog posts telling you to start with THE LAST WISH instead of BLOOD OF ELVES. But, where should you really start?

Why So Much Confusion?

The confusion on reading order comes from the fact that Sapkowski published a few
story collections that take place chronologically before the main novels. THE LAST WISH and SWORD OF DESTINY fall into this category. But even among those, the chronological order of things can be confusing. If you want to start, chronologically, at the beginning of things, here is the reading
order that is most commonly suggested.

9.18 The Last Wish1. THE LAST WISH
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1993)

 

9.18 Sword of Destiny2. SWORD OF DESTINY (.75)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1992)

 

9.18 Blood of Elves3. BLOOD OF ELVES (1)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1994)

 

9.18 The Time of Contempt4. TIME OF CONTEMPT (2)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1995)

 

9.18 Baptism of Fire5. BAPTISM OF FIRE (3)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1996)

 

9.18 The Tower of Swallows6. THE TOWER OF SWALLOWS (4)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1997)

 

9.18 The Lady of the Lake7. THE LADY OF THE LAKE (5)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(1999)

 

9.18 Season of Storms8. SEASON OF STORMS (6)
by Andrzej Sapkowski
(2013)

 

Should You Skip the Story Collections?

The prequel collections are a really good way to get you started in the world of the Witcher. They give you a better background on the major characters and flesh out some of the history that is mentioned in passing during the main novels. But again, if you’re anything like me, reading a collection of short stories is often harder than reading a novel. I try, but almost never finish them off. So, for me, starting with BLOOD OF ELVES would be better.

Now, if you learned about the Witcher from the Netflix series, you also might want to start with BLOOD OF ELVES because the show covers events that take place in first part of that book. But, if you found the series through the games that take place 5 years after the books finish, you could start on THE LAST WISH or on BLOOD OF ELVES, it all depends on how much of the Witcher world you want to experience.

The Oddity of Season of Storms

SEASON OF STORMS is a standalone novel that takes place between two of the stories in THE LAST WISH and was published 14 years after the last book, so you won’t need it to enjoy the otherbooks. If you become a Witcher fanatic, definitely read it. But, if you have a more casual interest in the Witcher world, you can probably save it for last or skip it altogether.

If you have any questions following this blog post, feel free to come in and ask any of the librarians!

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