Stirling

  • 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 THELAST 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 LASTWISH 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!

  •  Utah History

    Here at the library, our Special Collections contains many things: old city records and Provo High year books, old maps and historical artifacts, and biographies and compiled records detailing Provo and Utah’s history. Now if we take a look back into history, back when Utah was only a territory or had barely become a state, it was a very different kind of place. Utah was a dangerous place, and the men who tried to profit on that danger would go on to make the roads and train rails, places of relatively safety, some of the most dangerous places in the West. Here is a list of four books that outline some of the Special Collections more adventurous books. 

    THE LAST OF THE BANDIT RAIDERS
    By Murray E. King
    (2000) 

    This book follows the life of Matt Warner, an Old West bandit that often ran in the crew of Butch Cassidy, and Tom & Bill McCarty. After being caught in 1900, he turned away from the bandit life and became a law-abiding citizen. But his bandit days would give him the experience to become the lawman for Carbon County, serving as sheriff, justice of the peace, detective, and night policeman during his life time. 

    To illustrate the type of man Matt Warner was, here’s a story. When he was 91 and working as a night policeman, he shot a gun right out of the hand of a criminal he was arresting. The criminal would later say that Warner’s gun had apparently appeared out of thin air. Warner, at 91, was just that fast. 

     

    UTAH BANDITS, BUSHWACKERS, OUTLAWS, CROOKS, DEVILS, GHOSTS & DESPERADOS!
    By Carole Marsh
    (1990) 

    This book is a collection of short stories, things you’d hear around the dinner table or around a campfire, that catalogs and records a number of experiences from people like Butch Cassidy. In the introduction to the book, the author wrote that “history is what really happened, not just what got recorded in the history books.” So this small collection was Marsh’s way of supplementing and calling out the bias of traditional textbooks. 

     

    THE OUTLAW TRAIL: A HISTORY OF BUTCH CASSIDY AND HIS WILD BUNCH
    By Charles Kelly
    (1959)

    Charles Kelly collected stories from “old timers who personally knew the outlaws” and other sources in an attempt to put together the most accurate history of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. Kelly covers all of the Wild Bunch’s early years of bank robberies, the gang’s use of a hole in the side of canyon, and some of Cassidy’s copycats like Gunplay Max who was arrested after robbing a bank in Provo, failing miserably to copy Cassidy and the Wild Bunch’s success. 

     

    These are just three, among others, of the books in our Special Collections that detail the Wild West roots of Utah. Come into the library and ask the reference desk about our Special Collections to find more historical records, artifacts, and books about the history of the Provo area.