Since the Witcher came out as a TV-show on Netflix, I feel like a lot of people want to dive into the books as well, in order to get a more in-depth experience of the world – and Geralt. The Witcher Series consists of eight books by Andrzej Sapkowski. The books were originally published in polish and have been translated by Danusia Stok and David French.
The best Order to read the Witcher:
- The Last Wish
- Sword of Destiny
- Season of Storms
- Blood of Elves
- Time of Contempt
- Baptism of Fire
- The Tower of the Shallow
- The Lady of the Lake
You should start with The Last Wish. It is described as a short story collection, which I feel is sometimes misleading. The book consists of frame-stories and flashbacks of former events, that are important for the main story arc. The stories are not chronological and are set before the first book – Blood of Elves. This can be a bit confusing at first but don’t worry about it too much. After a while you will really get into the story and understand how these stories offer important background information and introduce you to the characters.
After the first story collection you will want to continue with Sword of Destiny. The stories take place right before the events of the main story and some important characters are introduced. Afterwards, I would continue with Season of Storms. While this recent story edition is not completely necessary, I feel like it adds to the overall story.
If you want to read the Witcher in publication order you would simply read Season of Storms last, since it was published after the main saga. While this does not take away from the main arc, I think it is still preferable to read it beforehand. I feel like Season of Storms is one of Geralts main stories and definitely adds to the plot. If you want to read the books in the original polish publication order, you would also have to switch The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.
The five main books start with Blood of Elves and end with The Lady of the Lake. Overall, the Witcher is a great and imaginative series that offers a lot of great and unique characters, monsters and an elaborate story arc.
Since the books are the original source for the Witcher Games and Netflix show, fans of Geralt will definitely enjoy the books as well. If you haven’t played the games or watched the show, I think it is great to start with the books because it gives you a more in-depth insight into the story and characters. I also feel like, the Netflix show especially, is easier to understand if you have some background information.
“Evil is Evil.”Andrzej Sapkowski, The Last Wish