So far I’ve read the two books containing the Witcher short stories; ‘The Last Wish’ and ‘Sword of Destiny’. I’ve also watched the first season of the Netflix series, which is the reason I bought the books in the first place. I quite enjoy the short stories in these two novels. Going on different adventures, and fighting different monsters, all rather self-contained, but also feeding into the larger story.
As I watched the TV show first I initially found it a little confusing, as I wasn’t yet familiar with the Witcher series. It took me awhile to realise it was going back and forth in time, and what the rules of the world were. However I didn’t mind. I don’t like info dumps, but prefer when a show gives you the chance to work out what is happening, giving you enough information to eventually put things together, but not dumping it straight in your lap. The books I found a little easier to understand what is happening. This is mostly as the books are, well, books, and contain a lot more information.
Biggest one of these for me was understanding The Law of Surprise, and how this relates to Witchers, and why Geralt actually called on it (apparently this is how they get more Witchers). It didn’t seem quite so clear in the TV series what he wanted a kid for. In fact he seemed downright petrified when he realised that was what he was going to get. I’m going to go with they’ve changed a few things in the TV series, and he didn’t actually expect to get a kid. To be honest, I was a little weirded out by him ending up with a girl so much younger than him, as I’d assumed this was some creepy marriage thing. It’s much clearer in the books that this is either to get more children to be Witchers (which truth be told actually sounds worse, as you could either end up a Witcher, or die from your eyeballs exploding), or , as it seems to be playing out, he ends up adopting her as his child.
I like where this series goes with the monsters not always being monsters. And sometimes humans being the biggest monsters of them all. Also humans taking over, no longer needing Witchers to drive the monsters out as they have become so capable of doing so themselves.
The books are a bit more violent and gritty than the TV series. I really enjoyed them and I’m going to get myself the rest of the series once I get a chance. If you’ve watched the Neflix series and enjoyed I would definitely recommend read the books.