The Last Wish


Perhaps I let myself be influenced by all the positive hype surrounding this book, but Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish fell decidedly short of my expectations. With the buzz this novel generated in 2007, I was expecting something along the lines, quality-wise, of Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself or Brian Ruckley's Winterbirth.

Unfortunaterly, The Last Wish is more akin to a YA sword and sorcery title. Nothing wrong with that, of course, provided that's what you are looking for. Clearly, this was not what I signed up to read. . .

The Last Wish is not a novel per se. It's a collection of short stories. I was aware of that particular fact, yet I believed that there would nevertheless be an overall story arc linking those stories. To my dismay, there wasn't. Relying on short fiction means that Sapkowski can keep a good pace throughout the book. Still, it does feel like the author is all over the place and cannot impose a coherent structure to these various storylines.

Sapkowski created a blend of traditional fairytales and miscellaneous RPG elements. The results are a YA-flavored fantasy "lite" book which should appeal to the R. A. Salvatore crowd.

Andrzej Sapkowski came up with an intriguing character in the Witcher, Geralt de Rivia. The problem is that the author only offers us a few quick glimpses at the depth of this character. There's a lot more to the Witcher than meets the eye, but Sapkowski chooses not to reveal a whole lot. Trouble is, the supporting cast is more or less on the lame side. Hence, a majority of the secondary characters leave much to be desired. Allowing the reader to discover more about the Witcher would have made for a much better reading experience.

Another weird facet regarding The Last Wish is the fact that the author relies mostly on the dialogues in order to tell his tale. At times, the book almost reads like a movie script. That wouldn't be much of a problem, if not for the fact that the dialogues, for the most part, could have been taken out of a Xena: Warrior Princess episode.

All in all, Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish showed a lot of potential. I for one wishes to learn more about Geralt de Rivia. I will read the forthcoming sequel, The Blood of Elves, hoping that the author will up his game a few notches. Otherwise, there's no way I can go through more of this, just to, hopefully, one day learn more about the Witcher.

In the end, The Last Wish is a light read which will likely appeal to a younger crowd. A couple of crude jokes, juvenile humor, and a panoply of one-liners; don't expect a thought-provoking novel. Don't believe the hype and expect a simple, entertaining read, and you'll probably enjoy this book more than I did. . .

Although the main protagonist is interesting, as a whole The Last Wish doesn't rise above most media tie-in fiction out there.

The final verdict: 6.75/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

39 commentaires:

Adam Whitehead said...

Pat, you have no idea what you've let yourself in for :-D

* awaits the arrival of the entire nation of Poland *

I also challenge the assertion that this is a YA book in any way. There's quite a lot of violence and (implied) rape in the world, which is quite dark and disturbing compared to some other epic fantasies out there. Perhaps your 'gritty' levels have been elevated following the reading of Bakker? ;-)

Larry said...

I agree with Adam here in challenging some of those assertions. I saw nothing in your review that refers to some of the major themes that underlies the stories there, nothing about how the "monsters" that appear are not those readily identified with their distorted physical appearance. Nothing about how Geralt is much more than what he appears. Nothing about how the "fairy tale" element masks the challenging of assumptions there. Nothing about when the stories were written (starting in the 1980s, when Poland was still communist, with some undertones that relate to that).

The "media tie-in" bit you say is very misleading. The stories and novels were written well before the video game adaptation was designed. I can't help but wonder if you went into reading the stories with that in your mind and came out with a distorted take on it.

Gotta love differences of opinion, huh? ;)

Ed S. said...

Although I didn't agree with the "YA" comments I did otherwise thoroughly agree with your review and the various criticisms. I was similarly disappointed with this book. I wondered before I even read it if a collection of early short stories was the best way to introduce this author to a new audience and I feel even more strongly now that it was a mistake.

Adam Whitehead said...

Unfortunately, there was no other way of doing it. The five-volume novel series draws on events and characters established in The Last Wish.

More controverisal, to my mind, is the decision not to publish the second short story collection, The Sword of Destiny, as that apparently has several stories that immediately feed into the first novel.

Larry said...

If that second collection isn't going to be published in the Anglophone market, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and spend $50+ on importing it in the Spanish translation.

J.G. Thomas said...

I too was left somewhat underwhelmed by this book.

I did like a number of things; Geralt is a damned cool character and the world is a nice blend of fairytale fable and RPG elements which works well.

I just felt something was lacking overall and some of the short stories were better than others.

I'll probably check out more Geralt material if it ever surfaces in the UK, but I wasn't blown away by any means.

TormentedDisplay said...

I played the Witcher game and was expecting a LOT more from the book than it delivered. The game, obviously, was the result of a decades worth of backstory and a bunch of eager game writers while the Last Wish was a first collection of short stories, mercilessly hacked up by a shoddy translation, IMO. I think the book warranted me looking at the subsequent novels which are coming out in the UK from the Summer onwards, apparently. I just hope they get someone better to do the translation. (It may well be an accurate translation but that isn't always a GOOD translation.)

TormentedDisplay said...

I'm sorry to do this. I'm double-posting because I forgot something you said that annoyed me.

Salvatore writes great fight scenes. That's his thing. If you're into books about relationships or character development then RAS probably isn't your guy. If you want wanton bar room brawls then yes, tick his box. If not then look elsewhere ( I have no recommendations here - I'm shallow and like great fight scenes).

One area that the Sapkowski translation particularly fell down was in the fight scenes. We get a mix between classical fencing moves and ballet when describing Geralt. I suspect the author hasn't been in a fight in his life. That's admirable but either he, or his translator, is pretending they know what they're talking about. Big Rob may be a fiction superstar these days but before he invented Drizzt he was a bouncer and knew how to mix it up a little.

Larry said...

Strange thing to criticize an author for, TD. It's been close to a year since I read the stories, but I seem to recall that besides riffing on Eastern European myths, that Sapkowski seemed to be spoofing fights and that he seemed to want to point out via such spoofs just how silly it was to fight without reason in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Again, a terrible review but 6.75/10? Let's make the ratings more meaningful and enough with the fractional ratings 3/4, 1/2, 5/8 or whatever.

Ellestra said...

It seems that the main problem was the fact of the complete misconception of what the book was. You expected something different so you were disappointed.

It was never intended as a one overall story. It couldn’t have been. You need to remember these stories were written separately and years apart. They were first published in Fantastyka - polish sf&fantasy magazine. The first was The Witcher and it won the third place in the Fantastyka contest back in 1986 so it's over 20 years old. Other were written mostly just after fall of the communism in 1989/90. The last two and interludes were written just for this collection (1993) and are sort of fan service - especially how he met Yennefer, because we knew her from other stories (collected in The Sword of Destiny). They were collected together before the novels were to be published that's why there's the sequence where Geralt recovers from injuries - to set other stories into the timeline.

The stories were initially conceived as sort of 'what really happened' for fairy tales - the truth behind the myth and they weren't quite serious. Because stories turn into legend, then myths then fairytales. So what were the real events really like? These are the answers with a tongue in cheek.
In mood think more of Erikson’s Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas then anything else. Not serious but still there are serious subjects just under the surface.
There are many stories that made me laugh out loud and at the same time he manages to sneak in the serious stuff. The cynical observations about human nature are mixed with humour and action.
The best example of this is The End of the World story – the devil part is just for laughs (BTW is he devil in English? If not I mean satyr like guy. His looks are the way lesser, local devils, the ones that lived under old trees, were described in Polish folklore. The higher ones looked like German aristocrats ;P). On the other hand the elves part is taken from history and not funny at all. It’s also set up for the novels as this short story was one of the last – written just before novels.

This collection contains The Lesser Evil, which is probably one of my favourite short stories ever. It deals with what makes one good or evil, how much it’s depends on who tells the story. Was the stepmother evil? Or was the child a prophesied evil one? Are prophecies real or just self-fulfilling because of what people knowing them do? There will be more about all of that in novels. And of course we all know what good intentions lead to.

The stories were fun and we loved them. Geralt became so popular fans wanted more and more. And as Sapkowski wrote the world became more realistic and complicated (fun fact: he never made a map but the descriptions of places are so detailed and coherent that the fans made one and he approved) and finally it resulted in novels that are much more serious. It’s like in novels the social and human behaviour commentary becomes much more forefront while here it is pretty much hidden under humour.

One of most incredible is how well even the earliest stories are integrated to the overall arc. Sapkowski is great with continuity and the things that happen in these stories are important for future events – sometimes just mentioned offhand, sometimes becoming main points of the plot.

I’m still wandering how you are supposed to get to the main novel without the second collection. There are at least two stories crucial to understanding what’s going on – the titular The Sword of Destiny and especially Something More.
Still it’s probably better for you. All the other short stories are the reworked fairytales too.

And one more thing The Witcher Game was created after the novels were done. Years and years after these stories were written. Same goes for Xena. So neither could have been the inspiration.

PS. I apologise for length.

Patrick said...

Adam: The book is YA in style and tone, I felt. And YA means young adults, not children. They see a lot of sex and violence every day, so I don't think there's anything in THE LAST WISH that would disturb any teenager...

Larry: Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but I felt that Sapkowski is not really kicking the genre tropes around, and he's a bit clumsy when he does.

As for the communist undertones, Sedia and Lukyanenko do it so much better, in my humble opinion. I was reading THE DAY WATCH at the same time as THE LAST WISH, and I couldn't help but notice that there was an enormous gap in terms of quality and depth of story.

Anonymous: Don't know what kind of student you are/were, but I was a straight As kind of guy. 6.75/10 isn't a very good grade, especially since my "crap" tolerance threshold is about 6/10...

Unfortunately, I can't look at THE LAST WISH as part of the "bigger picture," for I don't the benefit of knowing all the elements which comprise it. On its own, I feel that the book is a bit weak. Then again, if I must go through multiple volumes so that I can finally "get" it and enjoy it, then it might not be worth my while...

If there is a way to make the storylines make more sense, then the English language publishers should have thought about something to make the whole thing more "users friendly."

Geralt is a very interesting character and I want to learn more about him and his past and the Witcher thing. But there's no way I'm going through several books' worth of juvenile humor and dialogues in order to get to know him. I'll give BLOOD OF THE ELVES a shot, but it might end there if Sapkowski doesn't up his game.

As far as the translation is concerned, I have no idea if it was well-done or not. Polish fans could undoubtedly shine some light on that issue. And yet, I doubt that what I found offputting could be attributed to a mediocre translation. Indeed, it had more to do with the structure of the tale, the characterization, the dialogues, the uneven narrative, etc.

But hey, most of the buzz surrounding this novel is positive. The fact that it didn't quite do it for me won't change that.

I'm not Oprah, you know!:p

Larry said...

OK, time to call the BS card here: "YA" is more of a marketing tool than anything else; your vague claims of it being so without there being a precise definition for it puzzles me here. Sapkowski isn't marketed to teens, nor was he writing for a teen audience, so just drop that stupid label, por favor?

Secondly, you didn't really address the points that I raised. Why wasn't there any mention of the genesis of the stories, as that does play a role in understanding why the stories are arranged as they are? Sapkowski's book was not a hack-and-slash type of story, far from it, but I didn't see any references to how Sapkowski develops his characters, especially Geralt, or how the characters relate to the situations and to the world of those stories. Your review frankly comes across as being that of a different book than the one that Sapkowski wrote. I just wish you had taken the time to argue specifics rather than presenting catchall terms as being the basis of your criticisms. I don't have a problem with you not liking a book that I liked. I just wished you would have presented your criticisms in a better fashion.

Ed S. said...

Larry, you seem to be arguing for the kind of book review that one reads in the newspapers. The kind with lengthy in depth analysis of the author's history, the books genesis and symbolism, or whatever, the kind of review that drones on and on and on in excruciating, boring detail the point of most of which has been lost by the time we thankfully get to the end. The kind of review that I don't read. Yeah, you're right, Pat didn't write that kind of review.

Larry said...

Ed, this isn't an either/or situation. While personal preferences certainly are going to vary, my comments were meant to be taken as suggestions for the future that could be done to shore up the points being made, nothing else. One can do that without aping the style of the NY Times or any other print journal. To be honest, to write in an overly general way without addressing specific defects does a great disservice to the readers and to the book being reviewed; if it sucks, give more than general reasons why it sucks. Lay it out there on the table for others to see, in a couple of sentences, if nothing else. Such reviews can be written in under 1500 words, or the length of most of Pat's (or mine) reviews.

Anonymous said...

funny how you say you can't appreciate the full story, but you give malazan books 9's and 10's (it deserves about 7, at best) double standard much pat? i've lost a lot of faith in you over this

Maurice said...

@Anonymous

Pat clearly wrote that he measures each book by itself. There are individual ratings per Malazan book not for the entire series and what you say also doesn't make sense as you say Pat has consistently given the books high ratings, but he started with the first book, not being able to know everything from the later books so he did not take everything in context for each book.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly my point, the malazan books are a mess and no one can possibly know what the hell is going on.

Adam Whitehead said...

I think it's interesting that it has been said that The Last Wish wouldn't work if you had to re-read it to understand it properly, but you have to do exactly that to appreciate Erikson's Gardens of the Moon (although I still enjoyed it first time through, I seem to be in a tiny minority), which IIRC got a substantially higher mark.

And how do your scores work, Pat? You're now marking books out of 40? I was worried that my own score system (out of five) was too simplistic but has time has gone on I'm really glad I chose it. What is the difference in quality between a book getting 7.25 and 7.50?

Sorry if this comes across as critical (if so I'll get you a beer in Montreal ;-) ) but I think you are possibly overcomplicating things a little.

Maurice said...

@Anonymous

I wouldn't call Malazan a mess. If you don't like the series, fine, that's your opinion, but Erikson chooses to write with big, complicated plots, but he has planned everything out in advance.

Bill said...

@Larry: I don't see why you're bitching about the review. I read The Last Wish and I think Pat's review is spot on. I may not agree 100% witht he YA bit, but that's just me.

I was far from impressed with Sapkowski and I feel that the book suffered from exactly what Pat said.

Different strokes for different folks!

@Anonymous and others: Again maybe it's just me, but I never had a problem with the scoring system. If you only read the review, you get to know if he liked or disliked a book. The score allows me to know how good or bad it is in regards to other books he's reviewed.

And please, Sapkowski cannot be compared to Erikson in any shape or form...

The Last Wish is very much like sword and sorcery titles. I'm sorry if this offends people who have read the series in Polish and know the details of the overall story arc. But based on that book alone, I was totally underwhelmed with The Last Wish.

Therefore, I see nothing wrong with his review...

Larry said...

Bill, I too have read the book (and only that book, in English) and what I noticed is a near-total absence of analysis beyond the "standard hack-and-slash" or "YA" this - labels aren't self-evident, I believe and I just found that I didn't recognize the book in question that I read based on what Pat wrote. It was as if he had reviewed a completely different book and just threw in a few names from Sapkowski's book.

But tastes/values differ, I guess. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

How the hell do you get off saying it can't be compared to Malazan, then say it's a very sword and sorcery book? I don't think you have any idea what you are tlaking about.

Roland said...

Anonymous, I really don't like the agressive stance you're taking. In case you haven't noticed, this is NOT a Malazan post and whether or not the Malazan series is good, is not an issue here, no matter how much you seem to want to tell the world it sucks. Fans of hard fantasy mostly like it. Deal with the fact.

As for the review, I agree it's a bit extreme in tone, even though I don't have a formed opinion of the book itself (I've only just started it today, but in a language closer to the original). And the "YA" part is way off the mark indeed.

Patrick said...

Larry: It's no BS card, at least not where I'm standing. When a book is juvenile in tone and/or style, my label for it remains YA.

Ask R. A. Salvatore if he writes for teens, and he'll surely reply that he doesn't. And yet, I have yet read anything "grown up" from him.

I'm not saying that Sapkowski was aiming these stories at teens. But the juvenile dialogues, for me at least, put him in the YA category. I'm pretty sure that additional Witcher novels might make me want to reconsider, but based on The Last Wish alone, without the benefit of knowing the entire story that will follow, if this was a debut by an unknown author, I would say it's YA. It's a personal thing, and I don't expect everyone to agree with me. Case in point, most people don't.:-)

Also, I referred to the book as a sword and sorcery tale, not hack-and-slash. Hack-and-slash is the bastard son of the sword and sorcery subgenre, after all. It did make me think about various FR and Dragonlance titles I've read over the year, which is why I included the bit about media tie-in fiction.

Some appear to find it hard to countenance, but I was extremely underwhelmed by The Last Wish. That's just the way love goes, guys. I'll read the sequel, and we'll see if there's an improvement in quality that will entice me to read the rest. If not, I'm convinced that it won't stop other SFF fans from reading and enjoying Sapkowski's work...

To be perfectly honest, if this had not been Sapkowski's The Last Wish, I would probably have given up before the end. I'm glad I finished the novel, even though I was particularly disappointed by a work which has garnered so much praise. I think that reading Lukyanenko's The Day Watch at the same time (which was awesome) just made me realize that so much was lacking from The Last Wish...

I wanted to like it, but it didn't happen. I can live that, and so should you.;-)

Larry said...

There you go again, throwing out "juvenile" this and "YA" that, but where's the evidence? You're the lawyer here - what evidence can you provide to prove that assertation? How can a passage such as this be "juvenile" and not something that expresses an implied condemnation:

"Stregobor," said Geralt, "that's the way of the world. One sees all sorts of things when one travels. Two peasants kill each other over a field which, the following day, will be trampled flat by two counts and their retinues trying to kill each other off. Men hang from trees at the roadside, brigands slash merchants' throats. At every step in town you trip over corpses in the gutters. In palaces they stab each other with daggers, and somebody falls under the table at a banquet every minute, blue from poisoning. I'm used to it." (p. 82, Gollancz edition)

I've read quite a bit of juvenile/YA literature in the past, but I don't recall such a world-view being included in the stories that I've read. While it's not as explicitly "dark" or "gritty" (much as I hate that damn term) as certain books being published today, it is not a "light" subject matter and it certainly was not something targeted to a younger audience.

So while you might argue otherwise, what evidence do you have to support your case? That's the question here that I have. I'm perfectly fine with you not liking the stories all that much; that's not the issue here. Rather, it's that of the terminology employed. That's what's baffling me here.

Patrick said...

Larry, I'm not going to get into a debate over semantics. I didn't do it for Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword, so I won't do it now.

Overall, I found the tone of The Last Wish rather juvenile (similar to a majority of tie-in fiction), which is why I used the YA label.

Grit and violence have nothing to do with it. While the subject matter might not always be "light," I found that the execution throughout the book remained "fantasy lite."

If you want deep and thoughtful, look elsewhere. Ekaterina Sedia and Sergei Lukyanenko are two recent authors I've read who fit that description.

But I'm not going to convince you, and you won't make me change my opinion, so why bitch over nothing like this?

Larry said...

I'm not bitching, Pat, it's more like musing. Sorry if the tone came across as being more aggressive than what I intended. It's just frustrating to seeing labels used that don't seem to fit, with no explanations, that's all.

As for the review suggestions, you know that I already reviewed Sedia's book months ago and I might have done one for Lukyanenko last summer, so I'm very familiar with their very different styles. I just happen to prefer Sapkowski's writing style (in translation) over Lukyanenko's (also in translation, as I can't - yet - read either Polish or Russian), but you mention three very different books there - what's the connection? Think deep, man! :P

And on a completely different note, seems that my little posts from a month ago are stirring up stuff in other dusty internet corners. Amazing, the circle of life, huh? ;)

Roland said...

Having just finished the book, I must say I find both sides of this argument a bit wrong. As a matter of fact, I think the core of the problem is that the stories in "The Last Wish" are neither on the same literary level, nor with the same theme. So yes, I'd even go as far as dubbing some of them YA (the "Beauty and the Beast" story for example), but most of them aren't.

And if I see a problem in Pat's review, it is that he seems to have based his entire opinion on the earlier and less well written stories which are, in my view, a minority in the book.

Merlkir said...

I'm curious about what you'll think of the Blood of the Elves. When I was 16 or so, dad gave me Sapkowski's books and told me to read them. I did and I was stunned. Reading Conan and LOTR and such so far I was surprised it felt fantasy and real at the same time. Sapkowski is for me one of the columns of fantasy. I always thought the short stories were better than the saga. Now that I've read it all again 5 or 6 years later I'm not sure.
The short stories present a message. Messages to be precise. People present Sapkowski as a fantasy writer, but he himself wrote an excellent article "There is no gold in the Grey mountains" about cliche and ripping off in fantasy. For me used to Conan and LOTR his real gritty stories were a shock. He gave me things to think about. Racism, politics, the nature and background of fairy tales....

The saga is different. It has a story, not a very complicated at first, I think it was written continually without a plan. As such, I found the ending a bit lame. But reading it now..I realized how it turned from a small story to a "save the world" adventure to almost biblical kind of redemption-seeking story for the main character. And it ends in the small scale again...I hope people don't consider this a spoiler ;)
So yes, the saga delivers development of Geralt's character. In the short stories he seems to be the same cynical lone wolf witcher. In the saga he changes. Because of what/whom...that's what the books are about ;)
The side characters get quite interesting. And I always loved humor in the witcher books. I can't believe you think it's similar to Salvatore's books...but, hey different people/tastes ;)

Someone mentioned the fights...I was very impressed by the fight descriptions when I read them back then. Now I think I know some stuff about swordfighting and it just doesn't make sense if you interpret literally ;) But hey, it's not our world, maybe they call different moves like we do other moves. Wouldn't be the first time this happened, even in RL.

Summary: I'm waiting for the BotE review, really. I don't understand why they don't release the other short stories book...A smart thing would be to release BOTH! :)

Merlkir said...

as Lukyaněnko was mentioned, I'll comment that as well. He (imho) is the same case as Sapkowski. They comment the real world and people think it's SF/fantasy. Characters in their books get drunk all the time, they eat good food, they like to relax. And talk. These dialogs ("almost read like a movie script". exactly ;) that's the point) are the core parts for me, the "truth" is revealed there. Every conversation with the most awesome dwarves Zoltach Chivay and Yarpen Zigrin is ten times more important than 100 swings of Geralt's sword. Every time Anton has a beer with his boss or Zavulon it's more important and interesting than when he's throwing spells all over the place...

Anonymous said...

This review is rather shallow and misleading, to say the least. Patt should give at least some examples to aid his thesis... or give up reviewing books, for reader's sake.
And RA Salvatore and YA parts make me wonder if he had ever read this book.

Gladi said...

Good day
Sorry for the exceedingly late comment, but...
Well tastes differ, but The Blade Itself? The one with Young but Talented Fop, The Grizzled Bear, The Broken Hero, The Wild Woman, The Bumbling Aprentice...?

Daniel said...

Quote "Larry, you seem to be arguing for the kind of book review that one reads in the newspapers. The kind with lengthy in depth analysis of the author's history, the books genesis and symbolism, or whatever, the kind of review that drones on and on and on in excruciating, boring detail the point of most of which has been lost by the time we thankfully get to the end. The kind of review that I don't read. Yeah, you're right, Pat didn't write that kind of review."

Funny these are the only reviews I find worth reading. If you can't back up what you say with facts and evidence than why should I believe what you say? Intellectualism is never a bad thing. I am only halfway through this book. Just read the devil story but I have to say that I like it. Lesser evil was very well written and thought provoking as was the devil story. I don't know what part of history in Poland it refers to but it made me think of the Native Americans.

I am going to be writing my own review of it at some point I believe I will link to it here when I do.

Anonymous said...

Pat i think the last wish was too subtle and surpassed you.
this book is not the typicall fantsy, you can't compare it to eriksson, salvatore or even martin. mayby martin is better as breaking fantasy patterns fantasy book, but sapkowski is just better literature.

ShatteredHand said...

Dear Author and Posters,

I am currently in the process of writing a paper which compares the translation and the original.

I'll address the relation between the two (or not, depending on how much time I have) in depth when I'm done, but for now
I can only say that a lot has been lost. Unfortunately, it was rather unavoidable, or at least that's what I think.

Ribbana said...

Wow. So I'm not the only one to write a paper about it (actually it's a BA thesis).
I'd appreciate any comments that concern the style of book (the style of the author), the language, the humour... Anything that would help me to compare the translation with the original.
I agree with ShatterHand that a lot has been lost. But I'm curious how you, the native speakers of English, perceive this book... but in more linguistic way.

Anonymous said...

I read all the series in the spanish translation an after reading this, how to say it, disappointing review I have to agree with what someone wrote bfr:

"Pat i think the last wish was too subtle and surpassed you.
this book is not the typical fantsy, you can't compare it to eriksson, or salvatore"

In a literary level, Sapkovsky can't be compared to those guys or 99% of the writers fantasy genre, either the translation to english is hideous, or Pat criteria is awful, or both..

Really disapointed

Mihai (Dark Wolf) said...

The interesting thing is that not only Andrzej Spakowski hits at the communist regime subtly, but also at the capitalism as well. At least at the few of their characteristics. I read "The Last Wish" a while back, but it still remains a truly fresh approach to the fantasy genre. It has a few tropes indeed, but they are hit from a new angle and perspective therefore work wonderfully for me. I believe that the translation of his works can improve the speculative fiction market.
There are a few Eastern European fairy tales and myths that receive a new perspective as well and that makes "The Last Wish", and "Blood of Elves" too, such an interesting book.