Netflix recently put out some new promotion for the new Witcher series coming later this year. The images really got me excited for the show as a fan of the games. Naturally, I now want to pick up the books and see how The Witcher Saga began! That being said, I wasn’t sure where to start so after some research I decided to put together a post to help others who also want to read the novels. Here is a run down of how to read The Witcher Saga:
The Witcher Series is made up of two short story collections and five novels. The short story collections introduce many of our favourite characters and include a lot of necessary world building. The novels that follow tell the story of Geralt and Ciri!
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If you’re new to The Witcher books, where should you start?
It is recommended to start with the short stories that were published later on. This enables you to read the story in chronological order of how things happen. This is especially helpful for people who are very new to the Witcher world. The short stories introduce key characters before delving into the core of the tale.
You’ll want to start with The Last Wish for the following reasons: While it was published later on, it features stories set before the first full-length book and establishes the Continent as a backdrop. It also introduces the reader to Geralt. The main character. And the basics of what a witcher is and what one does. You’ll read all about Geralt fighting beasts, participating in bar room fights and his titillating bedroom escapades. (no pun intended)
Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. He roams the country seeking assignments, but gradually comes to realise that while some of his quarry are unremittingly vile, vicious grotesques, others are the victims of sin, evil or simple naivety.
The second short story collection, Sword of Destiny, must follow because it’s here we meet Ciri and each story takes place directly before the main novels.
What is the reading order of The Witcher books?
So, you’ve read the short stories and you’ve got a taste for Geralt and the Witcher world! So what now? Thus far you have discovered more about the world, its inhabitants, the wars between human, dwarves and elves. Now you are ready to sink your teeth into the proper saga. Here is the chronological order of the five main novels:
- Blood of Elves
- Time of Contempt
- Baptism of Fire
- The Tower of Swallows
- Lady of the Lake
- Season of Storms
Seasons of Storms is the newest addition released in 2018. It is not a sequel to the original Witcher Saga, but rather is set between the short stories in the first book in the series, The Last Wish. If you want to experience everything The Witcher has to offer this book is a great addition. However, the events that take place are not integral to the main series. It does sow some seeds of what’s to come in the rest of the series though. Whether you read this before the main series or after, is down to personal taste. Personally, to ensure I avoid spoilers I will probably read it last.
There you have it! I hope some of you found this guide helpful! Have you read these books? If so what did you think of them?