By Umut Akkepenek
In a review of “The Witcher,” an anonymous critic once said, “Verily, there is nothing so hideous as the monsters, so contrary to nature, known as witchers, for they are the offspring of foul sorcery and devilry. They are rogues without virtue, conscience or scruple, true diabolic creations, fit only for killing. There is no place amidst honest men such as they.”
“The Witcher” is a series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The first book in the series was published in 1992. The books follow the story of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher by profession and womanizer and philosopher in his free time.
The series takes place in a fictional world where sorcery and monsters are commonplace. People known as “Witchers” are monster slayers who have gone through mutations as children to enhance their senses and physical abilities. They are hired by villagers, kings and anyone who can afford to pay for their services when they are in need of killing a monster that is plaguing their town. Although their specialty is killing monsters, they are often called upon to solve problems involving humans, due to their unmatched ability with a sword.
The first two books of the series, “The Last Wish” and “The Sword of Destiny,” are collections of short stories that introduce many of the major locations and important characters that show up throughout the rest of the series.
What makes Geralt such an interesting protagonist is the inner conflict that he has with following the Witcher code versus doing what he thinks is right. Time and time again, he is pulled into circumstances that force him to play a hand in the grand scheme of destiny. Although he tries to deny destiny, he is forced upon taking responsibility of a girl named Ciri, a child of elder blood.
“The Witcher” books have been adapted into a video game which is considered by many to be one of the best games of all time, having sold over 33 million copies worldwide. There is also a Netflix show in production set to air next year, which is sure to increase the popularity of the series even more. I highly recommend the books to anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre. Especially if you want to acquire background knowledge of the lore before everybody else hops on the bandwagon when the show airs.