The Last Wish

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The Last Wish is first book in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, originally written in Polish but translated to English after the game became popular.

The book consists of six short stories framed by a seventh narration. While not an immediate part of "The Witcher Saga" (which spans books three through seven), it introduces most of its protagonists (Geralt, Yennifer, Dandelion) and foreshadows Ciri's origin story.

  • The Voice of Reason. The Framing Story. While Geralt recuperates from his injuries at the Temple of Melitele, Head Priestess Nenneke makes him retell some of his adventures.
  • The Witcher. A deconstruction of Save the Princess plots.
  • A Grain of Truth. A gleeful deconstruction of "Beauty and The Beast".
  • The Lesser Evil. An In Name Only deconstruction of "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs".
  • A Question of Price. A critical look at the fairy tales like "Rumpelstiltskin", where a supernatural being asks for "what you don't expect to find back home".
  • The Edge of the World. A deconstruction of Our Elves Are Better, among other things.
  • The Last Wish. A deconstruction of "Aladdin".

As you may have noticed, the book is mainly a Deconstructor Fleet of classical Fairy Tales.

Tropes used in The Last Wish include:
  • Anachronic Order: The Voice of Reason is set immediately after the The Witcher, which is chronologically the last adventure Geralt recalls. The rest seem to follow each other, though.
  • The Butcher of Blaviken: Geralt in The Lesser Evil.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: averted with Princess Adda in The Witcher, who was the result of an incestuous affair between the King and his sister and spends the first fourteen years of her life as a striga, and again in Lesser Evil, which features a sociopathic leader of a warband, who happens to be a princess by birth.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale
  • Non Indicative Title: More like, deliberately misleading (both in original Polish and English translation). "The Last Wish" refers not to a Last Request but to the last remaining (out of three) wish a genie owed to Geralt.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: One of the arguments why Renfri is not some kind of mutant - the Black Sun prophecy claims "sixty women in crowns of gold, which will fill the rivers with blood". It's obviously not a proper prophecy, as Geralt points out, it doesn't rhyme.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Just what exactly Geralt wished for with his last wish?
  • Shout-Out: The local landowner invites the protagonist to hunt some hedgehog monster, but the contractor-to-be instead makes a deal with another party who wants the hedgehog alive? Hmm. Duny, Urcheon of Erlenwald may be inspired by Jozin z Bazin, very popular in Poland for a while.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Hiring Geralt to kill the boyfriend of a latent sorceress Pavetta was a bad idea.
  • Yandere: The Bruxa in A Grain of Truth