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The Tale of Genji
Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler
She Rises
Kate Worsley
The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski This is a collection of short stories set in a fantasy world that feels like it could be any other. The computer game ‘The Witcher’ is in fact based on these books. I haven’t played that game because it won’t run on my computer, but it does feel remarkably similar to another popular fantasy role-playing-game – Skyrim only with decent storylines and proper characterisation.

The world is populated with monsters – vampires, werewolves and other fantasy people – witches, elves, dwarves who work in mines, etc. Nothing really out there or unique. The stories are basic, though well told re-telling’s of classic Grimm fairy tales – twisted but not quite as sinister.

The way the book is structured makes it quite interesting – although it is a collection of short stories, of course it is about the same character, the same world so they are all linked in that way. However, each main story is separated by a bit in between which links all the stories together. Effectively, the Witcher is looking back on past events of his life that lead up to his present.

I enjoyed it as it was quite fun and easy to read. The stories were slightly predictable but still interesting and occasionally laugh out loud funny.

The Last Wish is in fact a prequel to the main Witcher novel – Blood of Elves. However there is another collection of short stories that comes before this one which has not been translated into English from the Polish, and I have heard that some parts of Blood of Elves is not quite explained because of this missing instalment.

I hate this! Why miss whole books out? It’s like Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series – where they initially only published the books starting from book three! Now of course he’s proved massively popular they are going to publish the first two novels, starting with The Bat. I have been waiting for them to come to their senses before starting that series!

I want to read “Miecz przeznaczenia” before I move onto Blood of Elves. I don’t think I’m going to be learning Polish any time soon though. I hate reading books out of order, it’s all messed up and totally wrong.

I would be interested in seeing what this world and these characters would be like in a full length and developed novel. With short stories, which was all in all quite an interesting way to introduce a character, there was little by the means of world building. Things were hinted at which I am sure will play a larger part in Blood of Elves. I’d definitely be interested in carrying on with this series, but I will wait a while in vain hope that the publisher comes to its senses and publishes the missing book!!