With the second season of The Witcher out on Netflix, I wanted to review the story via the original format, albeit a translated version. While I knew that The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski is a prequel to The Witcher Saga, I was not aware that it is a collection of stories. Nor did I expect the first season to follow those stories so closely.
My lack of awareness doesn’t mean that I failed to enjoy the book. In fact, it was the refresher I needed except it is missing almost all of Cirilla’s story, and we only briefly meet Yennifer. The stories are still interesting even if you know what is going to happen. Plus, Geralt is such a mysterious and complicated character that any story about him is a chance to unravel the mystery just a bit more.
Still, I wanted more backstory to wrap my head around the geography and the relationships between all of the little towns and villages Geralt visits. I wanted new stories to pique my interest. Sadly, I did not get either of these things.
What I did get, besides a repeat of half of the first season of the Netflix series, is a different version of Geralt. Patrick Kenny’s version doesn’t have the same amount of polish that Henry Cavill’s version does. Mr. Kenny’s version is very much blue-collared and peasant in his accent and attitude. Plus, there is a serious lack of grunts and “hmmm” from Mr. Kenny. I missed that.
One of the more amusing things I did get is that Geralt’s troubadour sidekick in the book is not Jaskier. Instead, his sidekick’s name is Dandelion. Even though Mr. Kenny does not pronounce it like the flower/weed, it made me chuckle every time he mentioned the name. While I do love Jaskier, I feel like I would love Dandelion even more.
Just because I didn’t get exactly what I hoped out of the audiobook, I do think I will continue listening to the series. I still feel like I have a lot more to learn about Geralt, Ciri, and the rest (and this is without having yet seen season two). After all, you know I love a good fantasy series. Plus, it means more Dandelion, and that brings me enough joy on its own.