The Witcher trilogy from CD Projekt Red is regarded as one of the greatest series of all time. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, in particular, was lauded by critics and picked up various Game of the Year accolades.
Why Should Players of The Witcher Games Read the Books?
The hugely successful games were based on a series of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The digital offerings were commercial hits but the books themselves failed to gain massive global attention until recently.
Anyone who played the games will enjoy these titles, as they added a great amount of depth and detail to the Continent and the characters within the fantasy realm.
Plenty of Ways to Access the Witcher Books
When the games were released, Sapkowski’s books still didn’t get the recognition they deserved. They have recently attracted greater attention. This is because of the Netflix adaptation, which has stayed closer to the source material than the games did.
The release of The Witcher on the streaming platform also coincided with a huge spike in readers around the globe. Indeed, as PIA’s blog piece shows, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of readers in the USA in 2020.
This was helped by celebrity influencers like Reese Witherspoon, along with daytime talk shows that promoted reading.
Many of these new readers will have gone in search of books that are trending in popular culture, with the Witcher series buoyed by the success of the show. There are loads of ways to access these, with the eBook format being a prevalent option.
The titles are available as audiobooks, with excellent narration from Peter Kenny. In addition to these formats, there are physical books with stunning artwork.
What’s the Best Way to Get Into the Witcher Books?
There are numerous books in the Witcher series, but it’s hugely important that readers consume them in order. Indeed, if you pick up one of the later novels before reading the earlier ones, you won’t have a clue what’s going on.
Arguably, you could start the novels without having read the short stories first. However, you have a better sense of the characters and the world if you start at the beginning. The Fantasy Review highlights how reading from this point helps you to get a full understanding of the characters.
That’s why it’s best to begin with The Last Wish, published in 1993, a collection of short stories that read like separate quests from The Witcher games.
For example, there was a side quest in Wild Hunt that served as a continuation of The Last Wish story. This was also adapted into an episode of the Netflix series.
The other short story collection, Sword of Destiny, was released in 1992, one year before The Last Wish. The events within it happen after the latter so it’s best to read this one second. This collection was even better than the first set of short stories, and Grimdark Magazine noted how it builds upon some of the stories from its predecessor.
After reading the short stories, it’s then the perfect time to start on the main novels. These began with Blood of Elves in 1994, and ended with The Lady of the Lake in 1999.
By discovering the Witcher books, gamers will encounter many of the characters they grew to love in the games. They provide more depth and detail about some of them, especially the likes of Regis, who only showed up in the Blood and Wine expansion of the final game.