Perhaps the news of today has provided you with your fill of info on political corruption and racial inequality. If not and you enjoy an excellent fantasy read, you might want to check out the book series The Witcher, created by Andrzej Sapkowski. The storyline follows the exploits of Geralt of Rivia, an infamous monster hunter, as he travels through a high-fantasy world and attempts to defy destiny. The initial books in the series, The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny, are a collection of short stories, while the next five novels, Blood of Elves to Lady of the Lake, follow a more extended narrative.
Despite twenty-seven years since initial publication and its setting in a medieval high-fantasy world, The Witcher series is a surprisingly timely one, dealing with such issues as political corruption, racism, spirituality, sexuality, and one’s sense of identity and self-worth. The books contain moments that every high-fantasy fan can enjoy, from a prince attempting to seduce a mermaid to a fierce battle to end a vampire’s curse. Sapkowski’s writing draws inspiration from Eastern European folklore, upending traditional fantasy tropes with a dark sense of humour and an eye for intrigue. While often compared to the Song of Ice and Fire books, casual readers turned off by the often-confusing story structure in that series will find The Witcher series an easier read. Its stories are straightforward while also achieving a more profound moral complexity.
The entire collection is a relatively cheap buy on Amazon or any digital reading store. I highly recommended it to any fan of the fantasy genre, looking to fill their downtime with a good read. I would also recommend the video games and the Netflix series, but I encourage you to read the books first.
Jonah van Driesum is the senior editor of Link, and co-host of our the MicroLink podcast!