I have a friend that has been a massive fan of The Witcher for years. He always gave me shit for never reading the books, even though I love The Witcher 3 video game and also really dug the Netflix television show. So to appease him and because I actually wanted to read these anyway, I finally picked the books up in a fancy box set, which I got for a pretty awesome price.
This book in the series is the first of three prequels before the five-part regular book series starts. I figured I’d start with the prequels, as that’s the recommended reading order and because these stories are also familiar to me, as many of the short stories in this first volume were used as the basis of many of the first season episodes on the Netflix show.
I really liked reading these original versions of the tales. They exceeded what I thought they would be and I certainly enjoyed the deeper context and understanding the lore on a more intimate level.
I also kind of liked all the homages to classic fairytales that were thrown in, which the television show sort of ignores. I had no idea that the Renfri character was essentially Snow White. There are also homages to Beauty & the Beast and Cinderella in this collection.
There wasn’t a boring or dull short story in this book. Frankly, it was entertaining and I had a hard time putting it down. I blew through it in two sittings, which is pretty unheard of for me with my normal schedule.
That being said, I can’t wait to jump into the second and third prequel books and then the regular series.
Pairs well with: the other Witcher books, comics and television shows.