The Witcher was first introduced to us nearly thirty years ago by renowned Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Through Sapkowski’s stories, readers follow the main protagonist Geralt of Rivia on his many adventures in the magical fantasy world known as ‘the Continent’.
The Witcher narrative revolves around Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with supernatural powers, and his many adventures in the magical world of the Continent, alongside a cast of curious characters who include the mysterious sorceress Yennefer, seductive bard Triss Merigold, and Ciri, who takes on a role as Geralt’s surrogate daughter.
Today, The Witcher has been adapted into multiple mediums, such as books, comic books, and video games, making it an immensely popular franchise all around the world.
To truly appreciate this spectacular series, it’s important to understand what comes when -read on for the ultimate guide for the best Witcher book order!
About The Witcher
The Witcher book series consists of eight novels and two collections of short stories. The books are written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and were originally published in Polish between 1993 and 1999.
The narrative of the Witcher follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with supernatural powers, and his many companions in the magical world of the Continent.
He begins his journey determined to focus solely on the monsters that are his duty to slay, but he soon finds himself embroiled in a political conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard – two opposing forces who are vying for control of the Continent.
The Witcher Books In Order
Though the second book to be published, The Last Wish is actually the first book in the Witcher series, and this introduces us to Geralt of Rivia, the main protagonist.
It is a collection of six short stories that chronicle Geralt’s adventures as he battles monsters and attempts to find his place in the world, and is designed to give readers an introduction to the world of The Witcher.
- Great introduction to the world of the Witcher, including the games
- Offers a brief insight to get to know Geralt’s character
- Gritty, engaging narrative
- Not necessarily needed to read the rest of the books
The second book in the series, Sword of Destiny, was actually the first to be published, though its contents and narrative are considered to follow on from those of The Last Wish, placing this as the second book in the series.
Once again, the narrative consists of a series of six short stories, and these play a key role in introducing characters who will become integral to the story in later novels – this is also very useful for fans of the Witcher 3 video game (for more video game books, read here).
- Introduces the story of Geralt and Ciri – perfect for fans of the game.
- Explores the political conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard
- Introduces new characters and creatures who will be important later on
- Not as engaging as The Last Wish – this novel does rely heavily on pay-off in later novels
The third book in the series, Blood of Elves, follows on from the events of Sword of Destiny and sees Geralt take on the role of Ciri’s mentor and protector as she learns to control her powers.
The novel also tells us more about Yennefer, a powerful sorceress introduced in The Last Wish, who becomes a key ally in Geralt’s quest to protect Ciri, tutoring and schooling her in the magical arts.
The main plot of the novel focuses on the political conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard, as well as Geralt’s attempts to protect Ciri from those who would use her powers for their own gain.
Ciri has been forced to flee her home to escape the clutches of the Nilfgaardian Empire, and Geralt must help her find a safe haven.
- Explores the political conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard in more detail
- Expands on Yennefer and the Lodge of Sorceresses
- Explores Ciri’s character development as she learns to control her powers
- Some readers claim that this installment is not as action-packed as the previous books in the series
The fourth book in the series, Time of Contempt, picks up the actions right after the end of Blood of Elves and starts with the monarchs of the Northern Kingdoms secretly plotting and preparing for war with the Nilfgaardians, while the Nilfgaard are also plotting their own form of revenge.
Geralt is consumed with trying to identify the name and identity of the mage hunting Ciri, while Ciri herself is being trained in the art of magic by Yennefer, in an attempt to protect her.
The novel also introduces us to a new character, Regis, a powerful vampire who is determined to help Geralt protect Ciri.
The novel continues to focus largely on Geralt and his allies as they attempt to uncover the identity of the mage hunting Ciri, while also dealing with the political conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard, cultivating in a battle that leaves Ciri disoriented in the desert, and leads to the uncovering and revelations of secrets and prophecies.
- Introduces new characters to the narrative
- Really builds on the world and the action
- Reveals secrets and prophecies which shape the story of Geralt and Ciri
- Some readers find this installment to be a bit slower-paced than the previous books
The fifth book in the series, Baptism of Fire, follows on from the events of Time of Contempt and sees Geralt and Ciri struggling to survive in a world that is on the brink of war.
The novel opens with Geraly recovering in the Brokilon forest, intent on his quest to find and save Ciri.
Ciri, in the meantime, has settled into a new life – but is being plagued with a series of mysterious dreams featuring the elusive Black Rider.
Geralt teams up with Dandelion and his team and makes a perilous journey to save the woman he considered to be a daughter.
- Some great world-building as the darkness starts to grow
- Characters have a chance to really slow down and connect with one another
- Not much action takes place compared to other books
The Tower of Swallows is the sixth installment in the franchise and starts with the discovery of an injured girl in a swamp.
She tells the philosopher Vyssogta her story – a story of Ciri, who had been battling and fighting until being captured by Leo Bonhart.
Vysogota takes care of Ciri until she is healed, and she shares her story with him as she grows stronger, convinced that both Yennefer and Geralt have been killed.
Meanwhile, Geralt is still trying to track Ciri down, encountering druids and an elf named Avallach’h who has important information about Ciri, leading Geralt and Yennefer to try and track down her hiding place.
- Offers a chance to really focus on Ciri and her story
- Geralt is not featured as prominently as in previous stories.
The seventh and final book in the series, The Lady Of The Lake, follows on from the events of The Tower Of The Swallow and starts with Ciri being trapped in another realm ruled by the elves, who have their own plans and ideas for her future.
Geralt and Yennefer are determined to find Ciri and enlist the help of a powerful sorceress, who reveals that Ciri is in the hands of the Lady Of The Lake.
Geralt and Yennefer set out on a quest to rescue her, encountering many obstacles along the way.
The novel culminates in an epic battle between Geralt and his allies against their enemies, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
- Epic conclusion to the series
- Great action and adventure
- Some readers find it a bit too long-winded.
It is worth taking a moment to mention another novel in the Witcher series – the prequel, Season of Storms.
This novel is set within the events of The Last Wish, offering readers a chance to explore more of the world and characters before the main story arc begins.
- Offers an insight into Geralt’s past
- Explores more of the Witcher universe
- Not essential to the main story arc.
The Witcher book series is a great read for fans of fantasy and adventure. The books follow Geralt’s journey as he searches for Ciri, encountering many obstacles and challenges as he battles to reach his goal.
By enjoying the books in the order outlined above, you can get the most out of the series and enjoy a thrilling journey packed with monsters, adventure, and some truly wonderful characters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are The Witcher Books Connected?
Yes, the Witcher books are connected and form a single story arc. The books follow Geralt’s journey as he searches for Ciri, encountering many obstacles and challenges along the way.
Are The Witcher Books Suitable For Young Readers?
he Witcher books are aimed at an adult audience and contain some mature themes. As such, they may not be suitable for younger readers.
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