When Polish writer Andrej Sapkowski wrote The Witcher for a magazine back in the 80s as a short story, he never even imagined that his creation would go on to spawn a universally acclaimed video game series and one of the most popular TV shows in the fantasy genre.
It’s true; the new live-action adaptation of The Witcher is the talk of the town, and literally everyone, from the voice actor who worked on the video games to Sapkowski himself, seems to appreciate the series for its stellar production values and talented cast members. As such, the novels on which it’s based have also come to prominence and attention.
While the new series by Netflix has confused a lot of fans in regards to narrative structure and convoluted timelines, the source material is also difficult to wrap your head around if you’re uninitiated to the world of the Continent. In fact, Sapkowski usually goes back and forth between different plot threads, which makes the process of reading the series a bit troublesome for those who’re looking for a straight line to follow. So, for those still wondering, this is how you should read the books in chronological order:
- The Last Wish
- Sword of Destiny
- Season of Storms
- Blood of Elves
- Time of Contempt
- Baptism of Fire
- The Tower of the Swallow
- The Lade of the Lake
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The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are short story collections that introduce readers to the tale of Geralt and his company of sorceresses and unconventional individuals. These two books were adapted for the first season of the new show. As for the rest, Season of Storms was released in 2013, but it’s actually set between the events of the first book. The rest of the novels, from Blood of Elves to The Lade of the Lake are the official saga that tell the tale of the lonesome Witcher and his child of destiny.
Just note that if you read past Sword of Destiny, you’ll be ahead of the TV show. But for fans who can’t possibly wait a few years for The Witcher to return to Netflix, the saga will do just well to quench their thirst.