the witcher books

Last updated on March 20th, 2020

First off, toss a coin to your Witcher, oh valley of readers. The Witcher TV series was arguably one of the best Netflix shows of 2019, not forgetting the blockbuster video game that has been around for a while and in demand. This has resulted in The Witcher books now becoming a big deal and it’s very important to know The Witcher book series order when it comes to reading.

It can be recalled that iconic monster hunter Geralt of Rivia was created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski for a short story in a magazine dating back to the mid-1980s. He emerged third best. After this, he proceeded to expand the stories of this ‘Continent’ setting in a fantasy book that has blown and become a phenomenon.

Although the TV series in which the role of Geralt of Rivia played by Henry Cavill was a little confusing, no thanks to the timeline mystery, one has to know the right order in which the Sapkowski novels should be read, as well as the short stories that were the inspiration behind them. All in all, one needs to know The Witcher reading order.

The books have been looked into based on the order in which they were published, the order in which they were released in the Continent’s chronology, as well as their rankings from best to worst based on Goodreads’ reader ratings. 

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The book series order explained

  • The Last Wish
  • Sword of Destiny
  • Season of Storms 
  • Blood of Elves
  • Time of Contempt
  • Baptism of Fire
  • The Tower of the Swallow
  • The Lady of the Lake

The Last Wish came with the first set of short stories in The Witcher universe and offered needed details on the introduction of Geralt of Rivia, singing bard Dandelion who was renamed Jaskier in the Netflix TV series, as well as powerful sorceresses Triss Merigold and Yennefer of Vengerberg.

it must be noted that the events which occurred in stories namely; The Witcher, A Question of Price, The Last Wish, The Lesser Evil, and The Edge of the World contribute to the basis of Geralt’s arc in the first season of the Netflix TV show. Folks got to meet the Striga, see the origin of the law of surprise that established Geralt’s connection with Princess Ciri, and learn how he became known as the butcher of the Blaviken.

It must be noted that the standalone Season of Storms was published after the five saga novels although the events of the book occurred in the same period as The Last Wish. Meanwhile, the stories in Sword of Destiny introduce the young Ciri.

The book’s final tale titled Something More highlights the fall of Cintra and serves as a prequel to the quintet of saga novels. It can be recalled that the fall of Cintra was a key event in the first episode of Netflix’s The Witcher TV show.

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The five sage novels are Blood of Elves, Time of Contempt, Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow and The Lady of the Lake. Although the first season of the Netflix TV show was adapted from the two short story collections, the second season will see the show go deep into the adaptation of The Witcher saga novels.

How to read The Witcher novels in release order

The Witcher books by Sapkowski was available in the 90s in his native Poland but rose to popularity after the English version of The Last Wish was published in 2007 and this was the year that the first Witcher video game was released. This provided the opportunity for English readers to read the books for the first time. The first two English releases were translated by Danusia Stok before David French took over the rest of the six.

We’ll be toeing the line of the Polish publication order. However, while Sword of Destiny was the first collection of The Witcher novels published in Poland, The Last Wish was the first release in England. The short story collections that were initially released were followed by five novels of the main Witcher saga namely; (Blood of Elves, Time of Contempt, Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, The Lady of the Lake), and standalone novel Season of Storms.

Short story collections:

  • Sword of Destiny (original Polish version: 1992/English: 2015) 
  • The Last Wish (Polish: 1993/English: 2007) 

The Saga:

  • Blood of Elves (Polish: 1994/English: 2008) 
  • Time of Contempt (Polish: 1995/English: 2013) 
  • Baptism of Fire (Polish: 1996/English: 2014)  
  • The Tower of the Swallow (Polish: 1997/English: 2016) 
  • The Lady of the Lake (Polish: 1999/English: 2017) 

Standalone novel

  • Season of Storms (Polish: 2013/English: 2018) 

Explanation of The Witcher comics

Understandably, a good number of the show’s fans may not have seen enough of the continent after watching the TV show by Netflix, even after reading the books and playing the games. However, with regards to storytelling, there are lots of Witcher stories out there that could provide more clarity. Dark Horse have played their part by publishing various Witcher comics and graphic novels.

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It must be noted that these versions were not written by Sapkowski and are available for sale from Dark Horse as standalone comics or collected together as graphic novels. They are mentioned below:

  • The Witcher: House of Glass (by Paul Tobin and Joe Querio, published 2014) 
  • The Witcher: Fox Children (by Paul Tobin and Joe Querio, published 2015) 
  • The Witcher: Curse of Crows (by Paul Tobin and Piotr Kowalski, published 2016-2017) 
  • The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame (by Aleksandra Motyka and Marianna Strychowska, published 2018-2019) 

The best Witcher novels

Reader rankings on Goodreads show that The Witcher books are very consistent in terms of quality. Meanwhile, Seasons of Storms which was published 14 years after the completion of the saga by Sapkowski comes last in the ratings. The five books that were translated by David French are rated higher than the two by Danusia Stok and this is a pointer that readers might have a preference for French’s style. Find below a breakdown of the ratings of The Witcher Novels on Goodreads.

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For folks who are at a loss on where to begin watching The Witcher book series. The above guide on The Witcher books series order, as well as The Witcher reading order, will suffice.

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