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Andrzej Sapkowski is the author of The Witcher, a series of six fantasy books and fifteen short tales. Geralt of Rivia, the titular “witcher,” is the protagonist of the series. “Witchers” are beast hunters that gain supernatural talents at an early age to confront wild creatures and monsters in Sapkowski’s writings. The Witcher began with the title short tale, which Sapkowski entered in a Fantastyka magazine competition in 1986, marking his debut as an author. Sapkowski wrote 14 more stories in response to fan demand before beginning a series of books in 1994. He authored one book a year until the fifth and last volume, The Witcher Saga, was published in 1999. Season of Storms, a standalone prequel book, was released in 2013.
In Poland and other Central and Eastern European nations, the novels have been regarded as having a cult following. As of December 2019, they had been translated into 37 languages and had sold over 15 million copies globally. They’ve also been adapted into a film (The Hexer), two television series (The Hexer and The Witcher), a video game trilogy (The Witcher, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), and a graphic novel series (The Witcher, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt). The video games have done even better, with over 50 million copies sold as of May 2020.
In 1985, Andrzej Sapkowski, a 38-year-old traveling fur salesman with an economics degree and a passion for fantasy literature, was a 38-year-old traveling fur salesman with an economics degree and a passion for fantasy literature. He opted to enter the Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine Fantastyka’s 30-page short story competition. He had to wait a year for the results after submitting “The Witcher” (1986), and he came in third place. Sapkowski believes his piece was the finest in the competition, but the jury placed it third since fantasy was still considered a children’s genre in Poland at the time. The response from readers, on the other hand, was enormously favorable, and Sapkowski responded by writing further stories in answer to their requests.
The first four stories of the witcher Geralt of Rivia were compiled by publisher Reporter in a short story anthology named The Witcher, which is currently out of print. It contains “The Road with No Return” (“Droga, z której si nie wraca”), a prequel to The Witcher stories that depicts Geralt’s future mother.
SuperNowa took over as publisher of the series and issued Sword of Destiny, the second short story collection, in 1992. Despite the fact that The Last Wish was released in 1993, it supplanted The Witcher as the first book since it contains all of the stories from the series save “The Road with No Return” (the only story without Geralt). Despite the fact that additional short stories have been added to The Last Wish, they are chronologically prior to those in Sword of Destiny.
Although “The Road with No Return” and “Something Ends, Something Begins” (“Co si koczy, co si zaczyna”), a wedding gift for Sapkowski’s friends, were later published in Something Ends, Something Begins (2000) and Maladie and Other Stories (Maladie I inne opowiadania, 2012), the other stories in these collections are unrelated to the series. These two novellas are included in some Polish editions of The Last Wish or Sword of Destiny.
Sapkowski chose to develop a fantasy saga after receiving excellent feedback on his short works. No one imagined a publisher would publish a fantasy novel by a Polish author, he stated. The first novel in The Witcher Saga, Blood of Elves, was released by SuperNowa in 1994.
The story revolves around Geralt of Rivia and Ciri, who are fated to meet. Ciri, the princess of a freshly conquered kingdom and a pawn in world politics, is trained as a witcher. In his attempts to protect her, Geralt gets swept up in a maelstrom of events.