The Witcher Book Series – an Epic Dark Fantasy Saga

Jan 10, 2023 | Action & Adventure, Books, Fantasy | 0 comments

The Witcher book series by Andrzej Sapkowski is an epic fantasy saga that follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a mercenary who is part of a guild of hunters known as witches, who have developed supernatural abilities to battle beasts and slay monsters in return for coin.

The books are set in a world of magic and monsters, where Geralt must use his wit and strength to survive. The series is full of moral dilemmas and difficult choices that Geralt must make in order to survive.

The Conjunction of spheres

The witcher saga is set on an unnamed continent in a world where magic and mythical creatures and beasts exist.

The reason these creatures exist is because of a cataclysm known as the Conjunction of the spheres, which occurred thousands of years before the events in the novels and affected the numerous parallel realities of the multiverse.

Now in the book, this event is described as follows.

Imagine, dear reader, that our world is a ship sailing on a great sea. From its deck, we can see other distant vessels – those are the stars. These vessels each bear their own goods and their own crews. They usually pass us at some distance, barely visible specks, even views through a spyglass. Once every few thousand years, however, a storm breaks above this cosmic sea, a storm so strong it tosses the ships towards one another, making them sail cheek-by-jowl. Part of the crew of one ship can, at such times, move to another, and some of the cargo from one ship’s hold can spill onto a neighboring vessel. When the weather calms, the ships separate once again and sail their separate, invariably different ways.

This explains how these magical beasts, such as ghouls, goblins, hellhounds, and basilisks, came into this world along with a mysterious force called magic.

Now, before even humans arrived, this world was inhabited by a few other races, such as gnomes, dwarves, and elves. Unable to manipulate the forces of magic and with little preparation to fight monsters that came through the Conjunction of the different realms, the gnomes, dwarves, elves, and many other races were plunged into a strange, dangerous, and uncertain age.

It was during this age when humans first appeared.

The Witchers

Image from witcher fandom

As humans settled in the northern part of the Continent, they had to deal with a vast array of monsters that inhabited the land, which humans were poorly equipped to deal with. To fix this, the Northern rulers tasked their mages to create magic-wielding warriors to deal with the monsters for them. As a result, the mages carried out experiments, and the first witcher was created.

witcher is someone who has undergone extensive training, ruthless mental and physical conditioning, and mysterious rituals in preparation for becoming an itinerant monster slayer for hire.

Despite this, witchers are often outcasts, viewed as strange and freakish creatures due to their mutations and enhanced abilities. 

Often children given away or sold at a young age, they are trained in swordsmanship, hunting, and potion making, before finally facing the Trial of Grasses; while the word ‘grasses’ may conjure images of quiet fields or green pastures, the trial instead entails that the witcher-to-be absorb a potion (made of a virus and various other elements) in order to gain an extended life expectancy and enhanced abilities. The trial is, naturally, extremely painful and usually ends in death. For those that survive, however, even more, hardships await. Several other trials are required before one can become a true witcher, and even then, life rarely gets any easier.

Geralt of Rivia

Now witchers are known as mindless monster-killing machines. But Geralt is a little different than other witchers. He was even exposed to further mutation due to his unique tolerance for the Trial of Grasses. Geralt exists in a morally ambiguous universe yet manages to maintain his own rational code of ethics, which often leads to confrontation.

He is a simple yet complicated man and lives in the grey area between the world of humans and the world of monsters belonging to neither.

He is relatively complex in the books. In my opinion, he is someone who is looking for a way to belong in a world where he is hated and ostracized but also needed at the same time. You really could spend a long time analyzing his nuances and whatnot but suffice it to say that at times he can be quite self-righteous, but he is someone who will defend those in need. He can also be incredibly petulant and, at times, acts like a teenage boy wallowing in his own self-pity, and he is also very loyal to those who care about him.

Reading Experience

The writing and translation of the witcher books are effortlessly readable and engaging. The plot is engaging and fast-paced.

The world-building in the series is excellent. Sapkowski has created a rich and detailed world that is full of interesting creatures, cultures, and locations. The books also explore themes of morality, justice, and loyalty.

The book is about the journey Geralt takes to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. 

Well then, my dear readers, why are you waiting for? Be a part of an adventure where you have to fight and slay monsters. At the same time, stay true to your human side.

By the way, If you like to read quotes, I have pulled together some of the best quotes from the Percy Jackson series. You can read them here. Best Quotes from The Witcher.

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