The first book in The Witcher
series by Andrzej Sapkowski, originally in Polish but translated to English after the game became popular
Consists of six short stories framed
by a seventh narration. While not an immediate part of "The Witcher Saga" (which spans books three through seven), it introduces most of its protagonists (Geralt, Yennifer, Dandelion) and foreshadows Ciri's origin story.
- The Voice of Reason. The Framing Story. While Geralt recuperates from his injuries at the Temple of Melitele, Head Priestess Nenneke makes him recount some of his adventures.
- The Witcher. A deconstruction of Save the Princess plots.
- A Grain of Truth. A gleeful deconstruction of "Beauty and the Beast".
- The Lesser Evil. An In Name Only deconstruction of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
- A Question of Price. A critical look at the fairy tales like "Rumpelstiltskin", where a supernatural being asks for "what you don't expect to find back home".
- The Edge of the World. A deconstruction of Our Elves Are Better, among other things.
- The Last Wish. A deconstruction of "Aladdin".
As you may have noticed, the book is mainly a Deconstructor Fleet
of classical Fairy Tales
Tropes found in the book:
- The Butcher of Blaviken: Geralt in The Lesser Evil.
- Anachronic Order: The Voice of Reason is set immediately after the The Witcher, which is chronologically the last adventure Geralt recalls. The rest seem to follow each other, though.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: averted with Princess Adda in The Witcher, who was the result of an incestuous affair between the King and his sister and spends the first fourteen years of her life as a striga, and again in Lesser Evil, which features a sociopathic leader of a warband, who happens to be a princess by birth.
- Fractured Fairy Tale
- Nonindicative Title: More like, deliberately misleading (both in original Polish and English translation). "The Last Wish" refers not to a Last Request but to the last remaining (out of three) wish a genie owed to Geralt.
- Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: One of the arguments why Renfri is not some kind of mutant - the Black Sun prophecy claims "sixty women in crowns of gold, which will fill the rivers with blood". It's obviously not a proper prophecy, as Geralt points out, it doesn't rhyme.
- Riddle for the Ages: Just what exactly Geralt wished for with his last wish?
- You can figure it out: Geralt wished he and Yennefer have a child. That fits "binding their destinies" trick so the genie can't kill Yennefer once set free, and explains the appearance of Ciri in their lives.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Hiring Geralt to kill the boyfriend of a latent sorceress Pavetta was a bad idea.
- Yandere: The Bruxa in A Grain of Truth