The Witcher - (1986 - 2013)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski.
Finally, I finished the Witcher books saga! (8 books)
Not all the books are great but some of them are, and I could feel the author maturing as the series evolved.
What I really like about The Witcher is the world building, and the tension between magic and science.
The books are set in a different dimension that is very similar to late medieval east Europe. And as someone who lives in east Europe, I could imagine it vividly in my mind. It was a wonderful fantasy with colors we usually don't see in contemporary fantasy books.
The writing style of Andrzej Sapkowski is rich; I love the way he describes things, the way he gives unique voices to characters and his mature humor.
The world in which The Witcher sets is a complicated one, and that was one of the problems with the TV series (it's too much for contemporary western television). But after investing some time in learning the map and factions, it's very rewarding to continue the journey.
The computer games are better adaptations because in games, there is neutrally more space for lore.
On first impression, The Witcher can feel like a copy-cat of the Lord of The Rings, because of the different races (elves, halfling, dwarfs, etc.) but I think what really differentiate it from other "high fantasy" works is the tension between magic and science: It's a little strange at the beginning when the characters are talking about topic such as genetics, astronomy chemistry, etc. But it grew on me, and I find it fascinating that the author was able to capture a moment in history when scientific discoveries and technology were seen as magic. It gives the whole experience of reading The Witcher a unique and refreshing tone I’ve never experienced in other books.
Verdict: 4.5 / 5 ★ - mostly excellent!