I watched the Netflix series and, while it took a bit of time to really get into it, I ended up enjoying it and am looking forward to the second season (whenever we can get it). I decided I should check out the books, as well, since it looks like it will be a while before things get back into production for everyone.
I picked The Last Wish because that is the one that the series was essentially based on. This one is a series of short stories relating past adventures with interconnecting bridges of present (for Geralt) time interspersed. Once I started reading and realized what was going on, much of what happened in the TV series made more sense. I see where the TV series tried to do the same thing, but it was done far better in the book. I was confused a lot watching because it wasn’t always clear when we had segued to a flashback. In the book, it is very clear. It made more sense.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. There were differences, of course, in both story and character. But nothing was so out of whack that I couldn’t reconcile it. The writing was good and the translation seemed decent. At least everything made sense. Geralt here is a bit harder and less likable (to an extent) than as portrayed in the show, but that, I am sure, was for audience engagement, especially for those who were not familiar with the books. It’s hard to comment too much on the plotlines of the stories themselves as I knew most of them from watching the show, but they flowed well and where things were left out of scripts, they made sense in the book.
The narration was a bit tough in spots. It is narrated by Peter Kenny, and I found some of the accents he chose for characters hard to understand at times. Pacing was good, and the action described well.
If you have seen the TV adaptation, you should still appreciate the book, and if you haven’t and plan on bingeing it at some point, the book will prepare you for the show. Just be aware in either case, as with all adaptations, it’s not word for word.
Need something to read during this time of sheltering? Through May 31, my first novel, Circle Unbroken, is free at Smashwords.