The Last Wish is a series of connected short stories that recount the adventures of a Witcher named Geralt. Told in third-person omniscient PoV, these tales take traditional fantasy adventure motifs and play with them in a parodical fashion on occasion. Highly recommended for those who like a mixture of humor and depth to their stories, especially to those who like Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett.
Geralt is a somewhat conflicted character, fighting against the standards of his upbringing and his own moral impulses, and the choices he makes result in poignant and realistic stories. He's not the typical nihilistic douchebag character that many modern medieval/fantasy writers like to use to pretend to be 'deep' or morally ambiguous (Cornwell!). Rather, Geralt is dealing with a world where the ideals he's set for himself are becoming less and less applicable, and telling the difference between human and nonhuman monsters is difficult. But it's not heavy-handed philosophy- the situations he encounters invariably involve some sweet action where he uses his brains as well as his swords to slice up baddies. And when he wins without fighting I didn't feel cheated or that it was some Kumbaya preaching. There were some points, like in the bar in Wyzim, where I felt he was unnecessarily violent, and it seemed a bit gratuitous or a cheap device to move the plot. But these are I believe the first of the Witcher's stories, so they can be forgiven for being a little inconsistent. The sensibilities of the stories could only have emerged, I think, from a place like Poland, which has until only recently suffered some of the worst manifestations of 'human' ugliness and has more than theoretical or philosophical acquaintance with it. Geralt is an extremely rich and fascinating character, and I look forward to the English translations of the rest of Sapkowski's stories. (Amazon Review)