“The Witcher: Sword Of Destiny” Extract
The Witcher is far more than the title/class of a character in an SFF Book in its native Poland. In its country of origin, the series of novels and short stories by writer Andrzej Sapkowski has the kind of cult following that The Lord of The Rings has over here in Britain.
Indeed, the growing success of The Witcher (both the books and video game produced by Polish studio, CD Projekt) has become such an important part of Polish culture – and, increasingly, the economy – that when President Obama last visited the country, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk handed him a copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
Incredibly, it took from 1990 when Sapkowski released his first short story collection in Poland until 2008 until it was finally released in English – 18 years! We aren’t privy to the sales figures of the books, but the video game series was confirmed to have sold over 7 million copies as of March 2014 – and with all the discounts and hype surrounding the third game (which gets released in just a few days along with the short story collection we will tell you about in just a moment) we don’t expect these figures are too far off 10 million today. Indeed, The Witcher 3 easily sailed past 1 million pre-orders.
Anyway, today we want to provide a bit of a taster to those of you who have not yet experienced the unique reading experience to be found within The Witcher novels and treat those of you who have to what is to come next. Our good friends at Gollancz HQ have provided us with an extract from a short story that will be contained within the SWORD OF DESTINY short story collection that will be published to tie-in with the release of the blockbuster video game on the 20th of May.
The Bounds of Reason
A Shard of Ice
The Eternal Fire
A Little Sacrifice
The Sword of Destiny
For those wondering where this collection takes place in the Witcher timeline, Sword of Destiny acts as a scene-setter for the Witcher Saga, introducing Sapkowski’s fantasy world and the character of Ciri, who becomes increasingly significant and will retain her prominence in “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” as well as the titular Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter, magic-wielding Witcher. So, if you’ve not read the original books released by Gollancz this is as good of a place to start as any and if you have you can find out the origins of a few more characters.
Note: Those who want to read in ‘published order’ will need to pick up: Blood of Elves, The Last Wish and Time of Contempt. Oh and more good news for both new and existing fans: Gollncz have also announced that they’ve signed a deal to translate The Swallow’s Tower and Lady of the Lake novels in English over the course of the next 2 years in addition to Sword of Destiny, which is due to hit shelves on the same day as the game, 20 May 2015, at the cost of £16.99 or £8.99 for the eBook.
Anyway, I could talk about this series all day, but enough from me, he’s an exclusive extract from a story – “The Bounds Of Reason” – contained within this upcoming collection: