I've started Andrzej Sapkowskis The Last Wish a week ago and finished about half the stories in it, and so far I find it remarkably good. I like the character Geralt from the videogames, but that wasn't any indication for the actual style and quality of the original books. But I am very positively surprised by it.
I don't know how close the English translation is to the original text, but the type of storytelling really reminds me a lot of Robert Howard, who I consider the grand master of the genre. What I noticed the most is how Sapkowski manages to give so much personalty and characterization to many of the characters almost entirely with just dialog. It's not only what the characters say, but how they say it, that tells so much about their individual personalty. Everyone has a potty mouth and they are very blunt about what they think without sticking to etiquete, which allows to learn quite a lot about them as people.
In all the three stories I read, there is a monster. But in each case, just sticking a sword through it would only end the current crisis, but not actually solve the original problem. Geralt is a badass who could defeat almost everyone in a fight, and he is technically a mercenary who is in the whole monster hunting business for the money. But the stories are also all about consequences that result from poor descisions, passion, and violence, and Geralt is quite interested in actually fixing things instead of just killing the most troublesome party in the current affair.
Good characters, good stories, and well written. This is exactly the kind of fantasy I am looking for.