12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Fantasy like you've never read before,
This review is from: Last Wish (GollanczF.) (Paperback)
Imagine a world in which elves, dwarves, and magic exists. Now, imagine that these creatures are not bound by conventional literary conventions of good or evil, and instead follow a more realistic pattern of individuals out to better themselves and damn the consequences. In most fantasy works, you have the protagonist, an upright, moral individual, and the antagonists, creatures of pure evil who need to be defeated. In Sapkowski's collection of related short stories, both protagonist and antagonists live morally ambiguous lives.
I'm describing this badly, but the characters in the novel are wonderfully round characters that act more like people you'd read about in a daily newspaper (but dwarves, and magic, and swords and all) than people who live black-and-white, good-or-evil existences. Add into that mix a main character who's at home with a sword or with magic, and who belongs to a dying profession of iterant monster-hunters, and you've got an incredibly rich and complex world. The English canon needs more works from Sapkowski and his fellow Polish sf/fantasy writers. An amazing, amazing read.