The Witcher Series: How to Read the Books in the Right Order

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the witcher books in order

The Witcher book series is about a witcher named Geralt, a skilled fighter with superhuman abilities, including increased strength and speed, as well as heightened resistance to poisons and magic. He travels the land and navigates the complex political landscape of the world while battling monsters and dealing with prejudices against his kind.

A witcher is a monster hunter who undergoes a rigorous and often deadly training process to develop his supernatural abilities and fighting skills.

The process involves the consumption of mutagenic potions and exposure to deadly toxins to enhance their physical abilities, such as strength, speed, and reflexes, and give them heightened senses that allow them to track and hunt monsters.

The series had 8 books, two of which are short collections, and I have all the Witcher books listed in order and five of the best books summarized.

Let’s get started.

Our best The Witcher Books at a glance:

Andrzej Sapkowski: The Witcher Saga Creator

Andrzej Sapkowski is a Polish writer best known for his series of fantasy novels, The Witcher. He was born in Łódź, Poland, on June 21, 1948. After completing his education at Bolesław Prus High School No. 21, Sapkowski enrolled at the University of Łódź to study economics.

However, he worked as a sales representative before devoting himself to writing. Sapkowski’s writing career began in the early 1980s when he started publishing short stories in science fiction and fantasy magazines. His career took off after The Witcher, a collection of short stories featuring the character Geralt of Rivia was published in 1990. A number of novels set in the same world followed the commercial and critical success of the first book. The Witcher series has since been adapted into a video game franchise, a popular television series, and a Netflix original series.

Sapkowski is known for his unique take on traditional fantasy elements and his ability to weave complex political and social themes into his stories. His other works include the Hussite Trilogy, a historical fantasy series set during the Hussite Wars in 15th-century Bohemia, and Viper, a standalone novel set in a dystopian future.

Andrzej’s literary works have won him several awards and honors, but with all this fame, he still lives a low-profile life in Łódź. He had a son who succumbed to cancer in 2019.

the witcher books in order
The Witcher Books

The Witcher Books in Order 

The Best 5 Witcher Books

Here are summaries of the best five books in the series:

“The Last Wish” (1993)

The Last Wish

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This book is the first collection of short stories by Andrzej. Published in 1993, it introduces Geralt of Rivia, his adventures, as well as the world he inhabits, which is full of magic, mythical creatures, and political intrigue.

It also tells of his first meeting with the sorceress Yennefer, his encounter with a striga, and his battles against monsters and evil forces.

I look at this collection as a frame narrative, with Geralt telling stories from his past and detailing the backgrounds of some of the things we see later on in the series. 

The first story in the book is about Geralt’s first encounter with a striga and his mission to find a way to break the curse that has afflicted the striga before she kills again. Another story details how Geralt got the nickname “the Butcher of Blaviken.” 

Throughout the book, Geralt also encounters several characters who will become important in the series, including the sorceress Yennefer and the bard Dandelion. 

“The Last Wish” is a thrilling introduction to the world of the Witcher and sets the stage for the epic saga that follows.

“Blood of Elves” (1994)

Blood of Elves

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Picking up after the events of “The Last Wish,” the first full-length novel in the series focuses on Ciri. She is a young princess with magical powers who is pursued by various factions seeking to use her abilities for their purposes. 

Geralt and Ciri are hiding out in the Witchers’ fortress of Kaer Morhen. Geralt has taken on the role of Ciri’s guardian and mentor, preparing her for the dangers that lie ahead by teaching her how to control her magical abilities and training her in sword fighting and other combat skills.

Along the way, Geralt also faces off against several powerful foes. Geralt and Ciri become involved in the schemes of various factions, each of which wants to use Ciri’s abilities for their own purposes as the political situation in the world of the Witcher becomes more complicated. Some factions seek to conquer the Northern Kingdoms and view Ciri as a potent weapon in their arsenal, as do the sorcerers’ lodge’s mages, who are split over whether to support or oppose Ciri. 

“Blood of Elves” is a must-read for fans of high fantasy that sets the stage for the epic saga full of political intrigue, complex characters, and intense action sequences

“Time of Contempt” (1995) 

Time of Contempt

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 “The Time of Contempt” is the fourth Witcher book, but the second full-length novel in the Witcher Saga series. 

Geralt, Ciri, and their allies find themselves caught up in a web of intrigue and conspiracy. The sorcerers’ lodge is divided, and various factions are vying for power. Meanwhile, Ciri’s destiny is revealed to be even more significant than anyone had suspected. 

The world is about to fall into turmoil, with a war between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms looming. 

As Geralt navigates this dangerous political landscape, he must also deal with the challenges of protecting his ward, Ciri (the prophesied destroyer of the old world).

Ciri is in danger because of her abilities, which many powerful players on “The Continent” will go to any lengths to obtain. Geralt, “guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need,” would rather fight than leave Ciri to the wolves, so he takes it upon himself to protect her from the monsters that seek to destroy her. Geralt, 

Geralt and Ciri travel to the city of Ellander, where they hope to find safety and a sense of belonging. However, things don’t work out according to their plans, and, in an attempt to protect Ciri, Geralt gets injured by Vilgefortz of Roggeveen (a Kovirian mage) while Ciri flees to the Tower of Gulls. As they try to uncover the truth behind the assassination and protect Ciri from those who seek to use her powers, they must also confront the difficult realities of their own relationship and the complex feelings that have developed between them.

“The Time of Contempt” is a thrilling and complex tale that combines elements of raging fantasy battles, power play, and personal drama. 

“Baptism of Fire” (1996)

Baptism of Fire

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“Baptism of Fire” is the third novel in the Witcher series and continues the story of Geralt of Rivia and Ciri.

Geralt is injured and recovering from his wounds, while Ciri is on the run, trying to evade her pursuers. Along the way, they meet new allies and enemies, and their journeys take them across the world of The Witcher, from Skellige to Nilfgaard.

As Geralt recovers, he is more determined to rescue Ciri. Geralt sets out on a journey across the continent, accompanied by an expert archer called Milva and a group of dwarves. 

As they travel, Geralt and his companions become embroiled in a war between the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire, with Geralt seeking to protect Ciri from those who would use her as a pawn in their political machinations. 

The novel explores themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and the consequences of war and is full of action, suspense, and complex characters.

Sword of Destiny (1992)

Sword of Destiny

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Although “Sword of Destiny” was published a year before “The Last Wish,” it is still the second book in the Witcher series. 

The book contains several stories, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Geralt’s life and adventures. In “The Bounds of Reason,” Geralt joins a group of knights on a quest to slay a dragon, while in “A Shard of Ice,” he grapples with his feelings for Yennefer. Other stories explore Geralt’s encounters with a cursed princess, a group of bandits, and a village plagued by a mysterious illness.

Throughout the book, Geralt’s actions are shaped by his code of ethics, which requires him to remain neutral in the conflicts he encounters, even as he struggles to do what is right. The stories also explore themes of love, destiny, and the consequences of one’s actions.

“The Sword of Destiny” is a must-read for fans of the Witcher series and—alongside “The Last Wish”—provides important background information on the characters and events that drive the novels. This book is one of the many testaments to Sapkowski’s skill as a storyteller.

The Witcher Books FAQs

Who wrote the Witcher books?

Andrzej Sapkowski

How many Witcher books are there?

There are about 8 witcher books in total including Short stories, prequels, sequels, and standalone novels in the list of all witcher books. 

How many books make up the Witcher Saga?

The witcher saga is made up of five books with two short story collections and a sequel.

Does Netflix witcher follow the books?

The screen adaptation of the witcher on Netflix does not follow everything in the books. Some of the information has been omitted from the tv show.

Is the Witcher book series finished?

The Lady of the lake (1999) is known to be the ending of the witcher saga.


 Andrzej Sapkowski’s vivid imagination delivered wonders with The Witcher books, captivating readers with its unique blend of fantasy, adventure, and political intrigue. and masterful His storytelling brought to life a rich and complex world full of fascinating characters and moral dilemmas.

Through the eyes of Geralt of Rivia, readers have been transported to a world that is both familiar and yet utterly fantastical. From the dangers of the wilderness to the machinations of the royal court, the Witcher books have something for everyone.

For deep thinkers, the Witcher books’ influence surpasses their sheer entertainment value, the Witcher books can spark important discourse on the role of power, prejudice, and identity in society.

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.