What is the reading order of The Witcher books?

The first season of The Witcher was a real hit on Netflix, but the order of events ended up confusing audiences. Many people preferred to dive once into the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski, which gave rise to the story. But between tales and novels, this doubt arises: what is the reading order of The Witcher books?

To help you navigate this world full of complexities, we’ve put together a guide explaining the two most popular ways to enjoy books: following the order in which stories are published or following events in chronological order.

Both have their advantages and pitfalls, so let’s explain exactly how important each post is without going into big spoilers.

How to read in order of launching books?

First, we will explain the order in which the books were published, as this is usually the order idealized by the author for the public to better understand the events. This order builds mysteries in a more intriguing way, leaving clues and even at times deliberately confusing the reader.

The first two books published on the adventures of Geralt of Rivia further explore his wizarding side. They are not concerned with telling a single story like in other sagas, but with telling small contracts that have shaped the character of the wizard over the years. These are two smaller story collections, considerably independent of each other.

This freer format of an intrinsic narrative has proven to be ideal for introducing concepts important to the series, such as the relationship between wizards, creatures, and society. It also ends up contextualizing the political conflicts that will run through the main story in the future.

Sword of Fate (1992)

The Sword of Destiny is the first to release in Poland, but it brings together events that take place after The Last Wish. Therefore, the most recommended is that it be the second book you read, although you want to follow the order in which they were originally published.

This collection brings together the tales: The Limit of the Possible, A Fragment of Ice, The Eternal Fire, A Small Sacrifice, The Sword of Fate and Something Else. This is our introduction to little Ciri, so you can expect events that are slightly different from those seen in the TV series. The book prepares the final pieces for the start of the novels written by Andrzej – the saga of the sorcerer Geralt of Rivia.

The Last Wish (1993)

The collection that should start your literary marathon is The Last Wish. Although it was not the first book released in Poland in 1993, it was the first to reach the rest of the world. A very wise move on the part of the editors, because this is where we will have the most introductory stories to understand who Geralt de Rivia is.

She pulls together stories outside of her timeline, favoring a carefully thought out order to clarify the events that explain what motivates Geralt to act so thoughtfully. In this book, we have the tales The Sorcerer, A Seed of Truth, The Lesser Evil, A Matter of Price, The Ends of the World and The Last Wish. There are still small, enigmatic narrative fragments among the stories that together form one more story: The Voice of Reason.

The first season of the Netflix series draws heavily on these stories, especially since this is where we are introduced to Yeneffer and Dandelion. However, we focus exclusively on Geralt in these tales, so the series had to advance some elements of The Sword of Destiny.

Blood of the Elves (1994)

We started following Ciri’s political and personal intrigue more closely in the third book in the franchise, Blood of the Elves. This story will have direct continuity in future books and even works great as a starting point for those who don’t like reading stories very much.

The story begins with the capture of Cintra by Nilfgaard. Cirilla, the sole heir to the throne, manages to escape and trains with Geralt in Kaer Morhen, in the tradition of wizarding wolves. We see the creation of the girl among other wizards important to the training of Geralt, such as Vesemir, Co├źn, Eskel and Lambert. This will be the main inspiration for the second season of the series.

Time of Outrage (1995)

Soon after, the fourth book delves into the relationship between Ciri and Yeneffer. Time of Contempt follows the experienced witch’s attempt to help Ciri control her magical abilities. The book ends up delving into prominent members of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, such as Philippa Eilhart and Francesca Findabair.

Of course, the tranquility does not last long. Ciri would not be able to escape Nilfgaard’s clutches forever, and the war eventually finds him, bringing about events that would be felt even in the games of the series. A very interesting point about the story is how it deepens the social and racial tensions that plague the entire saga.

Baptism of Fire (1996)

After the incident at the end of Time of Contempt, Geralt struggles to find Ciri in Baptism of Fire, while recovering from the deep wounds of recent battles. He has heard rumors that Cirilla is about to marry the Emperor of Nilfgaard and intends to do everything in his power to prevent this tragedy.

On his way, he meets several remarkable companions such as the vampire Regis, the hunter Milva, the Nilfgaardian Cahir, and Queen Meve. It is only in this book that the wizard officially earns the title of Geralt of Rivia, a story every fan should know.

The Swallow’s Tower (1997)

Geralt continues towards Nilfgaard, blood in his eyes. Alone, Ciri meets a philosopher in the Pereplut Swamp and thinks Geralt and Yeneffer are dead. These two lies take our heroes down twisting paths in The Swallow’s Tower. The summoning of the Tower that gives its name to the book will send Cirilla on a dangerous adventure.

It’s the penultimate romance book in the saga and you can already see how the heroes changed along the way before the grand finale. After learning a lot from Geralt and Yeneffer, Ciri ends up following her own path that will end in A Senhora do Lago.

The Lady of the Lake (1999)

The final chapter in the Saga of the sorcerer Geralt of Rivia begins with Yeneffer trapped, Geralt bewitched, and Ciri in a parallel dimension. It may seem that the story still has a lot of questions to be answered, but Adrzej manages to perfectly resolve all conflicts by exploring the results of the child’s prophecy. Ciri will have to fight to find her friends and regain her destiny. Will she succeed?

Senhora do Lago was originally released in Brazil in two parts, one in June and the other in November 2017. There is a single volume version released in August 2018 with the same cover, so be careful which version you prefer before buying.

Storm (2013)

With the absurd success of the games, Andrzej decided to publish another book: Tempest. The story is quite independent and shows a visit by Geralt to the kingdom of Kerak. Events happen between the tales of the first book, before The Blood of the Elves, but it brings characters that don’t appear until much later in the series.

How to read The Witcher in chronological order of the story?

Because it is made up of a mix of short stories and short stories, it can be a little difficult to read The Witcher stories in the order they unfold. But all of their extra hard work is rewarded with the chance to experience Geralt and Ciri’s journey in a more interconnected way.

It ends up feeling like one continuous, more exciting adventure, without the frequent time skips that confuse less experienced readers so much. To help you don’t get lost, we even organize the stories in their order of events. Without further ado, here is the chronological order of The Witcher.

The Last Wish (1993) – Part 1

The Last Wish is broken down into seven stories, but the order in which they unfold is scrambled in the book. The first story that happens is A Grain of Truth, followed by The Lesser Evil, The Ends of the World, and The Last Wish. Once you’ve finished these stories, let’s pause this book for now and move on to the next.

Storm (2013)

The final canonical story launched in The Witcher universe actually takes place during the events of the first book. Tempest is a novel outside of the main story of the saga, but I have to warn you: this book may end up blurring the impact of later revelations in the narrative. If you’re not very keen on going chronologically, it’s best to leave this book for later so you don’t catch any spoilers from the end.

The Last Wish (1993) – Part 2

It’s time to head back to The Last Wish to read the final three stories: A Matter of Price, The Wizard, and the Voice of Reason. This last tale features Geralt recalling the events of the book and setting the stage for the sequel. It serves more to contextualize events, so it’s okay to only read it at the end.

Sword of Fate (1992)

In The Sword of Destiny’s first short story, we find out that it was four years after Geralt left Yeneffer out of fear of compromise. Therefore, the events of this book take place five years after the previous one. At least the tales in this book were organized chronologically, at least most of the time.

The plot merges again into the final story, something more. This is because although it takes place in the present, Geralt has visions of the past, events among the other stories in the book. There’s no point in hanging this narrative countless times, but if you’re dedicated to the chronological order of all events, you are there.

The second memory comes before the whole book, with Queen Calanthe de Cintra. Then comes the tale The Sword of Destiny. Months later, Geralt’s first memory takes place, with Yennefer in Belleteyn. So we have the last vision, with Dandelion, before proceeding with the rest of the stories in the order in which they were printed.

Blood of the Elves (1994) – The Lady of the Lake (1999)

Fortunately, the story continues without too many stories, starting with the book Blood of the Elves. From there we have a novel that shows Ciri’s maturity, Geralt’s adventures in a skeptical and chaotic world, as well as the executives of Yennefer and his witches.

You can even skip timeline books if you don’t have a lot of time. They work more to improve immersion in this universe and have no direct impact on the main story. With that said, in case you need a refresher, here are the Saga novels of the wizard Geralt of Rivia:

In what order will you start the Witcher saga? Did you find the timeline confusing? Be sure to comment!

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