The Witcher Books: Which Ones Should You Read First?

The Witcher Books: Which Ones Should You Read First?
Image: Netflix

It’s been months since The Witcher season 2 was released and I don’t know about you but I’m suffering Witcher withdrawal. While waiting for season 3 I’ve turned to every other piece of The Witcher content that I can find, starting with the books the show is based on. As it turns out, there are quite a few of them, and if you’re unclear on the order of The Witcher books it can be difficult to know where to start.

We’re here to help you with a chronological list of how to read all The Witcher books and other associated media in order.

What order should you read The Witcher books in?

the witcher books order
Image: Amazon

Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is the mind behind the world of The Witcher, which began initially as a group of short stories. Sapkowski’s first volume of stories featuring Geralt of Rivia is out of print but was eventually recollected into the book known as The Last Wish. This is where you should start your reading, even though Sword of Destiny is technically published first.

Season of Storms is another outlier. It was written by Sapkowski over a decade after he wrapped up The Witcher saga in Lady of the Lake and serves as a prequel, taking place between the events of The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. It’s considered an optional read seeing as it’s more of a standalone instalment.

The main Witcher saga then kicks off in Blood of Elves and follows chronologically by publish date.

Here’s a rundown of The Witcher books in timeline order:

  1. The Last Wish
  2. Season of Storms
  3. Sword of Destiny
  4. Blood of Elves
  5. Time of Contempt
  6. Baptism of Fire
  7. The Tower of the Swallow
  8. The Lady of the Lake

Here they are in publish order if you’d prefer to read them that way:

  1. Sword of Destiny (1992)
  2. The Last Wish (1993)
  3. Blood of Elves (1994)
  4. Time of Contempt (1995)
  5. Baptism of Fire (1996)
  6. The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
  7. The Lady of the Lake (1999)
  8. Season of Storms (2013)

Where does the TV show fit into the timeline?

the witcher season one recap
Image: Netflix

Netflix’s The Witcher is an adaptation of Sapkowski’s books, not the video games.

Season one covered many of the stories told in The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny while season 2 moved into the events of the Blood of Elves.

The third season is expected to continue the timeline order of the books and cover the events in Time of Contempt, so that’s where you should read up to if you’re reading and watching simultaneously.

Netflix’s other The Witcher upcoming spin-off Blood Origin is set thousands of years before the books, so no reading is required there.

The Witcher video games in order

The Witcher Books: Which Ones Should You Read First?
Image: CD Projekt Red

The Witcher video games from CD Projekt Red are pretty self-explanatory and can easily be played in release order. That being:

  1. The Witcher
  2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  3. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

The initial two The Witcher games are a bit older and are yet to be remastered for consoles so it can be a little hard to get a hold of them.

Most people agree that you can easily skip the first two games and just dive into The Witcher 3 if you’re keen to give the games a go after seeing the Netflix show.

We’ve still got a while to wait until The Witcher season 3 graces our screens, but luckily there’s plenty of other The Witcher media to consume in the meantime.

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