What Is The Reading Order Of ‘The Witcher’ Books?

Netflix’s new series The Witcher tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster-hunter or Witcher traveling the Continent searching for work. The Witcher also tells the stories of Yennefer of Vengerberg and Princess Cirilla, commonly known as Ciri, of Cintra. The story started, however, with books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. It can get a bit confusing when trying to figure out which book to read first.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Read on to find out the order of The Witcher books. Find out more about this intriguing series, including which book isn’t necessary to read.

How many books are there about ‘The Witcher’ and when were they originally published?

Henry Cavill of 'The Witcher': the books order is somewhat confusing
Henry Cavill at the photocall for The Witcher Season 1 | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

There are eight books in The Witcher series. All of the books were published first in Polish, before being translated into other languages, including English. According to PC Gamer, the story began as short stories in a Polish fantasy magazine in the 1980s. According to Barnes and Noble’s website, Sword of Destiny was published in 1992 in Polish.

The Last Wish was published in 1993 in Polish. Blood of Elves was published in 1994. Time of Contempt, in 1995. Baptism of Fire was in 1996.

The Tower of The Swallow in 1997. The Lady of the Lake was in 1999. And, finally, Season of Storms in 2013.

Which book comes first?

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I’m not a good man. I’m a Witcher.

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Given the publication order, you’d think that figuring out the order to read the books in is fairly simple. However, The Last Wish comes before Sword of Destiny, for example, and it’s a bit of a mystery where to place Season of Storms. However, we’re here to unravel that mystery for you.

According to Barnes and Noble, The Last Wish comes first, followed by Sword of Destiny. Then comes Blood of Elves, Time of Contempt, Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, and The Lady of the Lake. Finally, you end up with Season of Storms.

Season of Storms is a bit of a mystery, though, as some lists will put it after Sword of Destiny and before Blood of Elves. However, according to a fan of The Witcher books on Reddit, the story “takes place chronologically before the rest of the books but should be read last in order to best understand it.” As PC Gamer puts it, the final book is “optional,” or as the fan on Reddit says “not necessary to understand the overall story.” However, if you’re a huge fan of the world of The Witcher books, you might want to read it anyway as the story sets things up for the rest of the series.

How successful are ‘The Witcher’ books?

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The Continent awaits.

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The new Netflix series seems to have increased interest in The Witcher books. Currently, two of the books are on the New York Times bestseller list. The Last Wish is number 3 on the list of combined print and e-book fiction books. Blood of Elves is number 12.

The Last Wish has moved up the list a bit since January 4, 2020, when Paul Tassi wrote about it for Forbes. However, Blood of Elves has remained at number 12. The Last Wish is also doing well on Amazon, being the most sold book on the week of January 5, 2020, having spent 3 weeks on that list. According to Paul Tassi of Forbes, the book was sold out on Amazon on January 5, 2020.

Currently, The Last Wish is not in stock on Amazon in the paperback edition until January 27, 2020. Only time will tell if the Netflix series will increase interest in The Witcher books to the extent that Game of Thrones increased interest in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Yet so far, judging by the New York Times bestseller list and Amazon’s own list of most sold books, they are off to a good start.