How to read The Witcher books in order

It's not as straight-forward as you might think...

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's The Witcher

Since it debuted on Netflix in December, The Witcher has proved a smash hit with audiences – satisfying existing fans of the franchise and winning over many viewers previously unfamiliar with Geralt.


So, with another series not likely to be on the way until the end of this year at the earliest, those who enjoyed the show will be looking to fill a gap.

One way of doing this is by playing the hugely popular games, but why not go one better and go back to the original source material: the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.

There are eight books in the series in total – so that should be enough reading material to last a while– but one thing that might cause a little confusion is working out how the correct order in which to read them.

Of course, normally it would be reasonable to assume that you should simply read the books in the order they were published, and while that’s broadly true for the Witcher series, there are a couple of notable exceptions.

Most fans would suggest that the place to start is The Last Wish, a short story collection that was published in 1993.

While the Sword of Destiny, another short story collection, was actually published a year before, The Last Wish establishes much of the world and introduces many key characters, and thus works better as a starting point.

Following the two short story collections, it’s probably best to move onto Season of Storms, which is actually the most recent book in the series, having been published in 2013. This is a standalone story, and is set between the short stories in The Last Wish.

From there on, it’s pretty straight-forward – you should read the remaining five books, which form the central Witcher saga, in the order they were published.

What order should I read The Witcher books in?

And so, while there are a few debates amongst hard core fans of the series, the following order is generally agreed upon:

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

Happy reading!


Season one of The Witcher is available on Netflix now