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The Witcher reading order: How to read Andrzej Sapkowski's books in chronological and release order

There are Three Different Ways to Read the Witcher—Chronologically, Original print order and by U.S. release order.

One of the wild things about the Witcher TV show is the way that it plays with time. Season one presents episodes out of chronological order without telling us. The 2022 prequel mini Witcher: Blood Origin actually involves characters connected both to the present and future of the main show. And who knows what’s yet to come.

The books are in some ways even more complicated. As in the first season of the TV show, the stories of Andrzej Sapkowski’s first book, The Last Wish, occur out of order chronologically. The story then proceeds chronologically until the last book, Season of Storms.

But the U.S. translations, which began to be released almost a decade after the full series had been released in Poland, were printed slightly out of order, with the second book, Sword of Destiny, printed only after what is supposed to be the fifth book, Baptism of Fire.

Meanwhile the video games — which tell stories from after the end of the original series, and were not written by Sapkwoski, but are definitely figuring in the TV series — came out in Poland after the original series was completed, but near the beginning of the U.S. translations. In fact, the popularity of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is likely responsible for British publisher Orbit/Gollancz going forward with its translations beyond The Last Wish and Blood of Elves.

Looking for a fun summer reading project We're here to help. In list form, here are the three versions of the reading/playing order: chronological within the series; the original Polish release order; and the U.S. release order.

The Witcher books reading order chronologically

The Witcher stories were first in in a series of short stories collected across various books and anthologies, then onto full-length book adventures themselves. Here they are in chronological order:

The Witcher books release order

Here's whwre it begins to get complicated, the order in which the Witcher stories were originally released in Poland.

  • 'The Witcher', 1986: First Witcher story, published in Fantastyka magazine.
  • The Witcher, 1990: Includes stories 'The Witcher,' 'A Grain of Truth,' 'The Lesser Evil, 'A Question of Price.'
  • Sword of Destiny, 1992
  • The Last Wish, 1993
  • Blood of Elves, 1994
  • Time of Contempt, 1995
  • Baptism of Fire, 1996
  • The Tower of the Swallow, 1997
  • The Lady in the Lake, 1999
  • Something Ends, Something Begins, 2000: Untranslated collection of Sapkowski short stories that includes 'The Road With No Return' and 'Something Ends, Something Begins.'
  • The Witcher Video Game, 2007
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, 2011
  • Season of Storms, 2013
  • Tales from the World of the Witcher, 2013: Untranslated, eight stories by other authors.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, 2015
  • Claws and Fangs, 2017: Untranslated, 11 stories by contest winners of Nowa Fantastyka magazine on 30th anniversary of publication of the original short story.

The Witcher books release order (U.S.)

As if that wasn't complicated, then in the US the Witcher stories were released in a slightly different order.

  • The Last Wish, 2007
  • The Witcher Video Game, 2007
  • Blood of Elves, 2008
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, 2011
  • Time of Contempt, 2013
  • Baptism of Fire, 2014
  • Sword of Destiny, 2015
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, 2015
  • The Tower of the Swallow, 2016
  • The Lady of the Lake, 2017
  • Season of Storms, 2018

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