Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is one of the biggest selling (over 2 million copies sold in Europe) fantasy authors writing in a non-English language. Available in Polish, Russian, German, and Spanish for years, it wasn't until last year that the first authorized English translation of his Witcher stories, starring Geralt, appeared. That first book, The Last Wish (my review here), was actually a collection of interconnected short stories that introduced Geralt and his world. While Gollancz (and Orbit US, I presume) plan on releasing the five full-length novels (beginning with The Blood of the Elves later this year), they apparently have declined to publish an English-language translation of the second collection, The Sword of Destiny, despite the apparent links between that collection and the events in the five novels.
It is a shame. While I plan on posting a full review later, I received my copy of the Spanish translation, La espada del destino, today and after reading the first story, "Las fronteras de lo posible" ("The frontiers of the possible"), I am quite optimistic that this collection will prove to be even better than The Last Wish was when I read it last July. Hopefully, the English-language publishers will reconsider and release this collection in the very near future, as I've found Sapkowski's stories to be biting, incisive, and filled with a wry sense of humor and humaneness that sets his tales apart from most heroic/epic fantasies.