How many books are there in The Witcher series, what are the spin-off comics called, and what is the Japanese manga all about?
The Witcher is preparing to draw his magnificent sword once again, with the popular Netflix drama series set to return in just a few weeks’ time.
The Witcher season 3 will be split into two parts, releasing in late June and July respectively, before lead actor Henry Cavill is replaced by Liam Hemsworth for the fourth season.
Whilst expectant fans of the show are counting down to the big return, many are now being tempted to start reading the original book series. So, how many books are there in The Witcher series, what are the spin-off comics titled, and what is Geralt’s Japanese manga story all about?
How many books are in The Witcher series?
There are nine books in The Witcher series written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski: three of which are short story collections, five are novels from The Witcher Saga, and the last is a standalone novel.
Sapkowski actually wrote the first short story in 1986 and submitted it as part of a competition in the Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine where it won third place. The next 14 short stories, including ‘The Road with No Return’ were collected and published under The Witcher title in 1990, followed up by Sword of Destiny (1992), and The Last Wish (1993).
The Witcher Saga, of which the Netflix TV drama starts its adaptation in season 1, began publication with its first and five novels in 1994, and the rest, as they say, is history:
The Witcher Saga would then be followed up by another novel called Season of Storms in 2013; however, this would not actually be a sequel to the previous series and would in fact be another collection of short stories set between the first Witcher publication from 1990 and The Last Wish from 1993.
Henry Cavill, the lead actor in The Witcher TV series, is a serious fan of both the original book series and the gaming franchise, even being described as a walking ‘Witcher Bible’ on set by some of his castmates.
The Witcher also has a comic series and manga
Between 1993 and 1995, six issues of The Witcher comic book series were published in Poland, written by Maciej Parowski and illustrated by Boguslaw Polch.
These comics adapted some of the short stories from the earlier publications and were collected into two volumes: Volume One featured ‘A Road with No Return’, ‘Geralt’, and ‘The Lesser Evil’, with Volume Two including ‘The Last Wish’, ‘The Bounds of Reason’, and ‘The Betrayal’.
In 2011, CD Projekt Red (publisher of the video game adaptation) began serializing a new comic series with Egmont called ‘Reasons of State’. CD Projekt Red followed this up with another comic series called ‘Matters of Conscience’ in 2015.
Dark Horse Comics also began publishing their own series of stories around the same time:
If traditional comic series and graphic novels aren’t quite your typical style, there is also a manga called The Witcher: Ronin which we can recommend checking out. Originally a crowdfunded project, this Witcher manga was released in November 2022 to a fabulous reception from fans.
The synopsis for The Witcher: Ronin reads:
“Set in an ancient Japanese-inspired world, Geralt trails the mythical Lady of Snow. Here, the role of a witcher is just as essential – as dangerous spirits and demons are constantly on the prowl. In a new world inspired by Edo-period Japan, Geralt is faced with difficult moral choices while battling a variety of yokai and oni, creatures inspired by Japanese myths. Each encounter drops a clue in his desperate search for a mysterious apparition known as the Lady of Snow, yuki onna, for she is the key to who Geralt seeks, but finding her won’t be easy…”
The Witcher season 3 part 1 will release via Netflix on June 29 with part 2 landing on July 27, 2023.
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