I enjoy the Netflix show greatly; it’s wonderful to see Sapkowski’s world come to life. But there are elements of the books that didn’t make it into the show…

  1. Sapkowski’s grim humor.
    • Let’s be honest: this is what kept me reading through the whole series. The books were hilarious. Young Jaskier’s attempts at writing; Geralt’s terse responses; the vegetarian vampire…I have to stop or I’ll give too many spoilers. Of course, you have to be ready for dark, Eastern European humor. My first personal lesson in it went like this: Three soldiers jump out of plane behind enemy lines, but their parachutes won’t open. “Oh, well,” says one. “Our ride would have been late anyway.” (Thanks to Vladimir for the joke.)
  2. The satire of petty bureaucracy.
    • We’ve only seen the kings in the Netflix shows, but the corrupt town officers, jealous of their paltry power and greedy for bribes, that loom large in the books. When Geralt’s swords are confiscated…it even sounds like the beginning of a joke (Season of Storms, BTW).
  3. Expert timeline experimentation.
    • Sapkowski like to play with non-linear timelines within books, and the payoff is often extremely satisfying. I’m not telling you who the little girl saved from a monster in a seemingly unrelated prologue turns out to be. Nope.