You’ve journeyed through the war-torn landscapes and magical realms of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series. You’ve stood alongside Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous Witcher, through battles and political schemes, and witnessed the complex intertwining of human and non-human lives in a world where morality isn’t always clear-cut.
But now that the last page is turned and the dust has settled on Geralt’s saga, you might find yourself longing for more worlds to discover, more characters to fall in love with, or despise, and more stories that weave together the best elements of fantasy literature – from intricate plots and rich world-building to complex characters.
This post aims to guide you on your next reading adventure, offering a selection of books that, while distinct in their own right, share some thematic or stylistic elements with The Witcher series, ensuring that you feel right at home, even in entirely new universes.
Understanding The Elements of The Witcher
Examination of the themes prevalent in The Witcher series
The Witcher series is acclaimed for its blend of traditional fantasy elements with mature and nuanced storytelling. It grapples with themes like the moral ambiguity of its characters, the complexity of political intrigue, the cost of neutrality in times of conflict, and the pervasive influence of folklore and myth in the shaping of societies.
Comparison of these themes with those found in other fantasy literature
Just as The Witcher leverages these themes to create an engaging and thought-provoking narrative, many other fantasy books use similar motifs to lend depth and dimension to their stories. This shared thematic terrain allows fans of The Witcher to find familiar elements in other series or standalone novels, even as they embark on entirely new journeys with different characters and settings.
Books Similar to The Witcher
“A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin
If the grit and realism of The Witcher captivated you, then George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is worth your time. Known for its morally ambiguous characters and intricate political dynamics, this series transports you to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where noble houses vie for control over the Iron Throne. Martin’s knack for creating complex, flawed characters and intertwining their fates in a sprawling narrative echoes some of the elements that make The Witcher compelling.
“The First Law” series by Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law series offers a unique blend of dark humor and stark realism that may appeal to fans of The Witcher. His characters are as complex as they are flawed, dealing with their personal demons while navigating the ruthless world of politics and war. The series’ distinct, often cynical voice, coupled with Abercrombie’s commitment to character development, offers an immersive reading experience reminiscent of Geralt’s world.
“Malazan Book of the Fallen” by Steven Erikson
Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen series is another recommendation for those enamored with Sapkowski’s intricate world-building. The narrative is set in a world teeming with diverse races, gods, and millennia of history, where empires rise and fall in grand, epic storylines. Erikson’s storytelling might seem daunting at first due to its scale and complexity, but for those who enjoy piecing together the bits of lore and history scattered throughout The Witcher, this series offers a similarly rewarding experience.
Books for Fans of Witcher’s Folklore and Mythology
“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods ingeniously weaves myth and contemporary reality into a riveting narrative. In this novel, deities from diverse mythologies exist, fueled by belief, and struggle to stay relevant in modern America. If you enjoyed the richly woven folklore and mythology within The Witcher series, you’ll appreciate Gaiman’s unique blend of the mythical and the mundane.
“The Mabinogion Tetralogy” by Evangeline Walton
Evangeline Walton’s The Mabinogion Tetralogy is an epic retelling of Celtic myths in a collection of four novels. It beautifully captures the heroism, magic, and ethical dilemmas found in these ancient tales. Fans of The Witcher who loved the elements of Slavic and European folklore woven into the narrative will likely enjoy exploring the rich mythology of the Celtic world in Walton’s series.
Books for Fans of Witcher’s Complex Characters
“The Broken Empire” series by Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire series is known for its deeply complex and morally ambiguous lead character, Jorg Ancrath. Much like Geralt, Jorg is not your traditional hero. He is deeply flawed, sometimes detestable, but always compelling, making his journey across a post-apocalyptic Europe riveting. If you appreciated the complexity of Geralt’s character, this series is likely to resonate with you.
“The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch
In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch presents a tale of cunning thieves, intricate heists, and high-stakes intrigue set in a vibrant and dangerous city. The title character, Locke Lamora, is as complex and endearing as Geralt, navigating a world of crime and corruption with wit, charm, and an uncanny talent for getting into – and out of – trouble. If you enjoyed the depths of character development and the detailed world-building in The Witcher, you’ll find much to love in Lynch’s series.
Books for Fans of Witcher’s Dark Humor and Witty Dialogue
“Discworld” series by Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is a masterful combination of humor and fantasy. Through satirical commentary and endearing characters, Pratchett presents a sprawling world that is as whimsical as it is profound. While it’s tonally different from The Witcher, the witty dialogue and humorous take on genre tropes make it a worthwhile recommendation for those who enjoyed the moments of levity and dry humor in Geralt’s grim world.
“The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files centers around Harry Dresden, a wizard-for-hire in modern-day Chicago who solves supernatural mysteries. The series is known for its dark, gritty plots punctuated by Dresden’s sarcastic commentary and witty banter. If you appreciated the blend of dark themes and humor in The Witcher, you’ll likely find a similar enjoyment in Dresden’s dangerous yet often humorous misadventures.
Additional Recommendations: 10 More Journeys Into the Fantastic
“The Kingkiller Chronicle” by Patrick Rothfuss
This series tells the story of Kvothe, a musician, scholar, and adventurer living in a world brimming with magic and mystery. Selected for its deep character development and engrossing storytelling, it will appeal to those who love Geralt’s depth and complexity.
“Stormlight Archive” by Brandon Sanderson
An epic series set in a unique world threatened by relentless storms and ancient forces. Its intricate plot and complex magic system echo The Witcher‘s own detailed lore and world-building.
“Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan
A sprawling epic of good versus evil, filled with political intrigue, magic, and a diverse cast. Selected for its vast world-building and complexity, akin to The Witcher‘s narrative scope.
“His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman
This series combines magic, science, theology, and philosophy. Its compelling protagonist and exploration of complex themes will resonate with The Witcher fans who appreciate depth in their fantasy reading.
“The Inheritance Trilogy” by N.K. Jemisin
Known for its unique world-building and complex characters, this series explores gods and mortals, power and oppression, making it a good match for fans of the philosophical themes in The Witcher.
“The Black Company” by Glen Cook
A gritty, military fantasy series seen through the eyes of an elite mercenary unit. Selected for its dark realism and morally grey characters, reminiscent of The Witcher‘s own tone.
“Gentleman Bastard” series by Scott Lynch
An engaging series filled with con artists, thieves, and elaborate heists. Its intricate plot and well-developed characters will appeal to fans of The Witcher‘s complex narratives and personalities.
“Raven’s Shadow” by Anthony Ryan
Centered around a warrior who carries a nation’s hopes, it features engaging world-building and complex character development, much like The Witcher.
“Powder Mage” trilogy by Brian McClellan
A unique blend of epic and flintlock fantasy, it offers a well-built world, complex characters, and an intricate magic system. Chosen for fans of The Witcher who enjoy unique magic systems and political intrigue.
“The Lightbringer” series by Brent Weeks
A complex tale involving a unique magic system based on the spectrum of light. With its blend of political intrigue, moral dilemmas, and intricate world-building, fans of The Witcher will find plenty to enjoy.
Recap of recommended books
To briefly revisit our journey, we’ve explored a range of novels and series that could be the next stop for fans of The Witcher series. From the political intrigue and complex characters in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law, to the rich mythological narratives in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Evangeline Walton’s The Mabinogion Tetralogy, there’s a wealth of fantasy literature awaiting your discovery.
Final thoughts on expanding fantasy literature horizons after The Witcher
While The Witcher series holds a unique place in the landscape of fantasy literature, it’s just the beginning of what the genre has to offer. The books recommended here share some of its best qualities, and each in its own way expands on the themes, character complexities, and world-building that make fantasy a captivating genre.
Here’s to your next reading adventure – may it be as thrilling and immersive as your time with Geralt and company!