the witcher: house of glass

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A comiXologist recommends:
The Witcher Vol. 1

by: Dane Cypel

Dark Horse has come to comiXology and with it, their spectacular library. While some are excited for Hellboy, Buffy or Conan I was anxious to read The Witcher: Vol. 1 House of Glass.

The Witcher, known here in the states for its blockbuster video games, is a series of books, films, and comics featuring Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is not your typical hero, he hunts monsters, but in a different way.  His heroics are for hire - a town has a ghoul problem? Geralt will fix it, if they pay. If not, they can take care of it themselves.

It was this aspect of the character that really drew me to the novels and keeps me interested in the comic. He feels more human, he has flaws, he has vices and he is, sometimes, morally ambiguous. In a fantasy setting, Geralt is a breath of fresh air. The world of The Witcher is dark and grim. The inhabitants are continuously threatened by danger and death. These stresses are something the eponymous Witcher, Geralt, has to contend with on a daily basis and it shows.  He is not a holy crusader, or smarmy heart-of-gold swashbuckler: he’s something else.

For those who are familiar with the games, or the novels, The Witcher: House of Glass is a separate, closed story. Though it is similar to how the novels are written, Volume One is an excellent romp through this unique world. There are, of course, strange monsters, creative liars, succubi, and an excessive use of magic. I was slightly disappointed that the elven terrorist group known as The Squirrels, or the amusing bard Dandelion, did not make any appearances.  And while it is a shame that they didn’t appear, it does not detract from an overall interesting and amusing story.

For those who know The Witcher franchise, read this story. For those who are not familiar, read it.  If you like fantasy, read it. If you like good stories, read it and keep reading. The Witcher is a departure from the fantasy norm, the tropes of old do not apply and it creates something so different, so new, that you will crave more.

I read the entire book in thirty minutes, and then went back to read again. Now I’m anxious for volume two.

[Read The Witcher Vol. 1 on comiXology]

Dane Cypel is a digital editor at comiXology and freelance illustrator based in Manhattan.