I’ve played the games, watched the television show, and now I am going to work my way through the books. This first book in the series is a collection of short stories interspersed with interludes that tie the various plots together. I’m not sure if these are required to understand the main series, but it does include the story of Geralt and Yennifer’s first meeting which is probably pretty important. The Netflix series draws a lot from this book. I like to think of it as a bunch of literary side-quests before advancing on to the main quest.