I managed to read another Terry Pratchett book and guess what?? I enjoyed it too! 😊
I read it for a Turtle Recall group read, which I was happy for because it motivated me to get started on this yearlong Discworld readathon. I was hoping to wrap up the Witches subseries of the Discworld books in May, but that didn’t happen so I might do so next month. Who knows? Anyway, my thoughts on Wyrd Sisters…
Discworld, book 6
Witches, book 2
“You’d have to be born a fool to be a king,” said Granny Weatherwax
I was happy to be back in Discworld again. This time, I found myself stuck in a story heavily inspired by Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, but since I’m not so familiar with Shakespeare’s plays, it took until I almost got to the end of the book to realize that (because I kept thinking “Oh, it’s Hamlet”; smh). Anyway…
Magrat, a newly raised witch, decided that the witches of the Ramtops should form a coven, so she enlists Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg to form one with her. As they wrap up a meeting on a dark and rainy night, the trio are handed an unexpected and unwanted surprise, the young prince of the kingdom whose father was recently murdered by a grasping duke.
To protect the prince, the witches hand him off to a travelling troupe, who welcome him. However, the usurping duke, wracked by guilt and ruled by his greedy, domineering wife, turns tyrant and threatens to run the kingdom into ruins. The witches devise a plan to save the kingdom and its inhabitants and place the prince on his throne, but things do not go according to their plan. (Goodreads)
Yea, I liked this one. I like how it begins and if I’d remembered more of Macbeth (or had read the entire thing in high school or college), I’d have liked it even more.
As always, the characters are entertaining and helped to make the story a fun read. I like how the witches play off each other: the undercurrent of animosity between Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg despite their respect for each other, and how the older witches respond to Magrat’s eccentricities (they tolerate it while side-eyeing everything, lol). Oh, they made this a jolly, good read! I especially enjoyed whenever they show up at a play and comment loudly on the acts, making the actors nervous. That cracked me up, lol! 😀 Of them all, Nanny Ogg was my favorite. She knows how to have fun and doesn’t mind dancing on table tops, lol. I could party with her. 😀
I also liked Hwel, the talented dwarf who writes the plays for the travelling troupe. I loved it whenever the narrator describes his moments of inspiration, how they come to Hwel and how he tries to manifest them.
“Particles of raw inspiration sleet through the universe all the time.”
“…sleep was murdered by the sound of creativity from the next room.”
I also liked Hwel’s interactions with Tomjon, the prince. My favorite part with these two is when the Fool gets robbed in the city Ankh-Morpork. Well, (now that I think of it) this has nothing to do with the characters and is more about worldbuilding because we get some insight into the city’s criminal justice system, which was also entertaining to read about, especially how Tomjon handled the Fool’s situation.
Ah, Discworld’s worldbuilding 😊… that’s my absolute favorite thing about the two books in the series I’ve read so far. The worldbuilding both amazes and entertains me. So far, my favorite thing about the world is its weather (or maybe it’s that I love the narration because what I really like here is how the weather is described or, rather, personified):
“The wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.”
“The storm was resting. It didn’t want to be, but it was. It had spent a fortnight understudying a famous anticyclone over the Circle Sea, turning up every day, hanging around in the cold front, grateful for a chance to uproot the occasional tree or whirl a farmhouse to any available emerald city of its choice. But the big break in the weather had never come.”
“There was a livid sunset imprisoned behind bars of cloud, but the air was as still as a mill pond and as hot as a furnace. In the forest below some night bird screamed.”
I also liked that just about everything is sentient. In Equal Rites, Unseen University surprised me by being sentient (which helped convince me that Hogwarts is sentient too), and in this book the weather called me to pay attention to it and the Ramtops forest stood up to the tyrant who tried to ruin the kingdom its situated in. Another interesting thing was the Aurora Coriolis (obviously a play on the Aurora Borealis). The narrator doesn’t give us much details on it except to say it’s the Hublights. (I don’t know what that means, but I assumed it means like the hublights on a car, and that cracked me up, lol!)
The narrator’s tone makes the story a delight. It’s as if the narrator is telling me a joke, a joke that takes 332 pages to tell. I get the impression that Pratchett had a lot of fun writing this book. I loved the call outs to other texts and fairytales and even hinting at historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci. I loved the puns and naughty jokes, most of which (it seems to me) are either said by Nanny Ogg, hinted by her, or she leads other characters into it.
“There’s many a slip twixt dress and drawers.”
My only negative is that I thought it was a bit long and could have been shortened. It dragged a bit for me, mostly when it focuses on Tomjon, before picking up again.
It’s fun, entertaining, and a breeze to read. If I was more familiar with Macbeth, I’m sure I would have gotten more entertainment out of the story.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
Yep, I highly recommend it.
Quotes from the book:
“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”