Wyrd Sisters (1988) – Terry Practhett

It’s back to Discworld for this week’s book shelf, as I dig into the next titles in the humorous fantasy series from Terry Pratchett. This time around we spend some time with witches. We revisit Granny Weatherwax, and are introduced to Nanny Ogg, and Magrat, collectively christened Wryd Sisters.

The trio are concerning themselves with coven meetings and family schedules when they realise that the Duke ruling their small kingdom is not very nice, and according to the ghost of the former King, who would know, is a murderer.

So begins a tale that sees a long lost heir, Tomjon, who is blessed as an actor being manipulated back to the throne by events, time, and the trio of witches, who really aren’t keen on all the horrific things that the evil duke says witches get up to.

With an appearance by fan favourite Death, the story rollicks along against probability and sanity, playing with fairy tale tropes as well as some very familiar stage plays, as dialogue is spouted without equal by Tomjon.

There are dwarves, trolls, a storm that is really trying to perfect its craft, a crown with a memory, a fool who doesn’t want to be a fool but it’s a family thing, a love story, and a touring band of players who really don’t want to settle down in the theatre.

All of it comes to a climax with a play commissioned by the evil duke to rewrite the kingdom’s history, but destiny and the Wyrd Sisters have other plans, and Tomjon (and perhaps Death) may give the performance of a lifetime.

With word plays, nods to classic plays, and even the occasional pop culture riff (I see you Marx Brothers) the series continues to delight, and makes me chuckle, and sometimes even laugh aloud.

I won’t lie, it took me a little while to slip into this one, but once I was there I loved how Practehett doled out his tale, and twisted the usual fantasy, stage and fairy tale tropes to meet his own needs, and it pays off wonderfully.

I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of these books, but I have to say once again, I’m glad I waited before I started reading them. I really wouldn’t have appreciated them when they first came out. And of course now I can read them all one after another without having to wait for the next one to be published.

I delight in his characters, and there are times I can hear myself in some of the characters, saying things I would, or reacting as I do. It’s a hoot, and I love that there are still so many stories, and characters to explore.

More adventures in Discworld soon…

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