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TERRY PRATCHETT – DISCWORLD – WYRD SISTERS. 1988 Corgi Books. 

 

The sixth book in the delightful and extremely funny Discworld series and the first to introduce the ensemble cast of witches. We have seen the formidable elder witch of the coven of three, Granny Weatherwax before, in Equal Rites, but now there are other Ramtops witches to accompany her, Magrat and Nanny Ogg. (Who smokes cigars and can’t stop singing the rude words to the Hedgehog Song). This is a quite dark, brooding spoof a Shakespeare’s Macbeth, complete with ghosts, evil kings, and death. The ghosts not only infest a castle, but the stones from it, which Granny takes home to her cottage, which means that the ghosts now inhabit the cottage as well. Though comical, the witches come across as extremely powerful in the art of magic. You just know that Granny W will do something extraordinary when she can finally be bothered. She tends to step back from the action for much of a plot only to return and put things right in no uncertain terms later on. She spends much of the story in the body of animals that she can get her soul inside, leaving the other witches and even the readers convinced that she may not actually escape, a fate that can befall witches. The plot plays on a King who has become a monarch by killing off his predecessor, King Verence, who now finds himself a ghost. His son is a fool, but he also plays a major role in events that cram in as many Shakespeare situations and jokes as possible. The witches are reluctant to get involved in state affairs and politics, but hey find themselves embroiled in the events and help expose the real evildoer, killed by Death while mistaking him for a character in a play. Excellent stuff, with more to come in a series going from strength to strength. http://www.lspace.org/

 

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