Wyrd Sisters (The Witches of Discworld, #2) (Discworld, #6)

by Terry Pratchett

4 of 5 stars 11 ratings • 4 reviews • 19 shelved
Book cover for Wyrd Sisters

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Wyrd Sisters (The Witches of Discworld, #2) (Discworld, #6)

by Terry Pratchett

4 of 5 stars 11 ratings • 4 reviews • 19 shelved
When King Verence of Lancre is murdered by his cousin, his baby son is rescued by three witches. They are Granny Weatherwax, whose normal state of being is one of barely controlled rage, the extremely earthy Nanny Ogg, and the downtrodden Magrat Garlick.
  • ISBN10 0575043636
  • ISBN13 9780575043633
  • Publish Date 10 November 1988
  • Publish Status Out of Print
  • Out of Print 25 September 1996
  • Publish Country GB
  • Publisher Orion Publishing Co
  • Imprint Orion
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 251
  • Language English


Avatar for murderbydeath

I've been listening to the audio for the past month, as narrated by Celia Imrie, but either my copy, or the production as a whole was so horribly done - 90% of the thing sounds like it was recorded from underneath a feather pillow - that towards the end I finally cracked and last night picked up my hardcover edition and finished it off.   That's not to say Celia Imrie did a bad job - she didn't, she was excellent (although her Nanny Ogg voice was too shaky and sometimes made her difficult to understand).  If you're tempted to listen to this book on audio, and you see this particular edition, listen to a sample first and make sure you're edition is not muffled under a pillow.   As for the story - taken at face value, it was ok.  But you can't take any Pratchett at face value, and the veiled subtext upgraded it, for me, to good (with bonus points for the mugging scene).  I love Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg.  I wasn't quite getting the appeal of Greebo, until the scene with the Fool - that moment where he looks down at the Fool from atop of his head was sublime, (and Celia did it perfectly).  As for the Fool himself, I think I liked him more for having heard him narrated, than I would have had I read him from the start; Celia infused an intelligence in him I'm not sure I'd have given him, given the repetitious nature of his speech.   I think I failed to receive the characters of the Lord and Lady Felmut the way the author intended them.  If satirically humorous is what he was aiming for, I definitely failed.  These two just came across bitter, twisted and creepy - I should say Lord Felmut did; Lady Felmut just seemed to me a straight caricature.  And since I'm complaining (not really) I'll add that while I loved the element of The Land, I wish Pratchett had not been quite so vague about it and it's connection to the throne.  I understood it well enough but would have enjoyed it more with a tiny pinch more detail.  And I understood the dynamic at the end, between the two brothers, until Granny, Nanny and Magrat got through with me.  And how old is Magrat supposed to be anyway?   Overall, even though it doesn't sound like it, I did enjoy the story - it's Pratchett after all, and even his weak books are better than a lot of best efforts.  I'm going to try Witches Abroad on audio too, because even though this edition's sound quality sucked, I think I get more enjoyment out of the stories when they're read by someone who obviously understands Pratchett's writing.  But I'm definitely checking out the samples first.

Avatar for slytherclaw

slytherclaw 4 of 5 stars
This one's right up there with Good Omens & Men at Arms for me. If you like Shakespeare, especially his "Scottish Play", then you'll love this hilarious Phythonesque homage to the bard. In fact, anyone would have a blast with this whether they're a fan of Shakespeare or not. The witches have got to be Terry's best characters by far.

Avatar for brokentune

brokentune 5 of 5 stars
As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: ‘When shall we three meet again?’ There was a pause. Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: ‘Well, I can do next Tuesday.’

I just realised that I never finished writing a review for this one even though I absolutely loved it. Wyrd Sisters is the second installment of the Witches sub-series, and is Pratchett's version of what would happen if Hamlet and Macbeth had been set in the Discworld universe - which may just give you an idea of the plot, but will not spoil anything because this is a Discworld novel and anything is possible.

Instead of writing a proper review, which I really can't get together because there are too many aspects of awesomeness about this book, I'm going to present a few of my favourite quotes (in no particular order):

‘And until then I have to haunt this place.’ King Verence stared around at the draughty battlements. ‘All alone, I suppose. Won’t anyone be able to see me?’
‘I hate cats.’
Death’s face became a little stiffer, if that were possible. The blue glow in his eye sockets flickered red for an instant. I SEE, he said. The tone suggested that death was too good for cat-haters.

Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin.

However, in Bad Ass a cockerel laid an egg and had to put up with some very embarrassing personal questions.

The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.

Demons were like genies or philosophy professors – if you didn’t word things exactly right, they delighted in giving you absolutely accurate and completely misleading answers.

‘The door’s locked,’ said the Fool. ‘There’s all sorts of noises, but the door’s locked.’ ‘Well, it’s a dungeon, isn’t it?’
‘They’re not supposed to lock from the inside!’

It was destined to be the most impressive kiss in the history of foreplay.

‘Ah,’ said Nanny. She took the girl’s arm. ‘The thing is,’ she explained, ‘as you progress in the Craft, you’ll learn there is another rule. Esme’s obeyed it all her life.’
‘And what’s that?’
‘When you break rules, break ‘em good and hard,’ said Nanny, and grinned a set of gums that were more menacing than teeth.

Avatar for layawaydragon

I spent a lazy Sunday curled up with this book. I was laughing, cackling and screeching right along from beginning to end. It's hilarious, witty, sarcastic parody novel with lively distinctive characters and a great moving plot. I think Terry Pratchett is a must read author for everyone. I've read the Tiffany Aching young adult novels that deal with witches but it hasn't spoiled going back to read these first books. Death is a great character and after I'm done with the witches series in discworld I plan on reading Death's books.

The book starts out with descriptions like "Lighting stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin." and "The night was as black as the inside of a cat." How could you not love this book? Then there is the anthropomorphic storm practicing to be the very best storm ever, and Greebo. So many little things that make this book great, everyone and everything comes to life as a character.

There are lots of great dialog, descriptions and moments in the book. Just to pull out a few though,

On page 2,
"They haven't got the imagination. Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to understanding of all religion is that a god's idea of a amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs."

On page 6,
They live their lives as a sort of temporal blur around the point where their body actually is - anticipating the future, or holding on to the past. They're usually so buys thinking about what happens next that the only time they ever find out what is happening now is when they come to look back on it. Most people are like this. They learn how to fear because they can actually tell, down at the subconscious level, what is going to happen next. It's already happening to them."

On page 56,
'My name is unpronounceable in your tongue, woman,' it said.

'I'll be the judge of that,' warned Granny, and added, 'Don't you call me woman.'

'Very well. My name is WxrtHltl-jwlpklz,'said the demon smugly.

'Where you you when the vowels where handed out? Behind the door?' said Nanny Ogg.

'Well, Mr - Granny hesitated only fractionally - WxrtHltl-jwlpklz, I expect you're wondering why we called you here tonight.'

On page 184, Death speaking :


This worried Death. He was used to people claiming that they were not dead, because death always came as a shock, and a lot of people had some trouble getting over it. But people claiming that they were dead with every breath in their body was a new and unsettling experience. [...]