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Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel: 6 Paperback – 10 Nov 1989


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New Ed edition (10 Nov 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552134600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552134606
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Like Jonathan Swift, Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own, and like Swift, he is a satirist of enormous talent'" (The Times)

"'One of the perennial joys of modern fiction'" (Mail on Sunday)

"'One of the pleasures of the book is the way in which literary classics float effortlessly through them in a way that would be pounced on as inter-textual in another author but is never allowed to become strident or alienating in Pratchett's work'" (Guardian)

Book Description

The sixth Discworld novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 17 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback
Parodying Shakespeare is a cottage industry among novelists. Few, however, have the talent to weave sound philosophy within the narrative. Pratchett introduces some thoughtful notions along with his compelling characters. From the introduction of Esme Weatherwax in Equal Rites, he fills out the coven residing in the kingdom of Lancre with her cohorts. Each brings a highly unique style to the craft. Esme, acknowledged but undeclared head witch, is traditional, effective and highly sensitive to what's "good for people". Magrat Garlick, well-read, modern and innocent [if you can reconcile those viewpoints] personifies perfectly the modern "Wiccan" mystic. Nanny Ogg almost oozes practicality - having gone through three husbands and is served, if resentfully, by her phalanx of daughters and daughters-in-law. The story itself, however, concerns another matter - one far more pertinent to today's world.
What is, or should be the role of monarchy in modern society? Pratchett uses the Hamlet example to examine this question in a new and penetrating manner. Kings can rise and fall through many means. Duke Felmet, desirous of disciplined rule, fells the incumbent. According to Pratchett, assassination is a "natural cause" of death for monarchs [as is execution, but that's elsewhere in the series]. The coven, aware that the former King Verence of Lancre has been murdered by a potential usurper, becomes protector of the heir. It "protects" him by shipping him off with a troupe of mummers. Thus Shakespeare as example is supplanted by parody of the playwright and his work. The coven, however, senses what Shakespeare never expressed - monarchy's role in regard to the land and the people.
In Shakespeare's day, Elizabeth, the ruling monarch, expressed her love for "her people" and "the country".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 April 2008
Format: Audio CD
Terry Pratchett has become one of the most popular authors alive today and his popularity is richly deserved. But not even with his fertile mind could ever have envisaged the heights to which his Discworld series would rise. This book was first published in 1988 and is number six in the Discworld novels.

You would think that a fantasy world full of trolls, zombies, witches, vampires would be an alien concept to most readers. Werewolves and dwarves in the Ank Morpork city watch. Wizards running a university. All this born in the mind of one of the funniest minds writing today. Surely this style of writing would have a limited readership? But no the books are loved by anybody and everybody and are read by people who would not normally allow fantasy fiction anywhere near their book shelves. This is the Discworld of Terry Pratchett.

In this episode Granny Weatherwax and her fellow coven members are meddling in politics, the royal kind, which Granny Weatherwax thinks is the worst kind of all. The Wyrd sisters as they are known battle to put the right king on the right throne, at least that's the general idea. After all what are witches for . . .
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T.L. James on 2 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book soon after it was first published 14 years ago, and I have just re-read it.
It's as funny as ever (provided you really know Macbeth), but the really impressive thing is that, even when you have read all the other novels in which the characters have subsequently developed, they remain consistent. Granny Weatherwax is still gloriously herself - never confusing being good with being nice - and Magrat the junior witch is a recognisably immature version of Queen Magrat. The gags never get in the way of the personalities.
The Discworld books may be funny, and they may have started as spoofs on swords-and-sorcery literature (of which I read more than I care to remember when I was an adolescent), but this is *real* literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt Graubner on 6 Nov 2005
Format: Paperback
Witches on the Disc have traditions, they're just not what you might think. Getting three of them together to form a coven is hard enough you can forget midnight "dancin around without your drawers on" as Nanny Ogg says. Besides the whole magic part one of the distinguishing features of witches is that they don't generally associate with each other.
This of course makes this story all the more interesting as Granny Weatherwax, Magrat (her mother couldn't spell Margaret) Garlick, and Nanny Ogg must cooperate to save the kingdom of Lancre from certain disaster. While Granny was introduced in Equal Rites this marks the introduction of Magrat and Nanny.
You'll see plenty of Shakespeare in this volume, especially MacBeth and Hamlet, which I think makes it all the more enjoyable. There is nothing more fun than getting exactly what you don't expect from a traditional tale whenever you're venturing onto the Disc.
And what could be a better setting than the country of Lancre, squeezed in at the foot of the Ramtops where most flat land is vertical. Lancre castle overlooks the main town (imaginatively called Lancre Town) and occasionally bits and pieces fall into the gorge and the far off (vertically) Lancre River.
If you like this volume then you should definately go on to Witches Abroad and Lords and Ladies. It delivers the humour definately expected from Pratchett and has the classical touch of Shakespeare turned on his head and spinning in his grave. :-)
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