2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
How to Fight a Happy Ending,
This review is from: Witches Abroad: A Discworld Novel (Paperback)Terry Pratchett's first novel, "The Carpet People", appeared in 1971. "Witches Abroad" is the twelfth novel in his hugely popular Discworld series and was first published in 1991. It's also the third book (after "Equal Rites" and "Wyrd Sisters") to feature Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's greatest witch.
As with "Wyrd Sisters", Granny Weatherwax is joined by the Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. Nanny Ogg, is the raucous head of the Ogg clan based in Lancre town. (She also owns a fearsome, one-eyed tomcat with an unbridled libido called Greebo). The other is Magrat Garlick, who has a few fanciful ideas about magic that Granny doesn't altogether approve of. She's always been fond of dancing, occult jewellery and runes, but now Granny thinks Magrat's gone funny in the head : there's the self-defence classes (despite being a witch), the attempts to 'find herself' and her refusal to marry Lancre's new King. (Despite never having been one, she refuses to be a 'sex object').
One of the trio's neighbours is Desiderata Hollow, a witch who specialises in fairy-godmothering. Despite the fact that witches know exactly when they're going to die, Desiderata never quite managed to train up a replacement. Instead, she has her magic wand delivered to Magrat, with a couple of very strict instructions : she's to travel to Genua to STOP a god-daughter marrying a prince, and she's to keep Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from going with her. (In fact, Desiderata is banking on the two older witches tagging along : she knows she can only guarantee their attendance by forbidding them from travelling).
This isn't going to be an easy mission. Godmothers travel in twos, and Desiderata's counterpart - Lilith - wished for Embers (the god-daughter) to have beauty and power and to marry a prince. Whether or not the young lady actually wanted any of that was irrelevant, and Desiderata has been trying to do what's best for Embers. Unfortuantely, it's going to be very difficult to stop a good story...
Much of the humour comes from poking fun at fairy tales, though there's a touch of the Wizard of Oz, and a quick cameo from Gollum. There's also the renowned dwarf lover, Casanunda, the attempts to master 'speaking foreign' and the terrible privies in foreign parts. However, it's Nanny Ogg - with her fondness for a double entendre and a vulgar song - who provides many of the best parts. Thoroughly recommended !