This was the second Discworld book I ever read after Hogfather, and it strengthened my ties to the series. Wyrd Sisters is an amazing mixture of Terry Pratchett’s world and Shakespeare, and a true opening for Granny Weatherwax. One of my favorite characters. And there is Nanny Ogg and Magrat. Those three women convinced me that this series is for life. (So this review like most of my Discworld reviews are biased.)
This is my fourth time reading the book through, and some of that initial excitement has diminished. It is because the story doesn’t hold surprises. If I’m honest, there is a few plots twist which I don’t care for, or it is the execution that doesn’t work for me. One of them is popping into Ankh-Morpork to get the actors. Their travel and the Fool’s exit and entrance made me grit my teeth. This part caused me to disconnect with Lancre and the witches and took me too far away from Granny. (I get scared if she is not around.) This is nitpicking and didn’t affect me at all first, second, or the third time around.
What I concentrated most this fourth time was how Pratchett played with the idea how words have the power to shape the world and narrative and how history is written by the winners. It is nice that justice gets served because of Granny, but that is not always the case in the real world. And it is something that happens in our own personal lives. Our family members, friends, coworkers, or others who we know shape the narrative to serve their own purposes and sometimes it isn’t easy to say: “that is not exactly how it went.” Not if you are the one who comes second to the story. This happens unfortunately often at workplaces with you-know-the-type. And if you don’t have Granny’s hardened nerves, you often enough let people get away with it. Anyway, it is a good reminder from Pratchett that words shape the narrative and they can be used for self-serving purposes.
Wyrd Sisters is a good book. And I think it, Guards! Guards! or even Hogfather is a good place to start.
Thank you for reading!
What I found about the disc world books, is they can be read in order, (which is what i used to do) or by groups, (The Witch Books, Sam Vimes, Death) which seems to make a lot more sense. And Pratchett doesn’t introduce characters idly. He may start with a minor ‘player’ and you think, what is THAT all about?” but sooner or later that minor character appears in a relatively important area. And on occasion he hauls out an older character for a walk-on.
You has to pay attention. Terry Pratchett is a sly one. =)
What I do like to do on occasion is read them in order, to watch the growth of Pratchett as a writer. His first book is always a disappointment, but you can see many of the future ‘stars’ there, in embryonic form. Once you get past Rincewind and his endless travels, you realize how the books have strengthened, and Pratchett is finding his voice.
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You are right. Pratchett is a sly one.
When I read the books the first time, I read them in the order what I could buy or loan as they were darn rare here back then. And because I well in love with the stronger books I was hooked for life. But you are right about reading them in order. You can see the development, you can see what made him jump to the topic, the little things he took from the previous books and gave a central stage in the next ones. And there is something beautiful in the continuity.
The trouble with the first few books is that they don’t show the full potential of the series. I read The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic when I was already in love with Pratchett’s writing style and could enjoy the messiness and the weaknesses they have. I like them still. The relationship with Twoflower and Rincewind makes me always smile. I have heard complaints from those who are new to the series that the books are challenging to get into, and have to remind them that keep reading. You will fall in love with the books when you read Mort or Guards! Guards! That’s why I don’t mind going out of order with the series or the subseries as I know that the stronger books will suck the reader in and they will fall in love with Discworld like I have.