Friday, 2 October 2015

Review: Wyrd Sisters by Sir Terry Pratchett

Publication Date: November 1st 1989
Publisher: Corgi
Length: 332 pages

Witches are not by nature gregarious, and they certainly don't have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more difficult than certain playwrights would have you believe...

And so my Discworld Witches education continues with the second book in the thread, and this one went down even better than the first.
I really enjoyed ‘Equal Rites’ but it still felt like it was very early on in the conception of Discworld, before Pratchett really hit his stride of weird and wonderful awesome. However ‘Wyrd Sisters’ left me with no such feelings and I fell in love with this one, storming through it in one night and frequently cackling out loud at the genius.

Pratchett messing around with Macbeth is quite frankly comic gold. I loved the twisting of the original play, the unfound comedy that comes to light through his shaking and poking and the all-round awesome of the Witches themselves.

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

The tone is set from the very first line, this is going to be a book that isn’t afraid to be utterly superbly insane. Whilst I enjoyed all of the different characters and plot threads, any scene involving the three witches was an instant favourite that found me messaging Sarah with particularly superb lines from them as I tried not to lose my place in the book from laughing too hard. Notable favourites are Granny going to the theatre for the first time and the demon summoning.

My only problem is something that I find with most Pratchett novels that things tend to get a little bit meandery in the middle. He likes to take his time, to thoroughly set up and explore all the threads and weave them into the rough shape he wants before suddenly in the last section tugging on everything and turning it into a free for all of awesome. It leaves you feeling thoroughly satisfied with the end, but a little bit less enthusiastic in the middle unless you’re in the mood for a read that is quite happy to take its time.However I’ve now read enough Pratchett’s to expect this slight lag and instead of feeling frustrated I just enjoy the ride knowing we’re going to be in for one hell of a final act.

‘Wyrd Sisters’ has firmly cemented the Witches as favourites. I adore Granny Weatherwax, and I’m loving seeing her evolve from the first book into the character I met in ‘The Shepherd’s Crown’. This book is a favourite Discworld outing and I cannot wait to get onto the next one in the thread.


  1. I love this series. Wyrd Sisters is my 2nd favourite. I did love the twist on Macbeth! (I feel it necessary to say I've only read 6 so far lol). Like you, I did enjoy Equal Rites, I just didn't love it as much as this one. Are you reading them in order?

    1. I am! I haven't read any of the Witches books before, until the Shepherd's Crown (which is a terrible place to start...) so I'm back to the start and working through them in order which is proving to be so much fun! Which one is your top favourite?