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Wyrd Sisters Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews
Book 6 of 40 in the Discworld Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Superb popular entertainment." -- -- Washington Post Book World

"Truly original...Discworld is more complicated and satisfactory than OZ...Brilliant!" -- -- A.S. Byatt

From the Publisher

Wyrd Sisters is the sixth novel in the Discworld Sequence - The funniest fantasy series ever. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarTorch; Reprint edition (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061020664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061020667
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although we first met Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters gives us the three witches-Granny, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick-in all of their glory. These are my favorite characters in the Discworld, and loud peals of laughter are always to be found when this remarkable coven of witches gets together. The story itself is a thoroughly Pratchett-like concoction of Shakespeare, fairy tales, satire, and infinitely rich comedy. The king of Lancre, much to his surprise, has been murdered by the Macbethian Duke Felmet, and he is not at all happy about this. No one, in fact, is happy, including the very kingdom itself, which physically shows its rage at having a new king who despises his own royal domain. The witches are also not happy, as the Duke works continually to discredit them among the people-Granny Weatherwax just doesn't have any truck with that at all. Of course, in a story such as this, there has to be a long-lost child of the murdered king who will eventually come back to right the wrongs done his father and dethrone the regal malefactor-or something along those lines, anyway. Things are never quite that simple on the Discworld.
The antics of the witches are hilarious. Granny Weatherwax is a stalwart personality who never admits she might be wrong or that there is something she is not familiar with. Nanny Ogg is a rather worldly witch who enjoys nothing more than getting blasted and drunkenly singing about hedgehogs or the fact that a wizard's staff has a knob on the end. Then there is young Magrat, quite plain in appearance, who believes the traditional ways of witchcraft are best and whose sometimes naïve, positive nature often conflicts with the thinking of her older cohorts; you have to love her, really.
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Format: Paperback
Like Tom Stoppard (amongst others) before him, Terry Pratchett has re-written Shakespeare, shifting focus to a group of secondary characters. Where Stoppard switches the hub of "Hamlet" to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Pratchett uses "Macbeth"s three witches, the so-called "Wyrd Sisters". He also replaces Scotland with a giant, interstellar Discworld, perched atop four gigantic elephants, who are themselves perched atop an even more giant turtle. Needless to say, Shakespeare's original does not come away unscathed.
Pratchett tosses around numerous parodic references to "Macbeth" (i.e., the opening scene where an eerie voice asks, "When shall we three meet again?" and a deadpan voice replies "Well, I can do next Tuesday"; people are constantly seeing daggers before them, or at least thinking they do). It should be noted that a familiarity with the original text is not important to your enjoyment here. I haven't read the play in about five years, and still caught enough to stay with the joke. References to other plays abound as well. "Hamlet" (a tightfisted theatre director decrees that "the pay's the thing", then swiftly corrects himself), "Romeo and Juliet", and "Richard III" are all prominently featured and lampooned.
"Wyrd Sisters" also features the finest example of an ensemble cast so far seen in any of the Discworld books. Each character is distinct and interesting, not to mention integral to the plot. My favourites include: Tomjon, the unknown heir who is a great example of how a passion for the theatre can stand side-by-side with more conventional magic; Hwel (Will?), a dwarf playwright, who at one point almost invents the stage personas of the Marx Brothers (yay!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Duke Felmet kills King Verence and names himself the new King of Lancre, Verence's ghost haunts the castle and his young son is smuggled out of the kingdom and taken to a coven of three witches for protection. These witches bestow three gifts upon the baby and place him with the owner of an acting troupe. The new king is an evil one, and the entire kingdom (animal, vegetable, and mineral) expresses its displeasure. How could the witches possibly refrain from using their magic skills to meddle in royal politics, place the rightful heir on the throne, and set things right?

"Wyrd Sisters" is the sixth title in the Discworld series, and with each book, author Terry Pratchett keeps getting better and better. The story is a clever parody of Shakespeare from the opening scene onwards. It's a fast-paced romp through a pastiche of scenes, themes, and lines from Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, As You Like It, and many more, all unified into an entertaining whole. Pratchett also throws in references to Tolkien, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, and Sleeping Beauty (not to mention others I have probably missed).

The witches are my favorite Discworld characters, and with good reason. Their personalities are drawn to perfection, and each of them is endearing in her own way. Granny Weatherwax, who was first introduced in "Equal Rites," is the feisty, powerful, no-nonsense witch who believes in headology. Nanny Ogg is the grandmotherly witch who loves drinking and bawdy songs. Magrat Garlick is the young, idealistic New Age witch who likes spells to be performed just so, and who falls in love with the court Fool. The interactions and squabbles between the three witches are hilarious.
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