Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Discworld #6

Wyrd Sisters

Rate this book
'Pratchett uses his other world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own . . . he is a satirist of enormous talent' The Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .

'Destiny is important, see, but people go wrong when they think it controls them. It's the other way around.'

Three witches - Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick - have gathered on a lonely heath. A king has been cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. An infant heir and the crown of the kingdom, both missing . . .

Witches don't have these kind of dynastic problems themselves – in fact, they don’t have leaders.

Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders the witches don't have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe . . .

The Discworld novels can be read in any order but Wyrd Sisters is the second book in the Witches series.

368 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1988

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Terry Pratchett

463 books39.8k followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, the University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
42,982 (39%)
4 stars
42,773 (39%)
3 stars
19,566 (17%)
2 stars
2,750 (2%)
1 star
692 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,091 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
733 reviews3,395 followers
June 14, 2020
The innuendos to Shapespeares´work are the icing on the cake of the 2nd witch story.

The normal Pratchett universe is already filled with deeper meanings and hidden treasures of pop culture references, innuendos, and ironic criticism, but if the motive is satirizing one of the most famous writers of all time, tears can be laughed in vast amounts. How the Discworld characters are used in the roles of the classic telling is ingenious and hilarious and the complex character constellations don´t come too short too.

The very old classics and many of the newer ones from the 19th and 20th century have mostly become targets for and of satire, as the behavior, motives, even not so much the language, seem so bizarre, stubborn, and weird from the point of view of modern thinking (for the few ones who practice it) that the originals are always good for a laugh. It´s very hard to imagine that people really acted like that and that the idealized description was far away from the real life, everything was pretty messed up, and it seems incredible that many idealized the ideologies of these times as good and worthwhile until far into the 20th and 21st century.

The core of comedy is suffering and most of the classics, written for the wealthy elite, showcase what was seen as normal and appropriate behavior, but is nothing more than absolutely ridiculous. Not all classics, of course, but this problem of subliminal messaging is a plague in these genres, the wealthy and beautiful people liked their literary ivory towers and loss of reality as least as much as the real counterparts.

Brothers´Grimm and Hamlet are in the house too and show that it´s quite true that close to every story has already been told and that it´s a question of remixing and reinterpreting to make new, even better works using interbreeding them with other genres and plotlines. Pratchett used everything he could find, classics, social criticism, legends, modern topics, and amalgamated them to his immensely dense universe.

How childrens´ books and stories were written these days comes close to traumatizing compared to the positive psychology of todays´ genre literature standards, that have no nightmare fuel horror elements fueling PTSD anymore. Especially the old, original, not softened versions are pretty hardcore and it says much about the mentality of these days that they were often also used to indoctrinate before they became fictional literature.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for Leslie.
142 reviews
April 22, 2008
How have I never read Terry Pratchett before? He's like ... Shakespeare and Wodehouse and Monty Python all wrapped into one!

A student gave me this book while we were studying Macbeth in class. Wyrd Sisters is a sort of parallel story, which manages to poke fun at the play, revere the play, make inside jokes about the play, and ... well, generally turn the play on its head. All the while, you, the reader, get to feel very smart and superior for getting all the jokes and allusions.

And yet it manages to avoid being gimmicky. It really is a good story with good characters, too. This is no Life of Brian where the story itself matters less than the hilarity of the parody. Wyrd Sisters may draw a good deal of life from Macbeth, but its real liveliness comes from Pratchett's skilled characterizations of a regicidal Duke, his murderess Dutchess, their depressed Fool, and three very colorful witches.

Oh, it's just genius. My only problem is figuring out what Pratchett novel to read next ... he's dauntingly prolific!
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,846 reviews16.3k followers
June 9, 2021
Shakespeare on the Discworld.

Truth be told, and all due respect to Rincewind, but I am partial to Sir Terry’s Discworld Witches.

Granny Weatherwax returns from Equal Rites to star in another novel, this time in Pratchett’s 1988 entry into the Discworld universe, Wyrd Sisters, his sixth Discworld novel and the second to feature Weatherwax and her sister witches.

Nanny Ogg gives her a run for her money though.

Pratchett provides Granny Weatherwax with a return visit and introduces two of her sisters, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick as the second and third witches to stand in for the three-witch coven triumvirate (maiden, mother, and crone). We also get to visit with Death (a recurring character in many of the Discworld books) and the Unseen University’s orangutan Librarian.

Pratchett pays loving homage to The Bard with clear references to Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear and an overall theme of wordsmithing to give Discworld fans a touch of Shakespeare. There is even a character named "Hwel" who does the Discworld services of a traveling playwright.

But as in all of the Discworld novels, Sir Terry and his flavorful English humor narration is the real protagonist. Reading this, I smiled frequently and laughed out loud at least a couple times.

A very good read.

*** 2021 reread

I'm on a 2021 Discworld reading festival extravaganza. It's Pratchettapalooza. Bonnaroo on the Discworld.

Granny, Nanny and Magrat take over where Macbeth's witches leave off and we have a grand ole time on the Discworld stage - The Disc.

Add the Tempest to the plays that Sir Terry lovingly and playfully admires with his magic Discworld pen.

Also, I'll add Nanny's cat Greebo to the list of wonderfully noteworthy Discworld characters.

Profile Image for Adrian.
539 reviews194 followers
June 25, 2019
A definite candidate for “book of the month “, review to follow later, football allowing 😬

Well in the end it wasn't the football that delayed me, I was delayed by only my second ever migraine, so apologies if this is a bit of a mushy/nonsensical review as my brain still feels like cotton wool 🤕

Right, lets see, witty, well written, amusing anecdotes, Shakespeare/real life parody, DEATH, witches it has to be Terry Pratchett. I know I read this book many years ago , but I didn't remember any of it, and in my personal challenge of reading a Discworld novel every month, this has to be my favourite so far (I think I said that last month ha ha).
But it was my fave; Granny W, Nanny O and Magrat are all on top form, Granny Weatherwax is at her most imperious and is the epitome of witch "headology". In addition the 3 witches also practice some (for them rare, but) real magic to affect the outcome of a kingdom.
Regicide of a tough but fair King sends the kingdom of Lancre into chaos. The rightful heir meanwhile is spirited away whilst a baby to save him with the band of travelling players.
Chaos then ensues in the kingdom as the murdering Duke and his wife try to take control of the land. Suffice to say the witches won't allow this and by performing some real magic, the heir to the kingdom is brought back as a (almost) grown man by the wandering thespians.
During the madness that follows, a fool falls in love with a witch, the witches end up playing themselves in the performers play, the ghost king tries to stab the Duke who killed him and DEATH is confused by a retractable dagger.
All in all a normal day on the Discworld.
( a very disjointed review but that's my head at the moment 😬 )
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,934 reviews425 followers
April 15, 2020
[First Read: 7th March, 2013. 3 stars.
Second Read: 5th October, 2018. 3 stars.]

Wyrd Sisters is the second of the Witch mini-series, in the ever popular Discworld series. Equal Rites was the first and we were introduced to one of the greatest characters of all-time: Granny Weatherwax.

Wyrd Sisters brings two more witches-and mentions of many others-in to fray: Nanny Ogg, Granny's best friend, and Magrat Garlick, a new-wave witch who thinks jangling jewellery and occult symbols makes you a better witch.

Adding two new witches alongside Granny just emphasises how cantankerous, stubborn and bloody brilliant she is. Even they can't deny that she's the best. She is tolerated most of the time, but there's always an underlying current of total respect, in the same way you respect your grandparents because they lived through the war, even if they do still say "does anyone want to get a Chinky?"

The plot is Shakespearean-Macbeth in particular-and takes many plot points from that, as well as a lot of the quotes. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of Discworld nonsense and Shakespearean tragedy that is twisted with unique Pratchett humour.

It is written much the same way all the early Discworld books were. Very well, hardly any technical faults and smatterings of Pratchett humour. Despite the wonderful Granny, the amusing Nanny and the Straightforward but naive Magrat, and my love for all the Discworld witches, I couldn't enjoy this as much as I wanted.

It was funny in a tittering kind of way, and the plot was interesting, but it never quite held my attention. I never felt like I wanted to read it all the time, or try and finish reading it. It took me quite a while to get through it (for other reasons I won't go in to) but it never really held me enough to want it.

Still a better love story than Twilight.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
217 reviews525 followers
March 24, 2022
Dentro de Mundodisco, Brujerías, es un libro repleto de guiños Shakespearianos, Macbeth. Con momentos hilarantes y personajes que uno se lleva dentro de su corazón y cabeza. Que tres brujas, la guardia de Ankh-Morpork tiene competencia.

Sus impagables protagonistas son un aquelarre aunque no les guste demasiado esa palabra, de brujas, tenemos a Yaya Ceravieja, acompañada de su mala leche, es genial y ahora mismo uno de mis personajes favoritos de Pratchett. Yaya es la ostia, así de sencillo. Poderosa como ella solo, pero le jode ser buena, si fuera mala sería la más mala, pero, tiene buen fondo, y le jode!!

Magrat Ajostiernos, es la jovenzuela de este trío dorado, brillante, de este grupo de brujas inmejorable, es tan romántica como inocente y muy soñadora. Representa además una brujería más moderna.

Y Tata Ogg, que mujer, es amante de cualquier cosa que pueda considerarse un vicio. Y su gato Mandón, que cabrón, lo gracioso es que todos ven lo cabrón que es el minino, menos ella, para ella es lo más adorable, y muy.. vigoroso el minino, eso ya lo entenderéis.

Hay tantas cosas que podría deciros de estas tres genialidades de brujas como del resto de personajes y su trama. Pero no, no, LEEDLO, es impagable el rato que pasaréis.

Tambien tenemos como personaje destacable y un común denominador en Mundodisco, sublime como, él/eso solo, para no perder costumbre, y esa esencia maravillosa y unica de tan mágico y preciado mundo, aparece la Muerte.

Y es increíble que un libro tan corto como son los de Mundodisco, contengan tantas cosas y de para tanto. Como diversos homenajes y giños a personajes del cine mudo, los cuentos de hadas más populares, pues en Brujerías las brujas han de devolver a su soberano al pueblo de Lancre.

Pratchett nos regala tanto en sus historias y a través de tan inolvidables personajes. Es una locura de historia en la que se nos escapa más de una sonrisa (carcajada incluso) leyendo ingeniosos diálogos y situaciones, momentazos tanto impagables como extravagantes. Narrado de forma rápida y amena. Brillante.

El Mundodisco de Pratchett está repleto de significados más profundos y tesoros ocultos de referencias a la cultura pop, de insinuaciones y críticas irónicas, pero si el motivo es satirizar a uno de los escritores más famosos de todos los tiempos, las lágrimas pueden provocar grandes carcajadas. La forma en que se utilizan los personajes del Mundodisco en los roles de la narración clásica es ingeniosa, es hilarante, y las complejas constelaciones que forman sus personajes brillan como pocos logran hacerlo.

Ciertos clásicos antiguos y varios más modernos, se han convertido en objeto de sátira, debido al comportamiento y yo diría sobretodo, el lenguaje, que parece algo extraño desde un punto de vista del pensamiento moderno. En buena parte de los clásicos muestran lo que se consideraba un comportamiento normal y apropiado en las clases digamos de élite.

Las brujas de Sir Terry saben cómo esperas que sean las brujas, llenan tus expectativas para así luego tirarlas al váter. Son únicas, son geniales, son cada una un elemento fundamental de este aquelarre impagable de tantos momentos que me han hecho tanto sonreír, como reírme.

Se dice que Mundodisco es único y es por algo. No solo eso, es algo especial por lo que consigue son todos sus personajes como una mágica y gran familia que uno se lleva en el corazón. De verdad, que puta gozada.

¡Gracias, Sir Terry Pratchett! ¡Gracias! 🪄🔮
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.6k followers
October 7, 2020
Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2), Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters is Terry Pratchett's sixth Discworld novel, published in 1988, and re-introduces Granny Weatherwax of Equal Rites.

Wyrd Sisters features three witches: Granny Weatherwax; Nanny Ogg, matriarch of a large tribe of Oggs and owner of the most evil cat in the world; and Magrat Garlick, the junior witch, who firmly believes in occult jewelry, covens, and bubbling cauldrons, much to the annoyance of the other two.

King Verence I of Lancre is murdered by his cousin, Duke Felmet, after his ambitious wife persuades him to do so. The King's crown and child are given by an escaping servant to the three witches.

The witches hand the child to a troupe of travelling actors, and hide the crown in the props-box. They acknowledge that destiny will eventually take its course and that the child, Tomjon, will grow up to defeat Duke Felmet and take his rightful place as king.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم ماه می سال 2016میلادی

عنوان: مجموعه جهان صفحه - کتاب شش - خواهران سرنوشت؛ نویسنده: تری پرتچت (پراچت)؛ مترجم: محمد حسینی مقدم؛ تهران، ویدا، 1393؛ در 460ص؛ شابک 9786002911315؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده ی 20م

جهان صفحه؛ آمیزه ای ست از اسطوره شناسی، و داستانهای فولکلور، با این تفاوت است که «پراچت»، روی همه ی اینها لایه ای از طنز، و هزل کشیده است، طنزی که باعث شده، منتقدین مجله ی «آکسفورد تایمز»، ایشان را بامزه ترین نویسنده ی سده ی بیستم میلادی، بنامند، و یا نشریه ی داستانهای علمی تخیلی نیویورک، ایشان را، خنده دار تربن هزل نویس دوره ی اخیر لقب بدهد؛ در این کتاب که ششمین جلد، از سری «جهان صفحه» است؛ «پراچت» داستان جادوگرهای سخت کوشی را، بازگو میکند، که علیرغم میل درونی خویش، درگیر جار و جنجالهای دربار میشوند، دوک، و همسر شیطان صفتش، میخواهند پادشاهی «جهان صفحه» را، غصب کنند، و جادوگرها، باید مانع از اینکار شوند؛ آیا آنها موفق خواهند شد؟

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 15/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,503 reviews24.5k followers
February 1, 2022
I am finding my rereads of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series a real tonic, so much fun and so entertaining, here he whirls the Discworld with magic, the world of theatre and Shakespeare, obviously the tragic story of Macbeth but including his other plays too. Grumpy Granny Weatherwax returns for a star turn, along with her friend, the fabulous Nanny Ogg, and the younger, more inexperienced Magwat Garlick, as the larger than life, colourful three witches meddling in the affairs of the Kingdom of Lancre. King Verence has been killed by his ambitious cousin, the Duke of Felmet, urged on by his wife, as he takes over, the turbulent kindom descends into chaos and mayhem under the madness of his tyrannical rule. The dead King's crown and his heir, Tomjon, are saved by the witches in this brilliantly comic satire and parody, that has a deliciously evil cat and a fool who falls in love. Many thanks to the publisher.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,581 reviews2,310 followers
September 9, 2017
I know the wizards have their fans, but for my money, NOBODY beats the Discworld witches.

Granny Weatherwax and her "cronies" try to dethrone an undesirable king in this adventure. To do it they'll need to mess around with time and even consort with...actors - gasp!

Here the gals summon a demon, with predictably Pratchett-like results:

The waters seethed a little, became very still and then, with a sudden movement and a little popping noise, mounded up into a head.
"Well?" it said.
"Who're you?" said Granny, bluntly.
The head revolved to face her.

"My name is unpronounceable in your tongue, woman," it said.
"I'll be the judge of that," warned Granny, and added, "Don't you call me woman."

"Very well. My name is WxrtHltl-jwlpklz," said the demon smugly.
"Where were you when the vowels were handed out? Behind the door?" said Nanny Ogg.

Nanny Ogg is my new role model. A boozy, incorrigible old flirt who uses her cauldron as a beer cooler...what's not to love?

She's also an expert when it comes to child rearing:

The water under the lid was inky black and, according to rumor, bottomless; the Ogg grandchildren were encouraged to believe that monsters from the dawn of time dwelt in its depths, since Nanny believed that a bit of thrilling and pointless terror was an essential ingredient of the magic of childhood.

So, forget about piano lessons and soccer camp. Instead, scare the crap out of your kids. They'll thank you for it!
Profile Image for Luffy.
932 reviews699 followers
August 26, 2021
The late Terry Pratchett was a hell of a writer. I thought one of my other favorite Fantasy authors, Brandon Sanderson, was barking up the wrong tree when he lauded Pratchett as a genius.

But, I realize now better not to distrust those in the know. It is clear to me that the author of Wyrd Sisters is a master of literature, with this book to prove it. A very great first half leading to a less than perfect second half makes me look forward to the Discworld books. It's queer how the first half emitted shades of Macbeth, while the parts with actual quotes from the play were less heads on. Comes from not reading Shakespeare.

Anyway, my expectations were ridiculously exceeded. I hope to choose the next Discworld novella with the same scientific and dutiful approach the kingdom of Lance adopts in choosing their king. Any one will do.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
673 reviews1,028 followers
August 24, 2017
"When you break rules, break 'em good and hard."

Hm. I must admit I wasn't as taken with this one as I was with Mort.
Terry Pratchett's insatiable wit was still there, but I just wasn't as invested in this story.
Three witches - Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and young Magrat keep to their own little coven and rarely meddle in other affairs.
But when three knights appear carrying a baby off into the woods they become suspicious, and decide to get involved.

"I reckon responsible behaviour is something to get when you grow older. Like varicose veins."

Turns out King Verence had been murdered in his own bed by his closest confidante. Leaving behind an unknown heir.
So begins a tale full of magic, mummers and general madness.

"Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages."

I did enjoy it, but it just wasn't as funny as the characters of Death and Mort for me. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Grace (Bookworm Supreme).
182 reviews87 followers
December 10, 2022
This is honestly such a fun book 🤩🤩 Although it could definitely be improved in some places, it’s a great palate cleanser and a lovely introduction to the Discworld series!!

“The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.”

Wyrd Sisters is Book 6 in the Discworld series, which is basically a super long series of standalone books all set in a fantasy world called the Discworld, which has all sorts of magical beings, like wizards, witches, trolls, dwarves, etc. This one in particular is about three witches- Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat- who live in a kingdom where the king has just recently been murdered by a power hungry duke. It’s just basically about them meddling in royal politics and all the things that go wrong because of that.

“It is true that words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone’s mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.”

I have heard such great things about Terry Pratchett and about how funny his books are and although I didn’t find this one as laugh-out-loud hilarious as I was expecting, it was still a super fun read!! The whole book has this light and funny atmosphere that makes it pretty easy to enjoy. I really liked how it was both a parody of fairy tales and of Macbeth and the twist on lots of fairytale creatures was super cool. The worldbuilding was also really creative and fun and kept you interested 🤗🤗

I think one of my favourite parts of the book was definitely the characters. The witches all had distinct, interesting personalities and were very easy to root for. I really liked Granny Weatherwax in particular and how no nonsense she was 😁😁 Other things I really liked was the little ‘twist’ at the end that I wasn’t expecting and the ending, which tied everything up very neatly.

“I reckon responsible behavior is something to get when you grow older. Like varicose veins.”

However, the book obviously had some flaws. The writing, although fun, could definitely feel a bit old and heavy at times, and often I had to read sentences a few times to understand what it was saying. I also felt like there was a distinct lack of plot in the first 100-150 pages and it was kinda meandering on. It took a while to get to the main focus of the story.

Also, and I know this is kinda nit-picky, but having no chapters reallyyy bothered me. I never realised how much satisfaction I take from finishing my chapter or seeing how many chapters I read before I read a book without them. I just would’ve liked to have chapters, that’s all I’m saying 🙈🙈

“Destiny is important, see, but people go wrong when they think it controls them. It's the other way around.”

Overall, this was a fun read! A great palate cleanser if all the books you’ve been reading lately have felt very formulaic and too similar. It’s got:

✔️ Fun writing
✔️ Slower but still interesting plot
✔️ Great characters!
✔️ Interesting worldbuilding
✔️ Light and fun atmosphere
✔️ Good ending

Would recommend! I could definitely see myself reading more Terry Pratchett in the future ☺

~ 3.25 stars


This was an easy, fun read! I enjoyed it ☺🤗

Profile Image for Ethan.
203 reviews221 followers
January 7, 2021
"I said, what about this rule about not meddling?" said Magrat.
"Ah," said Nanny. She took the girl's arm.
"The thing is," she explained, "as you progress in the Craft, you'll learn there is another rule. Esme's obeyed it all her life."
"And what's that?"
"When you break rules, break 'em good and hard," said Nanny, and grinned a set of gums that were more menacing than teeth.

In Wyrd Sisters, Verence, the King of Lancre, is dead; he was murdered by Lord Felmet, who becomes the new king. A carriage speeds away from the castle in the immediate aftermath of the murder, spiriting away Verence's infant son, the rightful heir to the throne. Through a series of events, the child ends up in the care of three witches, the elders Esme (a.k.a. "Granny") Weatherwax and Gytha (a.k.a. "Nanny") Ogg, and rookie witch Magrat Garlick. Together, they must decide what to do with the child. To further complicate matters, the usurping king rules with an iron fist, and has his sights set on persecuting witches. What will become of the rightful heir? Will the witches be forced to interfere in politics to put a stop to the new king's reign of terror and restore harmony to the kingdom?

This is only my second Discworld book, after The Colour of Magic, but it's my new favourite (for now...there are forty-one books in this series). The characters are quite memorable, especially Granny, and the story is pretty good. Like other reviewers, I loved the Shakespeare references, like Felmet continually trying to wash non-existent blood off his hands, a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth. I also loved that some of the characters were theatre performers, and there were glimpses into the production and staging of a play. I love the theatre, so these parts of the story appealed to me. The book is also funny throughout, though personally I found The Colour of Magic to be funnier; this book was a bit more of a "laughing on the inside" kind of funny, where the former was "laugh out loud" funny at times.

I also liked how this book had a bit more substance than The Colour of Magic. For example, this book explored how governments try to rewrite history and change the truth to make themselves look better (insert Trump emoji here), which is very relevant to us in modern times. I also liked how Pratchett kept the magic system relatively simple, which he did in the former book I mentioned as well. Sometimes fantasy gets too involved with complicated rules and systems of magic, but this series doesn't do that, so it's less intimidating for those of us who don't read tons of fantasy novels.

On the negative side, I found some parts of the book dragged a bit and were a tad overlong. I also found the ending to be rather confusing, and I had to read some story notes on a few different websites to figure out what really happened. "Wyrd Sisters ending explained" comes up in Google as a frequent search, so it seems I'm not alone in this regard.

The criticisms here are relatively minor for me, however. This was a great book overall, with rich characters and a fun story, and it was a joy to read.

Highly recommended!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Trish.
1,848 reviews3,363 followers
October 8, 2017
What a funny coincidence that my group started the Discworld buddy-read at a time that meant this 6th installment would be read in October of all months. How utterly appropriate.

And I have a confession to make: I think I have a new favourite. O.O
So far, my absolute favourite was Mort and it still is fantastic, but this book is at least equally great. There might not be deep messages about mortality, but the plot in Wyrd Sisters has a lot of other important topics to offer.

The story is that of how Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg (two old witches from the Discworld) and Magrat (a young witch) have started meeting regularly (the word coven shall not be uttered unless you want to get one of Granny's frowns) and how they come across / save a baby that turns out to be a royal heir. The king of Lancre has just died in an accident been self-defenced to death been assassinated died under certain circumstances that shall not be discussed further so the witches make sure the heir is taken away by a theatre company. However, the land itself is not very happy about the developments so against all supposed rules, the witches need to intervene.

There is magic (I vastly prefer the witches' magic to the wizards' one), there is intrigue, there is a bit of swashbuckling, there is almost Shakespearean mummery, there is DEATH, there is an assortment of animals, ghosts - and many plot concepts that get turned on their heads in the most hilarious way.
Best of all, on top of getting my beloved Granny Weatherwax, we are also getting her friend Nanny Gytha Ogg (the two are a great pair) AND my beloved Greebo!
(If you don't know who Greebo is, just look at the quotes I liked; he's truly unique. :D)

There were so many instances here where I didn't only have to chuckle but laugh out loud. Just look at the incredible amount of quotes I highlighted (I had to stop at some point or I would have quoted the entire book). And the entire book was full of fast-paced fun what with the plan the witches come up with to help destiny on its way (though cudos to Terry Pratchett for not making it too easy just because they CAN do magic, that was a nice twist all on its own).

Like I said, my new favourite, also helped by another impeccable performance by the narrator who just nails Granny.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,844 followers
October 9, 2017
There have been many great reviews on this old favorite of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and I won't wax eloquent, (or otherwise), save to mention that it's full of Headology and Shakespeare references, between murdered kings and lost heirs and crowns and a mummer's farce and a showdown between Witches and the King, but even so, it's all fun as hell.

I think this is the first novel of the Discworld series that truly comes into its own... or the first one that Pratchett uses as the template for all the ones to come. Since this is a second read of the whole series, I found this one to be an awfully familiar and warming experience.

I still think that there are better Discworld novels out there, but not by very much. :) All in all, it's a fun read.

I can't quite tell whether I like Ogg or Weatherwax more. :) I never really connected with Magrat.

Profile Image for Elena Rodríguez.
501 reviews229 followers
January 18, 2022
-Lo intentaré.
-Pero no creo que se me dé bien todo eso de andar con sábanas blancas y cadenas. ¿Tendré que gemir y aullar?

Hay etapas y etapas en tu vida, unas estás triste, otras muy feliz y eliges tus lecturas en torno a eso. (Al menos es en mi caso). Si estoy pasando un mal trago o lo que sea o una situación de estrés leo algo que me haga reír, por el contrario, si estoy en un momento bastante feliz pues sigo con lecturas de más densidad.

Brujerías de Terry Prachett es un libro especial para mí. Lo encontré en una remota tienda de segunda mano de Oviedo hará un par de años. Ya había leído otras lecturas de Prachett, la saga de la muerte y me gustaba como escribía, sin embargo, no le había pillado el punto. Lo vi y dije “Oh, otro de este autor. Me lo llevo”. Mi sorpresa fue al empezar a leerlo. No tenía punto de comparación con la saga de la Muerte, mientras que esta era bastante filosófica, las brujas era todo cómico y absurdo. Me hicieron ver una faceta de Prachett que debía descubrir. A partir de entonces se convirtió en uno de mis libros favoritos del autor y sabía que no dudaría en releerlo en un futuro.

Han pasado cinco años y lo he releído porque por un lado la situación me lo requería y lo ansiaba y por otro lado porque ya era hora de volver al autor. ¿Sigo considerándolo uno de mis favoritos? Sí. Aunque más bien por el amor que le profeso y las risas que me echo siempre que lo leo.

-No vamos a maldecir a nadie. - dijo Yaya con firmeza-. Si el interesado no lo sabe, nunca funciona.
-Bueno, podemos mandarle un muñeco con su cara, todo lleno de alfileres.
-No, Gytha.
-Sólo necesitamos recoger los restos cuando se corte las uñas de los pies. -insistió Tata con entusiasmo.
-O un mechón de pelo. Yo tengo alfileres.
- No.
- Maldecir a la gente es moralmente reprobable, y afecta negativamente a tu karma. - señaló Magrat.
-Me da igual, lo pienso maldecir- refunfuñó Tata. - Aunque sea en voz baja… (…)

Los personajes me gustan mucho, las tres brujas: la doncella, la madre y la arpía. Cada una con un carácter que choca con el resto y eso provoca más risas aún y su ingenuidad en muchas cosas

Yo creo que lo que más destaco es la forma de escribir del autor y como juega con el lenguaje. Creo que muchas cosas se pierden con la traducción, pero hay muchos chistes verdes implícitos, así como lingüísticos que me han cautivado desde la primera vez que lo leí.

-Más respeto, que soy un rey.

Por cierto, tengo que señalar antes de acabar esta reseña dos cosas. La primera: este libro es una parodia de Hamlet. Te recomiendo que si no sabes de que va la historia o te leas la obra de teatro o te busques un resumen de internet porque la verdad lo hace más ameno todo y lo segundo es que este libro de las brujas puede leerse sin tener en consideración “Ritos Iguales” ya que a pesar de pertenecer a la saga de las brujas no tiene relación directa con la primera novela.

Gracias, señoras por tantas risas. De verdad. Sé que volveré a releerlo una tercera y cuarta y quinta vez. Ténganlo asegurado. Esto es oro.

“Camino rápidamente por la oscuridad, con el paso seguro de quien tiene al menos la certeza de que en el bosque había algo terrible en aquella noche húmeda y ventosa: ella.”
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,366 reviews1,413 followers
March 9, 2021
Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat are not witches who meddle in the affairs of a kingdom- there's rules against that, after all. But then one stormy night, when they're having a simple coven meeting, a desperate and pursued royal courier hands Granny a baby.

Now, some of the rules might have to be broken.

"The child gurgled in its sleep. Granny Weatherwax didn't hold with looking at the future, but now she could feel the future looking at her. She didn't like its expression at all." pg 13

I first read Wyrd Sisters in April 2014 as part of a general read-through of the Discworld series (which I didn't finish, but that is neither here nor there.) Now, I'm going back and reading the Witches series on its own which sits comfortably within the larger collection.

They're quite good, of course.

"As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: "When shall we three meet again?" There was a pause. Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: "Well, I can do next Tuesday." pg 1

The three witches, as well as the ancillary cast of humorous and villainous characters, are a delight to read and really make the story. Terry Pratchett's tone goes deftly from playful to quite serious and back again as Granny Weatherwax practices her 'headology' or Magrat, the youngest witch of the three, accidentally finds romance.

"Extremely worrying developments of magical tendency are even now afoot," she said loudly. pg 62

Something that I didn't mention in the last review, but struck me again on the re-read, was the excellent development of the mad Duke and his evil Queen. These are not simple, two-dimensional villains. These are complex characters with neuroses and nightmares and nefarious histories.

The reason why I was so surprised by the ending of the story on the first read-through was the fate of the villains. Which they entirely deserve, I think, but was creative enough that I didn't see it coming.

Highly recommended for readers who love light-hearted fantasy and humor.

First review: April 2014
This was a fun read. Pratchett takes the witch stereotype and bends it. We are reintroduced to Granny Weatherwax, the wise witch from Equal Rites. I liked her in that tale and I enjoyed seeing her again. Her character had time to be fleshed out even more and it's a delight.

The ending to this novel really managed to surprise me. I was expecting a completely different ending but I loved Pratchett's invention even more.

My favorite part of this story was Granny's introduction to theater performance. The whole scene is incredibly funny but also integral to the plot so it wasn't just tacked on like an after thought.

Overall, it's an excellent fantasy. No one can write quite like Terry Pratchett.
Profile Image for Joaquin Garza.
519 reviews626 followers
September 13, 2017
Hay autores que uno termina no sólo respetando, sino admirando al reconocer que además de sus talentos narrativos se trata de personas poseedoras de una cultura impresionante. Personas que seguro tenían bibliotecas monstruosas donde uno podía perderse, y personas con las cuales una tarde de café se convertiría en una experiencia para atesorar. Personas cuya cultura permea por todos lados en sus obras y donde uno termina de leer los libros y dice: 'de veras éste está cañón'.

Los Alberto Manguel, los Umberto Eco son parte de este grupo. Hoy estoy contento de reconocer y añadir a Terry Pratchett al mismo.

Brujerías (Wyrd Sisters) es una delicia de novela cómica. De por sí uno es capaz de caerse de la silla con los chistes de todos colores que pululan por el libro, pero éste en particular es como un vino que se disfruta mucho más si uno tiene conocimiento moderado a avanzado de las obras de Shakespeare (y más si uno las ha leído en inglés). Porque toda la novela es un homenaje no sólo a Macbeth, sino a la vida y obra del Bardo, incluso con un personaje que resulta un símil del autor. Esto la vuelve insuperable. (Añádanse también referencias a cosas tan dispares como a Andrew Lloyd Webber y sus triunfos ochenteros y a King con su Resplandor).

Y como es normal en Pratchett, hay un tema subyacente que se presenta de forma hábil. Si en Guardias! Guardias! se trataba del conflicto entre la justicia y la gobernanza y en Mort del concepto de destino, en Brujerías no es otro que el famoso Poder de la Historia (story, not History), que más o menos Shakespeare escribió en Como Gustéis así:

'All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,'
Profile Image for BrokenTune.
747 reviews200 followers
August 29, 2016
As the cauldron bubbled an eldritch voice shrieked: ‘When shall we three meet again?’ There was a pause. Finally another voice said, in far more ordinary tones: ‘Well, I can do next Tuesday.’

I just realised that I never finished writing a review for this one even though I absolutely loved it. Wyrd Sisters is the second installment of the Witches sub-series, and is Pratchett's version of what would happen if Hamlet and Macbeth had been set in the Discworld universe - which may just give you an idea of the plot, but will not spoil anything because this is a Discworld novel and anything is possible.

Instead of writing a proper review, which I really can't get together because there are too many aspects of awesomeness about this book, I'm going to present a few of my favourite quotes (in no particular order):

‘And until then I have to haunt this place.’ King Verence stared around at the draughty battlements. ‘All alone, I suppose. Won’t anyone be able to see me?’
‘I hate cats.’
Death’s face became a little stiffer, if that were possible. The blue glow in his eye sockets flickered red for an instant. I SEE, he said. The tone suggested that death was too good for cat-haters.

Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin.

However, in Bad Ass a cockerel laid an egg and had to put up with some very embarrassing personal questions.

The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.

Demons were like genies or philosophy professors – if you didn’t word things exactly right, they delighted in giving you absolutely accurate and completely misleading answers.

‘The door’s locked,’ said the Fool. ‘There’s all sorts of noises, but the door’s locked.’ ‘Well, it’s a dungeon, isn’t it?’
‘They’re not supposed to lock from the inside!’

It was destined to be the most impressive kiss in the history of foreplay.

‘Ah,’ said Nanny. She took the girl’s arm. ‘The thing is,’ she explained, ‘as you progress in the Craft, you’ll learn there is another rule. Esme’s obeyed it all her life.’
‘And what’s that?’
‘When you break rules, break ‘em good and hard,’ said Nanny, and grinned a set of gums that were more menacing than teeth.
Profile Image for Lena.
168 reviews55 followers
April 11, 2021
This is my favorite Discworld book for now (I haven't read the rest yet). Wyrd Sisters is the funniest and the wittiest Macbeth parody with the familiar Pratchett's style 💚💚💚
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,810 reviews348 followers
August 4, 2022
An early Discworld novel, written before Terry Pratchett had hit his stride I think. It's good, don't get me wrong, but I liked its predecessor, Equal Rites, a bit more. His later Tiffany Aching series is even better to my way of thinking, being more focused and the author just generally being more experienced.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to enjoy here, especially if you are a Shakespeare fan. Macbeth enthusiasts will be particularly rewarded, as Pratchett plays with lines from the Scottish play. While entertaining us with his version of Macbeth, he manages to comment on desirable traits in a national leader and the nature of leadership in general.

Granny Weatherwax in later Discworld novels is more sophisticated than she appears in these early volumes. Here, she seems baffled by the concept of actors and theatre, something that I didn't care for. People have been telling and acting out tales around the fire for millennia and I can't recall hearing of anyone who didn't understand it. It didn't strike me as Pratchett's kindest treatment of a character, but he couldn't have known at this early point that she would become a regular character (and a beloved one).

I'm so glad that my friends got me reading these books, they are delightful. Now that I've overcome my compulsion to read the series in numerical order, I am free to enjoy Discworld on my own terms. That is a wonderful thing.

Profile Image for Veronique.
1,217 reviews164 followers
November 22, 2017
“It is true that words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone’s mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.”

Granny Weatherwax is back! Our favourite witch is brought to the scene when a baby is dropped at her feet leading her and her covent sisters, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, to deal with the death of a monarch and his rightful succession. All this of course involves a lot more than was first thought, with the kingdom in disarray due to the ‘usurpers’, and forces them to meddle with royal politics.

Wyrd Sisters is Pratchett’s homage to the Theatre and Shakespeare, sprinkling references to MacBeth, Hamlet and King Lear all over the plot. As always, the author’s recognisable writing style and humour jump at you, full of metaphors, puns and irony, and threatening all the time to take over :O)
Profile Image for Kerri.
951 reviews340 followers
August 29, 2021
I continue to love Discworld and continue to be uncertain how to review them. Brilliant and funny and wonderfully insightful. I adore everything about them, from Terry Pratchett's impeccable writing to Josh Kirby's excellent covers -- this one, along with Mort is my favourite so far. I love the way the various details fall into place as I read on.
Profile Image for Nils | nilsreviewsit.
303 reviews443 followers
November 9, 2021
“Granny Weatherwax was often angry. She considered it one of her strong points. Genuine anger was one of the world's greatest creative forces. But you had to learn how to control it. That didn't mean you let it trickle away. It meant you dammed it, carefully, let it develop a working head, let it drown whole valleys of the mind and then, just when the whole structure was about to collapse, opened a tiny pipeline at the base and let the iron-hard stream of wrath power the turbines of revenge.”

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett begins with the murder of King Verence, his young son being placed in the care of three witches, and his ghost haunting the palace of Lancre seeking vengeance. With the kingdom thrown into turmoil, Verence’s cousin, Duke Felmet and his wife take charge. The only problem is, Felmet is slowly going mad.

There were many scenes I thoroughly enjoyed in this book, most notably the three witches who stole the show. I loved the dynamics, the bickering and friendship between Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. Granny Weatherwax was quick to temper, hadn’t quite figured out how to ride a broom in anything other than a straight line, and experienced a play for the first time, which made me laugh out loud! Another moment which made me laugh was seeing Nanny Ogg play i-spy with a ghost whilst locked in a dungeon waiting for execution. The oddity of it was hilarious. Then there was watching Magrat fall in love, her innocence provided so many comical one liners.

However, I did struggle with the pace of the novel. The plot largely seemed to plod along slowly and was laced with asides that tended to last too long for my personal tastes, which pulled me out of the story. For example when Tomjon (king Verence’s now grown up son, who is unaware of his parentage) and his dwarf companion Hwel enter a tavern or two, those scenes felt as though it dragged and became rambling. I also found the lack of chapter breaks quite frustrating, but again that’s a personal pet peeve of mine.

Yet, I thoroughly appreciated Pratchett’s satire/parody on well known Shakespeare plays, most obvious to me - Macbeth. He even pulls lines directly from those plays and twists them with his own comedic style. I also enjoyed Pratchett’s twist on tropes, these are no evil witches, the fool is taught that the art of humour should not be funny, the evil tyrant worries about the blood on his hands in which he can never seem to scrub away. These are all the factors which made Wyrd Sisters delightfully weird and quirky.

Therefore despite my struggles, Wyrd Sisters was still an overall fun book to read, perfect for those who love some silly shenanigans and a whole heap of sarcasm.

“‘When you break rules, break ‘em good and hard,’ said Nanny, and grinned a set of gums that were more menacing than teeth.”

Profile Image for somuchreading.
175 reviews248 followers
July 12, 2018
Κάθε μήνα [περίπου] γράφω στο PopCode για ένα από τα 41 βιβλία του Discworld. Ορίστε τι έγραψα για αυτό, ένα βιβλίο στο οποίο συναντάμε για πρώτη φορά και τις υπόλοιπες μάγισσες πέρα από τη Granny Weatherwax, ένα ξεκαρδιστικό μυθιστόρημα όπως αυτά που ξέρει καλά να γράφει ο Terry Pratchett, μια ωδή στο θέατρο και στον Σαίξπηρ που αξίζει να αναζητήσετε.

Wyrd Sisters: ★★★★
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,091 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.