Wyrd Sisters (Discworld Series #6)

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld Series #6)

by Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett’s fantasy classic Wyrd Sisters, a novel in the Discworld series, is the story of Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have.

Generally, these loners don't get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. but then there are those times they can't help it. As Granny Weatherwax is about to discover, though, it's a lot harder to stir up trouble in the castle than some theatrical types would have you think. Even when you've got a few unexpected spells up your sleeve.

Granny Weatherwax teams with two other witches — Nanny Ogg and Margat Garlick - as an unlikely alliance to save a prince and restore him to the throne of Lancre, in a tale that borrows — or is it parodies — some of William Shakespeare's best-loved works.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062225733
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Series: Discworld Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 46,443
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.32(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The wind howled. Lightning stabbed at the earth erratically, like an inefficient assassin. Thunder rolled back and forth across the dark, rain-lashed hills.

The night was as black as the inside of a cat. It was the kind of night, you could believe, on which gods moved men as though they were pawns on the chessboard of fate. In the middle of this elemental storm a fire gleamed among the dripping furze bushes like the madness in a weasel's eye. It illuminated three hunched figures. 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."

Through the fathomless deeps of space swims the star turtle Great A'Tuin, bearing on its back the four giant elephants who carry on their shoulders the mass of the Discworld. A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg to allow the sun to go past.

Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.

It would be a pretty good bet that the gods of a world like this probably do not play chess and indeed this is the case. In fact no gods anywhere play chess. They haven't got the imagination. Gods prefer simple, vicious games, where you Do Not Achieve Transcendence but Go Straight To Oblivion; a key to the understanding of all religion is that agod's idea of amusement is Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.

Magic glues the Discworld together — magic generated by the turning of the world itself, magic wound like silk out of the underlying structure of existence to suture the wounds of reality.

A lot of it ends up in the Ramtop Mountains, which stretch from the frozen lands near the Hub all the way, via a lengthy archipelago, to the warm seas which flow endlessly into space over the Rim.

Raw magic crackles invisibly from peak to peak and earths itself in the mountains. It is the Ramtops that supply the world with most of its witches and wizards. In the Ramtops the leaves on the trees move even when there is no breeze. Rocks go for a stroll of an evening.

Even the land, at times, seems alive ...

At times, so does the sky.

The storm was really giving it everything it had. This was its big chance. It had spent years hanging around the provinces, putting in some useful work as a squall, building up experience, making contacts, occasionally leaping out on unsuspecting shepherds or blasting quite small oak trees. Now an opening in the weather had given it an opportunity to strut its hour, and it was building up its role in the hope of being spotted by one of the big climates.

It was a good storm. There was quite effective projection and passion there, and critics agreed that if it would only learn to control its thunder it would be, in years to come, a storm to watch.

The woods roared their applause and were full of mists and flying leaves.

On nights such as these the gods, as has already been pointed out, play games other than chess with the fates of mortals and the thrones of kings. It is important to remember that they always cheat, right up to the end ...

And a coach came hurtling along the rough forest track, jerking violently as the wheels bounced off tree roots. The driver lashed at the team, the desperate crack of his whip providing a rather neat counterpoint to the crash of the tempest overhead.

Behind — only a little way behind, and getting closer-were three hooded riders.

On nights such as this, evil deeds are done. And good deeds, of course. But mostly evil, on the whole.

On nights such as this, witches are abroad.

Well, not actually abroad. They don't like the food and you can't trust the water and the shamans always hog the deckchairs. But there was a full moon breasting the ragged clouds and the rushing air was full of whispers and the very broad hint of magic.

In their clearing above the forest the witches spoke thus:

"I'm babysitting on Tuesday," said the one with no hat but a thatch of white curls so thick she might have been wearing a helmet. "For our Jason's youngest. I can manage Friday. Hurry up with the tea, luv. I'm that parched."

The junior member of the trio gave a sigh, and ladled some boiling water out of the cauldron into the teapot.

The third witch patted her hand in a kindly fashion.

"You said it quite well," she said. "Just a bit more work on the screeching. Ain't that right, Nanny Ogg?"

"Very useful screeching, I thought," said Nanny Ogg hurriedly. "And I can see Goodie Whemper, maysherestinpeace, gave you a lot of help with the squint."

"It's a good squint:' said Granny Weatherwax.

The junior witch, whose name was Magrat Garlick, relaxed considerably. She held Granny Weatherwax in awe. It was known throughout the Ramtop Mountains that Miss Weatherwax did not approve of anything very much. If she said it was a good squint, then Magrat's eyes were probably staring up her own nostrils.

Unlike wizards, who like nothing better than a complicated hierarchy, witches don't go in much for the structured approach to career progression. It's up to each individual witch to take on a girl to hand the area over to when she dies. Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders...

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Wyrd Sisters (Discworld Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A student introduced the English department at my university to Terry Prachett's books and I'm beginning to suspect that 'he' is really a woman because he knows way too much about older women. This is a hilarious book in which I seem to recognize myself in both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, not to mention my penchant for trying to save baby birds and crying when they die, like Magrat Garlick. I have read about 12 Discworld books over Christmas break and have just ordered 7 more. I lent my copy of Wyrd Sisters to a fellow faculty member whose area is Renaissance drama, and he called me to inform me that I am en evil woman because he will now have to buy all twenty- something books too. Terry Prachett's books are emphatically NOT for adolescents only. The allusions to literature, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology make them little primers in general literary knowledge. This book is based on MacBeth with some folklore and social comment thrown in, but the characters of the three wyrd sisters are truly wonderful. Buy this book. Buy the series. These are at least as good as the Harry Potter series and I never thought I'd say that about any books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a lot of fun to read! Great characters and the plot moved along well.
lovetoreadAR More than 1 year ago
I loved this. I've read some of the Discworld series, still in the early stages, but I adore the witches. They're kind, but also a bit tricky and eccentric, and loads of fun. Who else to be the guardians of justice than 3 slighted witches who could've inspired Shakespeare? Add in a wronged and murdered king, not one but two lost sons, a hostile takeover, a kingdom unhappy, a rag tag theater group, Death in the wings, and a host of other fun characters and you get a wild ride only to be found in this famous series. I can't count the times I chuckled aloud or got deep into the plot completely losing track of time. You never really know where a discworld story is going to go, and that's half the fun! Talk about surprises along the way. I was so amused by the ending. Another great read. Can't wait to see what comes next.
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polarbear123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another quality read from the Pratchett. Twisting round Macbeth the story keeps your attention and the combination of the 3 witches is frequently hilarious. Perhaps this book has not been as captivating as the others in the series so far for me, but nevertheless it kept me going through a hard week at work and was a welcome relaxation read at the end of every day - recommended reading as always.
trueneutral on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo."I love Pratchett's humour. The three witches are absolutely amazing characters, each with a very distinctive personality and a different shade of crazy which makes the book so enjoyable and fun to read. This is one of the best Discworld novels and a must-read for any Pratchett fans
stephenmakin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lovely witches book set on Discworld.
Alan_Dawson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, loved the characters in this book, especially old granny and the fool.
jnicholson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although Granny Weatherwax technically first appears in "Equal Rites", the character is not really finished until this novel. Wyrd Sisters is a parody of the Scottish play, with some Sleeping Beauty and a few other fairy tales thrown in for good measure. On first impression, the witches seem irritating, but watch for them in future books.
phoebesmum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A reread in honour of Sir Terry's exaltation. One of the best of the Discworld novels, tying in witches, royalty, missing heirs, hidden crowns, New Agers, the complete works of Shakespeare, and ... the Marx Brothers ...
Narilka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett takes on the theater and Shakespeare in Wyrd Sisters. Granny Weatherwax is back! This is one of my favorite Discworld books so far.
AriadneAranea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun read ¿ what can I say, it¿s the Discworld. They¿re all pretty enjoyable, and all the same but very different.This one features the three witches, possibly my favourite characters (along with Susan, who is Death¿s granddaughter, who isn't, as it happens, in this one). The witches must save the Ramtop kingdom from a cruel, unstable and, worst of all, entirely indifferent usurper to the throne. All without interfering in Politics, because everyone knows that a witch never interferes. Especially not with politics¿There are also ghosts, a reluctant Fool, some travelling players, many Shakespearean rip-offs and some other stuff. Yay!
Aldrea_Alien on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This had me laughing so many times, especially in the piece where the Fool meets Greebo. I once had a cat like that (female though).Granny, Nanny and Magrat are wonderful characters and the no-nonsense and simple way they go about things is delightful, yet the use of magic to the extent they did on the land shows just how much you should mess with the older witches. The way they sort everything out in the end without hurting anyone, yet the baddies still get theirs just scream poetic justice to me.A wonderfully entertaining novel.
allthesedarnbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite Discworld book I've read so far. Granny Weatherwax is in peak form and Pratchett takes on Shakespeare, with a story that parodies MacBeth and makes frequent references to Hamlet and King Lear, as well. Just hilarious. I don't think you need to be familiar with MacBeth to enjoy it, but I think having read the play will only enhance the experience. Five stars.
comfypants on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funny, entertaining, but not as much as most of the other Discworld books I've read. The jokes were on more of an "oh, that's cute" level, never actually laugh-out-loud funny.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lovely fun, with a theatre troupe, with references to Shakespeare, 3 stooges, Abbot & Costello, and even Charlie Chaplin. Pratchett is perfect for reading puns, and other humour, and giving the brain a lot of entertainment.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We return to Granny Weatherwax in this installment from Discworld, and a hilarious parody of Shakespeare's MacBeth, of princes threatened and exiled, lost and then found, only to discover the play is the thing. As always, imaginative, witty, often downright silly. Truly wonderful escapism.
Moriquen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it very much. The ending remained a mystery until the very last page. I loved all the hidden (and mostly not so hidden) references to Shakespear's plays. I was laughing out loud plenty of times and chuckled through the rest of the book. You just have to love Terry Pratchett!
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When the King of Lancre is killed by the Duke, and the King's heir is taken away, the three witches - Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, and Magrat Garlick - find themselves reluctantly pulled into affairs of the Kingdom. Their cardinal rule, "Never get involved," is going to be severely tested.If you've read any Discworld books, you know the general idea of what to expect: over-the-top silliness, but a point in that humor that makes you think about something perhaps more than a Serious novel can. One thing I've really enjoyed about the books I've read in the Witches mini-series are the nods to Shakespeare. In this one, it was mostly Macbeth, though there were some definite references to other plays, and at least one sonnet. The character of Hwel and most of what we see him write cracked me up. I really enjoyed this foray into Discworld, and it's made me want to go back and start reading in order a bit more.
lauriebrown54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this Discworld novel, Terry Pratchett takes on Shakespeare with a trio of witches, the killing of a king, ghosts in abundance, and an heir that is spirited away for safety. If you¿re familiar with Shakespeare, there are a lot of laughs. While there are still a lot of laughs if you¿re not, you may get the feeling that you¿re missing something. I¿ve read a few of the Bard¿s plays, but I frequently felt that I should have been getting a reference and wasn¿t. A sort of whoosing feeling going over my head. But most of the story doesn¿t rely on Bardic references. Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick join Granny Weatherwax as witches of Lancre, and, despite the witches habit of not interfering with things, find themselves having to right the wrong of the king¿s murder. Between seeing how the witches- not being city, or even town or village people- react to theater (they don¿t understand the conventions of men dressed as women, of fake sword play or the like), watching as too many inspirations hit Hwel the dwarvish playwright (causing a lot of rewriting, as some of his inspirations are more Charlie Chaplin than Hamlet) and wondering if the witches will be able to get the rightful heir onto the throne there is a lot funny stuff. Not one of Pratchett¿s best, but definitely worth a read.
ngeunit1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wyrd sisters is the second novel in the witches series and the sixth novel in the Discworld series. It features a trio of witches named Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and junior witch Magrat Garlick. Wyrd Sisters tells the tale of a murdered King and the search for his heir. In the Discworld, it if very uncommon that Kings die from what most of us would consider natural causes, so there is plenty of foul-play to be investigated. The witches eventually become aware of the situation and decide that they must attempt to steer the events as they are unfolding, even though that goes against the common rules for witches.This is another example of the fine comedy and satire that Terry Pratchett consistently delivers. It is particularly funny to see the various reactions of the witches to various social constructs, in particular The Theater. The story is very interesting, and while maybe not the strongest of the series, good enough given some fairly strong comedy support.
Caitak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd read this before so I knew how it was going to end, but it's been a while and these books are always funny.A few irritating typos - twice Granny popped up in a scene she wasn't in when it should have said 'Nanny', I can overlook the word 'seem' with a double 's'.Some bits were a little confusing - but the Disc doesn't really need to make sense.Loved the little Shakespeare references - MacBeth (and a touch of Hamlet, I think). Made me feel smart. ^_^
kittyNoel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wyrd Sistersby Terry Pratchett Witchcraft is not what you think it is. You don't need candles and flashy symbols drawn in blood, or dancing naked under a full moon (sometime though Margrat would like things it if the other witches would be a little more Occult like... though I don't think even she would want to see Granny Weatherwax dancing naked...). Witches are mostly solitary people, but even solitary people like to be a little social once in a while... other wise how would the others know you don't need them. Most of the magic that is done by Witches on the disk is every day things, things that just take a little bit more knowledge and a lot of headology. They may be a bit closer to the vale between life and death. Which helps when theres a ghost around who needs a little justice and they do happen to fly around on broomstick (which aside from being a little cold is just a practical way to travel when your the only one in the ramtops who really does travel). The witches are enjoyable characters because they are as I said, very down to earth and honest old ladies. Very Real, Wizards are the ones who mess around with Magic on the disk. Nanny and Granny are two cute and intelligent old ladies who care for the country folk that live in there aria. Sometimes this requires a little magical help... sometimes things work out anyways.
mazeway on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another fun Discworld book. I liked this better than Equal Rites.