Halloween Bingo 2016 - Book 1 (Witches)

Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett

Witches : Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett

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’.

So my first bingo square is 'Witches' (and I admit it, I couldn't wait and started it late last night), and there were an awful lot of them to choose from. From Baba Yaga, and the witches of traditional fairy tales, and onto Oz with the wicked and not-so wicked witches, and into the current Urban Fantasy boom, witches have always been worth reading about.

 

I have always enjoyed the 'Triple Goddess' aspect of witches; Kate Daniels, Atticus O'Sullivan and Harry Dresden all have dealt with them during their adventures. We meet them in Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Alan Garner has said that in all his books, the female protagonists are always one of the three.

 

But for a slightly more humourous look at the triumvirate, what could be more perfect than Macbeth re-imagined by Terry Pratchett?

 

Wyrd Sisters was Pratchett's sixth Discworld book, and the second to feature Granny Weatherwax, and it introduces us to the rest of Granny's coven, as well as Greebo the cat. Like all good covens, it is made up of The Maiden (Magrat Garlick), The Mother (Nanny Ogg), and The Other One (well, would you have the nerve to call Granny Weatherwax a crone?). 

 

I had forgotten just how much fun this book is. Pratchett was really getting into his stride with his characters and with the Discworld in general. And he has a blast playing with not only Macbeth, but Hamlet and King Lear too. 

 

And just who is Hwel the playwright based on?

 

The dwarf stuck out his tongue as he piloted the errant quill across the ink-speckled page. He'd found room for the star-crossed lovers, the comic grave-diggers, and the hunchback king. It was the cats and the roller skates that were currently giving him trouble...

 

This was such a great start to the bingo game and honestly, if I didn't have 24 more books lined up, I would be going on a Discworld reading binge right now.

 

 

Next up - Ammie, Come Home (Buddy Read square)