And Then I Read: WITCHES ABROAD by Terry Pratchett

Cover art by Josh Kirby

This is the twelfth Discworld novel by Pratchett, and the second featuring three witches who mirror the Fates: maiden (Magrat Garlick), mother (Nanny Ogg) and crone (Granny Weatherwax), who first appeared together in “Wyrd Sisters.” In this book, Magrat takes on the new role of fairy godmother to a girl in faraway Genua, the Discworld analog to a city in France with overtones of New Orleans. Granny Weatherwax had hoped to find and claim the fairy godmother magic wand, but Magrat got there first. Granny has been recently troubled by things seen in mirrors: magic being worked by another powerful witch in Genua, so all three witches decide to travel there and set things to rights.

On the way, they are drawn into several fairy tales come to life, the work of the mysterious other fairy godmother in Genua, Lilith, and when they arrive in that city, they find it controlled by Lilith, who is not only a master of mirror magic that has the entire city in thrall, but a long-time foe of Granny Weatherwax. A beautiful servant girl, Emberella, is at the center of attention from all these witches, and the city of Genua can barely contain their plots and counterplots, which provide lots of amusing reading, until the final exciting and surprising confrontation between Lilith and Granny Weatherwax.

As always, entertaining and amusing work from Pratchett, with appealing characters and clever plot. Recommended.

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

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