The sixth book of Terry Pratchett’s epic fantasy series Discworld features the return of Granny Weatherwax from “Equal Rites,” teamed with two other witches in a small coven. They are Nanny Ogg, head of a large clan in the mountain kingdom of Lancre, and junior witch Magrat Garlick, who also lives in Lancre, not far from Granny’s home in the forest. There’s trouble in Lancre when the king is murdered by his ambitious cousin, and the king’s only son Tomjon is smuggled away anonymously and adopted by traveling players who are returning to their headquarters in Ankh-Morpork. The new king and his wife treat the people of Lancre and even the land itself badly, until the magic-filled country itself begins to rebel. The three witches realize they must do something to right the wrong before everyone is destroyed. Magrat becomes friends with the king’s fool, who helps them from inside the palace and who plays an important part in thwarting the evil king and queen. Granny Weatherwax’s plan to turn events to a better course involves a terribly difficult spell that will jump Lancre ahead in time fifteen years, but can the coven manage it while also being persecuted by the king and the townsfolk?
A typically fun Pratchett romp with funny, creative ideas and engaging characters. Fans of Shakespeare and American comedy film stars will find references to enjoy. Recommended.