What? Another Great Terry Pratchett Re-read-athon entry? Yes, well. The train and Metro rides over the last few days gave me some extra reading time, so here we are.
We’re back in Lancre with the witches this time, and there’s some serious trouble. King Verence has invited everyone who’s anyone to the naming ceremony for his and Magrat’s new baby. Unfortunately, he decided to invite the Magpyr family of Vampires, or Vampyres as they prefer to be called, which is either a sign of them being very modern, or just that they’re not very good at spelling. Vampires (or indeed Vampyres, but let’s not go there) have a great dela of power over people’s minds, and once you’ve invited them in, getting rid of them is a bit of a challenge. A challenge that involves Nanny Ogg, Agnes Nitt (with her inner voice Perdita, who’s rather less polite than Agnes) and Magrat, who as a new mother gets a wee bit more assertive than we’re used to. And Granny Weatherwax? Well, she’s playing a longer game, striving to oppose the power of the Vampires.
They’re aided by the Nac Mac Feegle, a horde of tiny blue pixies (or some such beings), who are, well, Scottish with knobs on, and incredibly violent. We’ll be seeing a lot more of them in future books…
Ultimately, this is Granny Weatherwax’s story. Can even Granny, with all her power, resist the power of the Vampires? And is there some nice tea available? The err, stakes, have never been higher – if Granny fails
“It’ll need three… witches if this goes… wrong… you’ll have to face… something terrible…”
“What terrible thing?”
Granny is accompanied by an Omnian missionary, Mightily Oats, who struggles with his faith, which is a great deal more fragmented than it was when we first encountered it. But Granny tells him what’s what
“There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”
Of course, there’s no real doubt that Granny will win, but there’s plenty of room for wondering what she’s done. It had been quite a few years since my last reading of the book, so I couldn’t quite recall until a little bit before the reveal, when I said to myself exactly what Granny says. Err, this is a bit of a spoiler, so look away now if you haven’t read it:
I ain’t been vampired. You’ve been Weatherwaxed.
Nice. There are some quite dark moments in this story, but mixed in the usual way with Terry’s jokes, references and wonderful characters. Excellent stuff throughout.