Book Reviews 2005 (23-24)

This time around, we’re going to look at:
Wyrd Sisters (Discworld!) by Terry Pratchett
Nightmare, by Steven Harper

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
Another of the early Discworld novels, Wyrd Sisters reintroduces us to Granny Weatherwax, and adds two more witches into the bargain. Together, in motifs stolen from Shakespeare and beyond, the three witches work to help fix the mess their country of Lancre is in after the promoted-by-assassination Duke of the realm just can’t keep things together.
Ghosts, missing crowns, heirs to the throne, theater players and witches make for an interesting Pratchett brew. Much better than Equal Rites, even if not quite up to Guards! Guards!, Wyrd Sisters was a quick and enjoyable read.

Nightmare: A Novel of the Silent Empire
Second in the Silent Empire novels by Steven Harper, Nightmare actually is set years before Dreamer, and tells the back story of Kendi Weaver. From his forcible seperation of his family, to the discovery of his unique abilities, to his emancipation by the Children of Irfan, to the gradual realization of his social preferences, Nightmare is very much all about Kendi’s story. While there is a major subplot focusing on a killer who apparently uses the Dream, the real center of the attention is the teenaged Kendi.
In that way, it reminds me strongly of Karin Lowachee’s Warchild. I don’t think the writing is quite as good as Lowachee’s, but I found the story and ideas engaging enough. And we do need more fiction, science fiction and fantasy, which drives home the lesson that tolerance of divergent beliefs and preferences is nothing immoral or unnatural.
Recommended, but do read Dreamer first, for a more expansive introduction to the world of the Silent.

One thought on “Book Reviews 2005 (23-24)”

  1. I’d read the earlier Discworld novels, but hadn’t been desperately enamoured – even by Equal Rites (which is the one that introduces Granny Weatherwax). But Nanny Ogg and Magrat (glorious creations both) appear here first. It strucjk me, reading it, that Pratchett here truly found his voice from the wonderful opening with its description of a storm and the eldritch shriek:
    “When shall we three meet again?”
    and the response:
    “Well, I can do next Tuesday.”
    That was the start of my love affair with the Discworld.

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