Thursday, July 23, 2009

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Ever wonder what would happen if a Fairy Godmother got power hungry? Who polices someone as powerful as a Fairy Godmother? Apparently witches do; three of them to be exact.

Another volume in Pratchett's Discworld series, Witches Abroad chronicles the journey of three witches out to stop one particular happy ending from occurring (because not all of them are meant to be.) With great humor and wit, Pratchett sits the reader on their own broom alongside the witches as they fly through the air to lands unknown all to prevent Princess Emberella (rhyme with someone else you've already heard of?) from marrying her Prince Charming. Pratchett doesn't stick to just one fairy tale though and the witches' journey is interrupted by encounters with munchkins, a vampire, and a little girl in a red cloak.

Although it took a little while to get the three witches straight - they talk over each other a bunch - Pratchett weaves an exciting and strangely familiar adventure story that addresses the concept of free will and people's propensity to "go with the flow" no matter what the consequences could be. He expertly takes all the components of a fairy tale (witches, good/evil, royalty, magic, and talking animals) and uses them to teach his reader that the best ending doesn't always have to be a "happy" one. This was my first trip to Discworld and I'll most likely be returning repeatedly.

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