The Witches Arc: A parody of magic and monsters often based around fairy tales. The stories feature a tight cast of witches that operate in and around a sleep country town nestled in the Ramtop Mountains. Granny Weatherwax, one of the witches, is one of the most well-loved characters within the series.
They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there's no such thing as a female wizard. But now it's gone and happened, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin...
Things like crowns had a troublesome effect on clever folks; it was best to leave all the reigning to the kind of people whose eyebrows met in the middle.
Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom, both missing…
Witches don't have these kind of dynastic problems themselves – in fact, they don’t have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more complicated than certain playwrights would have you believe, particularly when the blood on your hands just won't wash off and you're facing a future with knives in it...
'Things have to come to an end, see. That's how it works when you turn the world into stories. You should never have done that. You shouldn't treat people like they was characters, like they was things. But if you do, then you've got to know where the story ends.'
It seemed an easy job... After all, how difficult could it be to make sure that a servant girl doesn't marry a prince? Quite hard, actually, even for the witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. That's the problem with real life – it tends to get in the way of a good story, and a good story is hard to resist. Servant girls have to marry the prince. That's what life is all about. You can't fight a Happy Ending, especially when it comes with glass slippers and a Fairy Godmother who has made Destiny an offer it can't refuse.
At least - up until now...
The fairies are back – but this time they don’t just want your teeth…
It's Midsummer Night - no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there's more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down. Unfortunately there's usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place - to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.
Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. And even in a world of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and the odd orang-utan, this is going to cause real trouble. With lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.
'I thought: opera, how hard can it be? Songs. Pretty girls dancing. Nice scenery. Lots of people handing over cash. Got to be better than the cut-throat world of yoghurt, I thought. Now everwhere I go there's...'
Death, to be precise. And plenty of it. In unpleasant variations. This isn't real life – it’s worse. This is the Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar evil mastermind in a mask and evening dress, with a penchant for lurking in shadows, occasional murder, and sending little notes full of maniacal laughter and exclamation marks. Opera can do that to a man.
But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing. So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evenin's entertainment with murders you can really hum...). And the show MUST go on.
In this and indeed other lives there are givers and takers. It's safe to say that vampires are very much in the latter camp. They don’t have much time for the givers of this world – except perhaps mealtimes – and even less for priests.
Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be a priest.
Lancre’s newest residents are a thoroughly modern, sophisticated vampire family. They've got style and fancy waistcoats. They're out of the casket and want a bite of the future. But they haven’t met the neighbours yet: between them and Lancre stand Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. And Magrat, who is trying to combine witchcraft and nappies. And young Agnes, although she is really in two minds about everything.
Mightily Oats knows he has a prayer, but he wishes he had an axe.
A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality . . .
Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men.
Together they must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, terrifying dreams come true, and ultimately the sinister Queen of the Elves herself . . .
Something is coming after Tiffany . . .
Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic. She expects spells and magic – not chores and ill-tempered goats! Surely there must be more to witchcraft than this!
What Tiffany doesn't know is that an insidious, disembodied creature is pursuing her. This time, neither Mistress Weatherwax (the greatest witch in the world) nor the fierce, six-inch-high Wee Free Men can protect her. In the end, it will take all of Tiffany's inner strength to save herself . . . if it can be done at all.
Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake . . .
And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you're thirteen, but also just a little bit . . . cool.
And if Tiffany doesn't work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime . . .
Crackling with energy and humour, Wintersmith is the third tale in a sequence about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men - the Nac Mac Feegles who are determined to help Tiffany, whether she wants it or not.
As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone – or something – is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches.
Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if she falls, the whole Chalk falls with her . . .
A SHIVERING OF WORLDS
Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.
This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.
As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.
There will be a reckoning . . .