Witches AbroadI read Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad for my Rhetoric class. It was up for debate whether or not this book falls into the genre of Fantasy, given its satirical nature, but regardless of where it belongs on the bookshelf, I quite enjoyed it.

The story takes place in Pratchett’s Discworld (which, for those of you unfamiliar with this world, is completely flat and balances on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin) and follows Nanny Ogg, Granny, and the young Magrat as they cross the world to save the city of Genoa from generic Happy Endings at the hand of a Fairy Godmother named Lilith.

As with all Discworld books, Pratchett spends much of the time making fun of typical Fantasy clichés, most noticeably the ones surrounding witches and fairy godmothers. Not only is it funny, but it adds depth to the story, because once a character basically screams, “Hey, look at me! I’m living up to a stereotype!”, you start to pay attention to what’s going on underneath and why the character would choose to do so. I think that’s pretty cool.

My favorite part of this story is Greebo, Nanny Ogg’s terrifying cat. Every scene he’s in is amazing. I want a Greebo of my own. 🙂 I also love the sub-plot about the mirrors and why witches should never stand between two of them.

My only complaint would be that, occasionally, Pratchett would lose me, in that I’d start skimming – sometimes because he was being funny and I was caught up in the tension of a previous scene, or because he was focusing on something serious and I wanted more Greebo. These lapses in timing are few and far between though. For the most part, I was right where I needed to be to enjoy the book.

So I recommend this to any reader who likes satire, humor, and the Fantasy genre – especially if you enjoyed The Princess Bride.

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