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Tag Archives: parody

Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters is one of Terry Pratchett’s earlier Discworld novels, focusing on his cast of witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick. The three, at Magrat’s prodding, have formed something of a coven, and meet every so often to do what Magrat considers are witchy things (like chanting over a cauldron).

Witches in the Discworld universe are generally solitary (except for when they are apprentices to a more experienced witch), and shirk structure, unlike the wizards at Unseen University. Overall, Pratchett’s witches tend to lead quiet lives and don’t have a designated leader.

Among them, Granny Weatherwax was “the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have.” She’s also disinclined to admit when she’s wrong, bears a grudge like a cat (although she hates cats), and has a habit for shelling peas at inopportune times. Nanny, on the other hand, has had five husbands, more children than she can count, and an inclination for getting hammered and singing inappropriate songs about hedgehogs and wizards’ staffs. Magrat, plain and unworldly, wants only to be a proper witch, with all the occult accoutrement that comes with it, whether her fellow witches like it or not.

If it weren’t for events outside of their control, Granny, Nanny, and Magrat would likely have continued along quietly, with the occasional arguments about whose turn it was to make the tea. When they find themselves unwittingly responsible for Lancre’s infant heir to the throne, Granny realizes that fate has aimed its beady eye at them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Author: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy

 

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Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I was perusing Amazon one day (actually I was looking for The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise, and wondering whether it was worth buying) when I came across the Kindle edition of Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons’ hilarious and quotable satire of old fashioned (and angst-ridden) British rural novels.

I don’t know how I managed to miss reading this novel all these years (or even the multiple films based on it), but I am now lusting after the talented Ms. Gibbon’s woefully out-of-print backlist. Publishers, if you’re one of my five readers, for the love of all that is good and holy–put them back in print. Electronic, dead tree book, smoke signal–it doesn’t matter. Good books want to be read. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Author: Stella Gibbons, Literature

 

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Soulless by Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate Book 1)

Gail Carriger’s novel Soulless is a delicious stew of genres: steampunk, horror, fantasy, and romance. I like to look at it as a gentle parody of all three, with a large cast of comic characters that realize her zany plot. As we are told many times by the author, Alexia Tarabotti has more than a few problems. Not only is she half-Italian, she is also a spinster, and lacking a soul. The first two alone are enough to cause a scandal among the Victorian upper class (and probably give her mother the vapors). The last makes Alexia an outcast in a world that has integrated vampires, werewolves, and ghosts–beings known for an overabundance of soul–into polite society. When Alexia accidentally kills a vampire for making unwelcome advances, she becomes the prime suspect for a rash of recent vampire disappearances. Now she has to join forces with the obnoxious, but intriguing Lord Maccon (an alpha werewolf and Queen Victoria’s chief investigator) to solve the mystery without becoming a victim herself. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2011 in Author: Gail Carriger, Fantasy

 

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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

This is one of those cases where the movie may just be a bit better than the book. Of course, I may be biased as I’ve seen the movie more times than I care to admit and can be counted on to quote bits of the movie at random (I adore the clergyman with the speech impediment). I broke down and bought The Princess Bride Kindle edition (1) because it was cheap and (2) because I needed the literary equivalent of comfort food. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Author: William Goldman, Fantasy

 

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Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones

Year of the Griffin is the sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm, and takes place 8 years after Mr. Chesney’s tours have ended. Wizard Derk’s youngest daughter, Elda, is now at the Wizard’s University and finding her talons full of magical mayhem. The university itself is in dire financial straits. Now that the tours have stopped, along with Mr. Chesney’s payments, the university has considerably less money than it is used to, and turns to its students’ parents for aid. Unfortunately, these aren’t typical students with proud parents, and a number are on the run from their families. When the letters reach their homes, the students find themselves battling trained assassins and pirates, to say nothing of ineffable grading curves, incompetent professors, inedible refectory food, heartbreak, and renegade griffins. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my very favorite authors, so this review of Dark Lord of Derkholm (which now officially one of my favorite DWJ books) will be somewhat biased (although I haven’t loved everything I’ve read by her, but I’ve never hated anything either). What I love best about her work is her uncanny ability to transport her readers to a different, fully-realized world. Not only does she take you there, but you want to curl up and take up residence—DWJ’s stories are never truly over. Even after you turn the page, you suspect that there is much more to the story, and you want to linger there long after she’s concluded her tale. To me, that’s what separates good stories from great ones. She also populates her stories with great characters—flawed, but memorable and sympathetic. There’s no sense in having a wonderfully detailed world, if the reader hates everyone that lives there. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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