I’ve seen a bunch of people mention they haven’t read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and that they’d like to start, but are intimidated by the 41 books he’s published in the series.
It’s a lot of books, true. And if you’re one of those people who must do things in order, they’re numbered–good luck!
This post is for everyone else. The series arcs are character-focused, so you can read one and then move onto another without missing anything. Or only read the character arcs that appeal, since there are only so many hours in a day.
This one is in two parts, the focus on Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, and a YA spin-off with a young witch named Tiffany Aching, where Granny and Nanny show up a few times.
Witches Granny and Nanny:
Equal Rites (#3). Wizard tries to pass his powers to the eighth son of the eighth son, just as the child is being born–and the child ends up being a daughter. Some people want to make her a witch, others think she should cross the boys-club of Unseen University.
Wyrd Sisters (#6). A Duke kills a King, usurps his throne, with the infant heir is smuggled to safetyand given three gifts by a coven of witches. The child grows up, and returns home, pushed by the ghost of his father to right past wrongs–but the heir didn’t turn out quite like they expected, and the witches have far more trouble making things go smoothly.
Witches Abroad (#12) When fairy godmother Desiderata dies, she leaves Princess Emberella under the protection of a less than good fairy. The witches Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg are going to have to make sure the princess doesn’t marry the prince.
Lords and Ladies (#14). It’s Midsummer Night, and witch Magrat Garlick, witch, is going to be married in the morning. Everything’s going well until the elves come back–and with them “those things traditionally associated with the magical, glittering realm of Faerie: cruelty, kidnapping, malice and evil, evil murder.” (Can’t really say it better than that summary.)
Maskerade (#18). Granny and Nanny, witches, decide to go the opera–and find more than simple entertainment. A typically Pratchett-warped twist on the Phantom of the Opera.
Carpe Jugulum (#23). The king of Lancre makes the… interesting decision to invite some vampires into the kingdom, and discovers it’s difficult to get them to leave afterward. AN uneasy alliance between priest and witches might be the only hope of getting these bloodsuckers out–if they can work together.
Witch Tiffany: Since this one is its own YA series, there’s no numbers. If I go into detail on the later books, there’s spoilers, so I’ll just provide a summary of the first one. Tiffany is another wonderful character, independent, determined, anchored in her traditions, practical–and a little magical.
Wee Free Men. Tiffany Aching helps care for the sheep, living on the Chalk, where sheep are everything. She’s training to be a witch, and is a tough young woman–so when the elves steal away her younger brother, she decides to get him back. She finds some unlikely allies in tiny blue men, but when she has to face the Queen of Elves, a powerful ancient and dangerous enemy, she’ll have to prove what she’s made of–alone.
Book #2 Hat Full of Sky; Book #3 Wintersmith; Book #4 I Shall Wear Midnight.