Cover for Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

When Uberwald's undead population, the Magpyrs, begins to invade Lancre, a priest forges an tentative allience with the local witches to prevent the kingdom from being overrun.

Granny Weatherwax is one of those characters that, prior to this point, I would describe as a quiet mystery. Old, crotchety, wise, powerful, and wickedly intelligent, her role in her coven was always important but never a centerpiece, at least in my mind, and she was never a character toward which I would ascribe feelings of sympathy.

But in this book we see Pratchett really explore what makes Granny Granny, and in doing so, shows us why he loves her character so much. Like Captain Vimes, Granny is a creature of honour and duty, willing to do those things others can’t or won’t do because they are necessary. But as we’ve seen Vimes, here we see Granny bending beneath the weight of that duty, and in those moments we see the humanity and vulnerability of a character who seems so unbreakable.

To me, this book stacks up with Guards! Guards! as one of Pratchett’s best… I’m a guy who loves relating to great characters, and this book delivers in spades.