Terry Pratchett's first novel, "The Carpet People", appeared in 1971. "Wyrd Sisters" is the sixth novel in his hugely popular Discworld series and his second (after "Equal Rites") to feature Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld's greatest witch. It was first published in 1988 and was later made into a cartoon. Pratchett won the 2001 Carnegie Medal for "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents" and was awarded the OBE in 1998.
Granny Weatherwax is joined in "Wyrd Sisters" by the two other members of her recently formed coven. One, Nanny Ogg, is the raucous head of the Ogg clan based in Lancre town. (She also owns a fearsome, one-eyed tomcat with an unbridled libido called Greebo). The other is Magrat Garlick, who has a few fanciful ideas about magic that Granny doesn't altogether approve of - dancing, occult jewellery, runes and the healing power of colours, for example. The trio are caught up in Lancre's political affairs when Duke Felmet decides it's time for his cousin, King Verence, to 'retire' - and kindly plants a dagger into the King's back. The King's infant son and the Kingdom's crown are delivered into the witches' hands by an escaping servant loyal to the deceased King - who now haunts the castle, desperately longing for the ability to eat. The coven, in turn, christens the royal orphan 'Tomjon' and, for his protection, put him in the care of a travelling theatre. The new king, however, is such a disaster they realise Tomjon must return to the throne as quickly as possible.
Although "Wyrd Sisters" is most obviously a parody of Shakespeare's "Macbeth", you don't have to have read the Scottish play to enjoy the book. Having said that, even a basic awareness of the Bard's work should increase the number of laughs. Hwel, the dwarven playwright for the travelling band of actors, seems to owe a little to Shakespeare himself and when the troupe settle in Ankh-Morpork their home theatre is named "The Dysk". (Shakespeare's, of course, was called "The Globe"). Hwel, at various points, was also on the verge of 'inventing' the Discworld's versions of the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Duke Felmet's Fool, who falls in love with Magrat, not only hates his job but is clearly a good deal more intelligent than his paranoid boss. (The Fool and the young witch also deliver what is quite possibly the longest kiss in literature). However, it's Nanny Ogg - with her fondness for a 'knees up' and a vulgar song - who is my favorite character. Thoroughly recommended !