By a wide margin the earliest Pratchett book that I can give five stars. It’s still part of his silly phase, and it predates Night Watch by eleven years, but there’s a hard core, flinty and unwavering and willing to punch you in the feelings. In particular, it punched feelings I needed punched. Compared to later Witches books, the whole “people don’t always want what they need” arc is soft and fluffy, of course, and it’s not what drew me. No: what’s stuck in my head is the final scene in the mirror, with Granny and her sister. It’s powerful and I’m happy to ignore a book full of Oz references to get there.
Asking someone to repeat a phrase you’d not only heard very clearly but were also exceedingly angry about was around Defcon II in the lexicon of squabble.
The Yen Buddhists are the richest religious sect in the universe. They hold that the accumulation of money is a great evil and a burden to the soul. They therefore, regardless of personal hazard, see it as their unpleasant duty to acquire as much as possible in order to reduce the risk to innocent people.
She threw a couple of logs into the fireplace and glared at them until they burst into flame out of sheer embarrassment.
“What some people need,” said Magrat, to the world in general, “is a bit more heart.”
“What some people need,” said Granny Weatherwax, to the stormy sky, “is a lot more brain.”
And stars don’t care what you wish, and magic don’t make things better, and no one doesn’t get burned who sticks their hand in a fire. If you want to amount to anything as a witch, Magrat Garlick, you got to learn three things. What’s real, what’s not real, and what’s the difference—”
Don’t you talk to me about progress. Progress just means bad things happen faster.