It features Granny Weatherwax (introduced in Equal Rites), and her two associate witches, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick (introduced in Wyrd Sisters). They visit Genua, on the other side of the continent, where they confront Granny's sister, Lily Weatherwax, who is manipulating people using the power of stories.
The plot contains references to many fairy tales and fantasy novels, including Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and The Frog Prince. There are also brief references to Gollum, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The characters themselves recognize and acknowledge that other stories are influencing the plot.
Another main theme is that of Voodoo. One of the characters is a voodoo witch named Erzulie Gogol (Erzulie is the name of a voodoo goddess, Gogol a Russian author who wrote about "Dead Souls" ), and a zombie named Baron Saturday (which is an obvious reference to Baron Samedi).
- Häxor i faggorna (Swedish)
- Mécomptes de fées (French)