Carpe Jugulum
Goodreads ratings
4.13 / 5

"Carpe Jugulum" Summary

By Terry Pratchett

fantasy | 296 pages | Published in NaN

In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there's only one way to fight.Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say...Carpe Jugulum


Estimated read time: 3 min read

One Sentence Summary

Vampires invade the kingdom of Lancre, and it's up to Granny Weatherwax and her coven to save the day.

Carpe Jugulum: A Summary


"Carpe Jugulum" is a fantasy novel written by Terry Pratchett, and it is the 23rd book in his Discworld series. Published in 1998, the story takes place in the fictional Discworld, a flat, circular world that rests on the backs of four giant elephants, which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle. The novel is a satirical take on various aspects of human society, including religion, family, and the power of tradition.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the kingdom of Lancre, where a group of modern vampires led by the cunning and manipulative Count Magpyr arrives to take over. However, they encounter resistance from Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Agnes Nitt, three witches who are determined to protect their land from the invaders. As the vampires attempt to assert their control, the witches must find a way to overcome their supernatural foes and save their kingdom.

Main Characters

The main characters in "Carpe Jugulum" include:

Granny WeatherwaxA powerful and no-nonsense witch who stands against the vampires.
Nanny OggA jolly and outgoing witch, known for her bawdy songs and wisdom.
Agnes NittA young witch with inner conflicts and a talent for singing.
Count MagpyrThe charismatic and manipulative leader of the invading vampires.

Main Events

  1. The Arrival of the Vampires: The story begins with the unexpected arrival of the modern vampires in Lancre, seeking to take control of the kingdom.
  2. The Witches' Resistance: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Agnes Nitt come together to resist the vampires' influence and protect their land.
  3. The Battle of Wits: The vampires and the witches engage in a battle of wits and magic as they try to outmaneuver each other.
  4. The Triumph of Good: Ultimately, the witches find a way to overcome the vampires and restore peace to Lancre.

Themes and Insights

  • Tradition vs. Modernity: The clash between the traditional ways of the witches and the modern approach of the vampires reflects the broader theme of tradition versus progress.
  • Power of Unity: The story emphasizes the power of unity and cooperation in overcoming formidable challenges.
  • Individual Strength: Each character's unique strengths and flaws contribute to the overall success in the face of adversity.

Reader's Takeaway

"Carpe Jugulum" offers a humorous and thought-provoking exploration of the clash between ancient traditions and modern influences, all within the fantastical setting of Discworld. Readers will find themselves entertained by the witty dialogue and clever satire, while also reflecting on the deeper themes of the novel.


In "Carpe Jugulum," Terry Pratchett delivers a captivating blend of fantasy, humor, and social commentary, making it a compelling addition to the Discworld series. The story's exploration of tradition, power, and unity, coupled with its memorable characters, ensures that readers will be both entertained and intellectually stimulated.

Carpe Jugulum FAQ

  1. What is 'Carpe Jugulum' about?

    Carpe Jugulum is a fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, part of the Discworld series. It follows the adventures of the Lancre witches as they deal with a coven of modern vampires who have come to take over their kingdom.

  2. Is 'Carpe Jugulum' suitable for young readers?

    The book contains some mature themes and humor that may not be suitable for very young readers. It is best suited for older teens and adults.

  3. What genre is 'Carpe Jugulum'?

    'Carpe Jugulum' is a comedic fantasy novel, blending elements of fantasy, humor, and satire.

  4. Is 'Carpe Jugulum' a standalone book or part of a series?

    It is part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, but can be enjoyed on its own without having read the other books in the series.

  5. What is the writing style of 'Carpe Jugulum'?

    Terry Pratchett's writing style in 'Carpe Jugulum' is known for its wit, humor, and clever wordplay, making it an engaging and enjoyable read.