A wise woman is usually the oldest woman in the village who was taken as a young girl to be the apprentice of the last wise woman. She will in turn take an apprentice when her time draws near. Wise women are knowledgeable in the old ways. While rural villages till depend on them, larger cities no longer do. Some places, they are hunted down and killed as witches.
| Nettly and Dhun walked into the dayroom. Behind them hobbled a grey-haired old woman, twisted as a pretzel, led by a fair-haired and painfully think teenage girl.
— page 177, The Last Wish (UK edition)
| Always the oldest woman knows what stands written in the booke, said Dhun gloomily. And what she knows, she teaches some young one, when 'tis time for her to turn to earth. Heed ye, yerselves, how 'tis time for our old woman. So our old woman has taken Lille in and be teaching her. But for now, 'tis the old woman knows best.
— page 179, The Last Wish (UK edition)
| Persecute wise women in your own town, burn stakes in yer own land. There has been none of it here, nor will there be.
— page 182, The Last Wish (UK edition)
| The strange women and girls, called prophetesses or Wise Ones, who could be found in villages, didn't enjoy the favour of those noblemen who collected levies and profited from farming. Farmers always consulted the prophetesses on everything and believed them, blindly and boundlessly.
— page 184, The Last Wish (UK edition)