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Discworld #18


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The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...

... a huge, rambling building, where masked figures and hooded shadows do wicked deeds in the wings...
... where dying the death on stage is a little bit more than just a metaphor...
... where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by an evil mastermind in a hideously deformed evening dress..


... there's a couple of old ladies in pointy hats eating peanuts in the gods and looking up at the big chandelier and saying things like: "There's an accident waiting to happen if I ever saw one."

Yes... Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, the Discworld's greatest witches, are back for an innocent night out at the opera.

So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evening's entertainment with murders you can really hum...)

285 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1995

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About the author

Terry Pratchett

615 books40.5k followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, the University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,793 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,599 followers
September 13, 2020
The Witches know how to get the opera started so that all take off their masks.

Pratchett´s satires of classics and their stereotypical tropes are always a bit weaker than his original works playing in the pure Discworld without outer inspirations. Possibly it´s because he can construct whole plots in his own universe and feels much more comfortable with the manifold options, maybe the originals aren´t just that good, who by the way reads that stuff, maybe he didn´t want to invest so much time in these ones than in the original series, who knows. Although, in this case, operas are already inherently ridiculous, so there isn´t so much left to make fun of the fat lady´s singing style.

The Phantom of the Opera fans, if they exist or dare to out themselves, might certainly find their pleasure with the new adaption of their favorite piece of, is it really?, art, but most readers might be more interested in what the witches are doing. What is missing is another plotline in the background, the meta topic area Pratchett is famous for including to spice it all up, with Vetinari, timeless topics, politics of power, economics, etc. That´s what makes this varieties of his books lacking the extra joy, because there is far less to discover and enjoy than in the far more complex, other Discworld novels.

Especially the witches, who are used to deal with far more complex, feministic, social criticism topics, being compared and contrasted with the outperformed Wizzards, fighting against entities and evil mighty fractions, are more dealing with personal topics, a crime thriller plot, and aren´t just in the right environment to live up to their full potential.

To not be unfair, the question should be asked if it would have even been possible to add these extra plotlines to the parodies and I would say, yes. He used his established characters or could have used them or more of them, so there would have been no problem to add the extra icing on the cake too, especially because most of the classics are already dealing with potent stuff. Why Pratchett didn´t do it is unclear, I will add some more speculations to the already opened mix: Respect for the original authors so that he didn´t want to modify it too much? Not writing too long novels because he used to reach a certain length? Publishers asking him to do one more parody of a well established name to boost the sales although he didn´t have a real interest in it? Being used to produce such a piece from time to time without engaging as much as in his original series?

The problem with these novels is that whoever reads them first doesn´t get the real Pratchett, just as the ones who read the first or last of his books, which limits the true, über Pratchett to 20 to 25 works. It could lead to people not continuing this amazing journey because they think that all of it might be quite nice, but not really as special as everybody says.

Some other elements: How creative work of artists can be exploited by dodgy rightsholders, how the witches deal with the tooth of time and how their social dynamic changes, why beauty can beat talent, ghosts, murders, and stuff.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for Adrian.
558 reviews197 followers
June 30, 2020
So the fat lady sang and all was (almost) right with the world.
More tomorrow 😬🎶

Every time I read a Discworld novel, I think "oh these characters have got to be my favourite" ( at this point you can insert DEATH, Rincewind, The City Watch, The Wizards, The Witches), the annoying thing is that at the time of reading they are/were my favourite, until I read the next novel.

This novel, focussing on the witches, is based mainly in the opera house of Ankh-Morpork, although there is a wonderful chapter dealing with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg's journey from the mountains of Lancre which had me sniggering for a good 15 minutes much to my wife's amusement.

Agnet Nitt a potential trainee witch from Lancre has decided to run away to the opera in Ankh-Morpork and with Magrat occupied as Queen, Granny and Nanny decide to head off to Ankh-Morpork to persuade Anges to return and be the third witch.

Already hired as a singer Agnes, now Perdita, has decided the opera is the life for her despite not getting the true recognition her singing deserves. Cue Esme and Gythia, add in a pseudo foreign male opera singer, but really Henry Slugg, add a dollop of Greebo and of course an operatic ghost, and mayhem ensues, orchestrated as ever by Granny Weatherwax, probably the smartest and most magical of witches ever, according to herself.

This book had me sniggering and even laughing out loud every 20 pages or so, it truly was an excellent novel, and for the time being, my favourite characters ? Well it has to be the Witches.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
April 3, 2021
Maskerade (Discworld, #18; Witches #5), Terry Pratchett

Maskerade is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the eighteenth book in the Discworld series.

The witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg visit the Ankh-Morpork Opera House to find Agnes Nitt, a girl from Lancre, and get caught up in a story similar to The Phantom of the Opera.

The story begins with Agnes Nitt leaving Lancre to seek a career at the Opera House in Ankh-Morpork.

When Granny Weatherwax realizes Nanny Ogg has written an immensely popular "cookbook" but has not been paid by the publisher, the witches also leave for Ankh-Morpork to collect the money, as well as to attempt to recruit Agnes into their coven, to replace Magrat Garlick who left the coven when she became Queen of Lancre (in Lords and Ladies).

This has the side benefit of distracting Granny from becoming obsessive and self-centered, or so Nanny believes to her great relief.

Agnes Nitt is chosen as a member of the chorus, where she meets Christine, a more popular but less talented girl.

The Opera House Ghost, who has long haunted the opera house without much incident, begins to commit seemingly random murders staged as "accidents", and also requests that Christine be given lead roles in several upcoming productions.

Due to her incredibly powerful and versatile voice, Agnes is asked to sing the parts from the background, unbeknownst to Christine or the audience.

Having discovered the problems at the opera house and also having coerced the publisher to pay Nanny richly for her book, the witches investigate the mystery, with Granny posing as a rich patron, and Nanny insinuating herself into the opera house staff.

Agnes unmasks Walter Plinge, the janitor, as the ghost, though as he is seemingly harmless, the others are unconvinced.

Another employee is suspected, but turns out to be a member of the Cable Street Particulars. The witches determine that the finances of the Opera House, which are a complete mess, have been made so intentionally in order to hide the fact that money is being stolen, with the murders being used either as a distraction or to cover evidence. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دهم ماه آوریل سال 2020میلادی

عنوان: دیسک ورلد (جهان صفحه) کتاب هجدهم: ماسکراد؛ نویسنده تری پرچت؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 20م

دیسک ورلد (جهان صفجه)، یک سری از کتابهای فانتزی هستند، که روانشاد «تری پرچت»، نویسنده ی «انگلیسی»، نگاشته ‌اند؛ داستان‌های این سری در جهانی با نام «دیسک‌ ورلد (جهان صفحه)» می‌گذرند؛ که صفحه‌ ای تخت است، و بر شانه‌ های «چهار فیل»، با هیکلهای بزرگ، قرار دارد؛ این فیل‌ها نیز، به نوبه ی خود، بر روی پشت یک «لاک‌پشت غول‌آسا»، با نام «آتوئین بزرگ» قرار دارند؛ در این سری از کتابها، بارها از سوژه های کتاب‌های نویسندگانی همچون «جی.آر.آر تالکین»، «رابرت هاوارد»، «اچ پی لاوکرافت»، و «ویلیام شکسپیر»، به گونه ای خنده دار، استفاده شده ‌است؛

از سری «دیسک ‌ورلد» بیشتر از هشتاد میلیون نسخه، در سی و هفت زبان، به فروش رفته‌ است؛ این سری در برگیرنده ی بیش از چهل رمان (تاکنون چهل و یک رمان)، یازده داستان کوتاه، چهار کتاب علمی، و چندین کتاب مرجع، و مکمل است؛ از این سری، چندین رمان تصویری، بازی کامپیوتری، نمایش تئاتر، سریالهای تلویزیونی اقتباس شده ‌است؛ روزنامه ی «ساندی تایمز» چاپ «انگلستان» از این سری به عنوان یکی از پرفروش‌ترین سری کتاب‌ها نام برده، و «تری پرچت» را، به عنوان پرفروش‌ترین نویسنده ی «انگلستان»، در دهه ی نود میلادی دانسته است؛

رمان‌های «دیسک‌ورلد» جوایز بسیاری از جمله جایزه «پرومتئوس»، و مدال ادبی «کارنگی» را، از آن خود کرده ‌اند؛ در نظرسنجی «بیگ رید»، که «بی‌بی‌سی» در سال 2003میلادی، در «انگلستان» انجام داد، چهار رمان سری «دیسک‌ورلد»؛ در فهرست یکصد کتاب برتر قرار گرفتند؛ همچنین مردمان «انگلیس»، در این نظرسنجی، چهارده رمان «دیسک‌ورلد» را، در شمار دویست کتاب برتر، دانستند؛ تا کنون، از این سری، چهل و یک رمان، به چاپ رسیده است؛ «تری پرچت» که پیش از درگذشتش؛ در ابتدای سال 2015میلادی، از بیماری «آلزایمر» رنج می‌بردند، اعلام کردند که خوشحال می‌شوند که دخترشان، «ریانا پرچت»، به جای ایشان، به ادامه ی این سری بپردازند؛ تا جلد بیست و ششم رمان این سری، رمان «دزد زمان (2001میلادی)» به دست «جاش کربی»، به تصویر کشیده شده ‌اند، اما نسخه ‌های «آمریکایی»، که انتشارات «هارپرکالینز» آن‌ها را، منتشر کرده، دارای تصاویر روی جلد متفاوتی هستند؛ پس از درگذشت «جاش کربی»، در سال 2001میلادی، نقاشی‌های روی جلد کتاب‌های بعدی این سری، بدست «پائول کربی» کشیده‌ شدند

کتابهای اول و دوم: «رنگ جادو»؛ کتاب سوم: «زنان جادوگر»؛ کتاب چهارم: «مرگ»؛ کتاب پنجم: «سورسری (برگردان فارسی جادوی مرجع)»؛ کتاب ششم: «خواهران ویرد»؛ کتاب هفتم: «هرم ها»؛ کتاب هشتم: «نگهبانان! نگهبانان»؛ کتاب نهم: «اریک»؛ کتاب دهم: «تصاویر متحرک»؛ کتاب یازدهم: «مرد دروگر»؛ کتاب دوازدهم: «جادوگران خارج»؛ کتاب سیزدهم: «ایزدان خرد (خدایان کوچک)»؛ کتاب چهاردهم: «لردها و بانوان»؛ کتاب پانزدهم: «مردان مسلح»؛ کتاب شانزدهم: «موسیقی روح»؛ کتاب هفدهم: «اوقات جالب»؛ کتاب هجدهم: «ماسکراد»؛ کتاب نوزدهم: «پاهای خشت (فیت آو کلی)»؛ کتاب بیستم: «هاگفادر»؛ کتاب بیست و یکم: «جینگو»؛ کتاب بیست و دوم: «آخرین قاره»؛ کتاب بیست و سوم: «کارپه جوگلوم»؛ کتاب بیست و چهارم: «فیل پنجم»؛ کتاب بیست و پنجم: «حقیقت»؛ کتاب بیست و ششم: «دزد زمان»؛ کتاب بیست و هفتم: «آخرین قهرمان»؛ کتاب بیست و هشتم: «ماوریس شگفت‌انگیز و موش‌های آموزش‌دیده‌اش»؛ کتاب بیست و نهم: «ساعت شب»؛ کتاب سی ام: «مردان آزاد وی»؛ کتاب سی و یکم: «هنگ بزرگ»؛ کتاب سی و دوم: «کلاهی پُر از آسمان»؛ کتاب سی و سوم: «گوینگ پوستال»؛ کتاب سی و چهارم: «تود!»؛ کتاب سی و پنجم: «وینتراسمیت»؛ کتاب سی و ششم: «بدست آوردن پول»؛ کتاب سی و هفتم: «دانشگاهی‌های نادیدنی»؛ کتاب سی و هشتم: «نیمه‌شب بایست بپوشم»؛ کتاب سی و نهم: «اسنوف»؛ کتاب چهلم: «بالا آمدن مه»؛ کتاب چهل و یکم: «تاج چوپان»؛

کتاب هجدهم: ماسکراد: داستان با ترک «آگنس نیت» از «لانکر»، برای کار در «خانه اپرا» در «آنخ مورپورک»، آغاز میشود؛ وقتی مادربزرگ «ودرواکس» متوجه میشود، پرستار بچه «آگ»، یک کتاب «آشپزی» بسیار محبوب نوشته، اما پولی توسط ناشر به او پرداخت نشده؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
234 reviews3,010 followers
April 4, 2022
2.5 stars. I love me some Terry Pratchett, but these "witches" books just don't do it for me

While Terry Pratchett remains one of my all-time favorite authors, I just can't connect with the witches series and end up only reading them because I want to be a completionist who reads every one of his Discworld books.

This one I think is my least favorite of the witches line, as it's really just a parody of The Phantom of the Opera -- and that's not a subject I'm very interested in. My favorite Pratchett books are ones that have a unique story, not these parody books.

If you like the witches series, and you have an appreciation for Phantom of the Opera, you will likely love this book. I unfortunately fit neither of those categories.

Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,217 reviews2,049 followers
September 14, 2016
I always love Pratchett's witches books and this one was as usual laugh out loud funny. Granny Weatherwax is a wonderful character and then Death made several cameo appearances too which is always good. Pratchett was a master of parody and some of his allusions to opera and to musicals were brilliant.
I think the Discworld will always remain one of my most favourite series and my number one "go to" books when I want to read something light, well written, smart and funny.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
January 12, 2019
The Phantom of the Opera on the Discworld.

With witches!

All of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books are good but having an adventure with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Og makes it all the better.

Here we find Lancre’s two most famous witches traveling to Ankh-Morpork to find Agnes Nitt who has taken up in the chorus of the Ankh-Morpork Opera house. And of course they happen upon a Scooby-Doolicious murder mystery surrounding the legend of the opera ghost.

As in all of the Discworld books, Pratchett tells the fun surface story and then also delves into satirical observations about so much more. Here we explore themes of jealousy, greed, art and … the opera. Pratchett’s rapier wit comes through in full force in this extraordinarily humorous parody.

Profile Image for Melki.
5,785 reviews2,340 followers
July 28, 2015
Granny looked out at the dull gray sky and the dying leaves and felt, amazingly enough, her sap rising. A day ago the future had looked aching and desolate, and now it looked full of surprises and terror and bad things happening to people...
If she had anything to do with it, anyway.

Agnes Nitt and her alter ego, Perdita X. Dream, have joined the opera. Agnes has a remarkable singing voice (she can even sing harmony with...herself...), but unfortunately, she is a "traditionally built woman." So, she gets to sing in the background while the skinny, attractive star "uses" her voice and gets all the acclaim. No one ever said life is fair, even in Discworld.

But strange things are happening at the opera house. There are reports of a phantom hanging about, instruments have been smashed, and now, bodies are dropping from the rafters.

I guess it's lucky that Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are in town. Since Magrat's absence, they've discovered that three witches are needed for a coven, AND to keep them from driving each other batty, so they've come to vet Agnes for the job. And while they're there, they might as well clear up all this phantom nonsense to boot.

Maybe it was the predominantly female cast, but I enjoyed the stuffing out of this one.

Granny gets to find out "What's Opera, Doc?" and Nanny provides possibly the best explanation of its charms that I've ever heard:

"Well, it's quite simple reely," she said. "A lot of people are in love with one another, there's considerable dressing up as other people and general confusion, there's a cheeky servant, no one really knows who anyone is, a couple of ole dukes go mad, chorus of gypsies, etc. Your basic opera. Someone's prob'ly going to turn out to be someone else's long-lost son or daughter or wife or something."

I also learned that opera would be a whole lot better if they sold peanuts and beer.

Nanny and Granny are a great comedy duo. Normally, I'm a diehard Weatherwax fan, but I must say Nanny really stole the show in this one. She gets to utter my favorite line from the book as she elbows her way through a crowd to check out what all the fuss is about - "Let me through. I'm a nosy person."

I think, Granny Weatherwax is the woman I'd like to be - a thin, wise, knows-when-to-keep-her-mouth-shut, Katherine Hepburn-type of woman.
Nanny Ogg is the woman I am - a short, blowsy, doesn't-know-when-to-shut-up, Bette Midler-type of gal.

Oh, well. She may be a bit sloppy and unkempt, but she gets the job done. Just what you'd expect from a nosy person. (Like me.)
Profile Image for Melindam.
631 reviews273 followers
December 16, 2022
" '... anyway, you said you were at your wits' end with thinking what you'd do with the money.'
'Yes, but I'd have quite liked to have been at my wits' end on a big comfy chase longyou somewhere with lots of big, strong men buyin' me chocolates and pressin' their favors on me.'
'Money don't buy happiness, Gytha.'
'i only wanted to rent it for a few weeks.' "

" 'Well, you are a witch!!! Can't you do that thing with the cards and glasses?'
'Well, yes ... we could have a poker game, ' said Nanny. 'Good idea.' "

Maskerade is Discworld's / Terry Pratchett's answer to The Phantom of the Opera (which is the winner of my category: the most boring and pointless book ever).

And what an answer it is: it's fun's and boisterousness' answer to boredom and staleness. It almost makes me forgive Gaston Leroux for writing the original.

Letting the witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg on to the stages and behind the scenes of the Opera is just the ticket the story needed and Bob's your uncle, or maybe - in this case - Andy (Lloyd-Webber).

I need to re-read the Witches-books of Discworld to give a final verdict, but this is certainly among my favourites.

“Well, basically there are two sorts of opera," said Nanny, who also had the true witch's ability to be confidently expert on the basis of no experience whatsoever. "There's your heavy opera, where basically people sing foreign and it goes like "Oh oh oh, I am dyin', oh I am dyin', oh oh oh, that's what I'm doin'", and there's your light opera, where they sing in foreign and it basically goes "Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!", although sometimes they drink champagne instead. That's basically all of opera, reely.”
Profile Image for Ken.
2,163 reviews1,321 followers
June 28, 2021
I love the wittiness that Pratchett brings to a variety of topics on the Discworld.
But when it comes to parodies there's always going to be an element of how familiar you are with the subject matter having some impact in your overall enjoyment.

I've generally liked the Witches subseries so far even though I'm not overall familiar with Shakespeare...

Having loved going to West End shows in London and it being impossible to pick between Les Mis and Phantom as my favourite, Prachett's fun fantasy twist on one of my favourite musicals.
Reading Goosebumps The Phantom of the Auditorium as a kid probably also goes someway in it explaining why this is a firm favourite.

Strange accidents are having at the Ankh-Morpork Oprea House as Agnes Nitt is chosen to be part of the chours line.

Another reason why I enjoyed this so much was due to the murder mystery plot (with being a big Christie fan).
Many of the novels in the series have the high 'End of the World' stakes, so it was nice to read a more low key but compelling tale concerning just those in the opera house.

Prachett's genius is including a character named Walter Plinge - both a neat little reference to the theatre whilst a fun homage to Michael Crawford.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
November 25, 2018
Phantom of the Opera!

With the Witches!


Well, obviously, anything. This is Opera and the Show Must Go On! With or without Greebo in the mix. :)

Quite fun because I love the Phantom of the Opera and I love the Witches, but am I a fan of Anges?

Nah. Not really. I keep wanting a certain Tiffany to join the stage. Patience, patience.
Profile Image for Cynnamon.
547 reviews99 followers
October 8, 2019
Terry Pratchetts version of Phantom of the Opera. Highly amusing.
Das Phantom der Oper in Ankh Morpork unter intensiver Beteiligung von Nanny Ogg und Oma Wetterwachs.

Die Hexengeschichten von Terry Pratchett sind zwar nicht meine Lieblingsgeschichten, aber immer noch sehr, sehr gut.
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,647 reviews1,691 followers
November 21, 2015
The last time we saw the Witches, they were ushering off their third member into the perils of marriage, and to a King, no less. Anyway, Magrat's gone now, and things are going funny without a third to balance things out. Nanny Ogg in particular is worried about Granny Weatherwax, who is terrifying under the best of circumstances. They take a trip to Ankh-Morpork after Granny learns that Nanny wrote a book that is a bestseller, but has gotten no royalties from the swindling publisher. And hey, while they're there, they might as well drop in on Agnes Nitt, a girl from home who's trying to make it as an opera singer, calling herself Perdita X. They know she's a witch in the making, but Agnes is determined to resist her fate, even if it does mean everyone thinks the one singing all those beautiful arias is the skinny beautiful blonde girl who faints like a pro. Meanwhile, the legendary opera ghost who has been such good luck has all of a sudden started killing people right and left.

Of course Nanny and Granny (and sensible Agnes, with the great hair and the lovely personality) get involved, and do as only the Witches can do, making sense out of a whole mess of nonsense in every possible form.

This is my eighteenth Discworld book, and I feel like I'm at the point in this series where Pratchett had just nailed his own style so hard that even the halfhearted books are pretty amazing. My least favorite Discworld books have always been the straight parodies of things, so I was a bit surprised that I ended up enjoying this one so much (although I do love Phantom of the Opera). It was also a bit more lightweight than my favorites, but the thing he does with masks was pretty great, and I really love Granny and Nanny, as well as reluctant Agnes.

Also, I waited the whole damn book for , and it never did! Terry Pratchett, you dear departed tricky little man.

[3.5 stars, rounded up]
Profile Image for Trish.
1,915 reviews3,402 followers
November 26, 2018
Oh, how I love the witches! I just can't help myself.

In this 18th installment of the Discworld series, which is the 5th involving Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, there is only the two of them since Magrat became queen. So they are trying to recruit a witch called Anges but she is more than reluctant since she wants to become an Opera singer.
Thus, Granny and Nanny travel to Ankh-Morpork and get "cultured". *sniggers*
The problem is that when they arrive, the opera house is haunted by a ghost and there has even been some fateful incidents. But never fear: Granny and Nanny and even Greebo are on the case so it'll all turn out ... to their meddling satisfaction whether you want that or not. *lol*
In between they save people, are kind to others, kick those that deserve it and cook very interesting meals indeed.
By the way, I happen to own Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and it really IS funny so it surprised me and made me chuckle to read about the havoc she causes with it here.

Moreover, we get great side-stabs at operas in general, some musicals in particular, much hilarity ensues when the two witches go undercover,

there are some epic scenes like when Granny plays a game of cards against Death in order to save a baby, and this book contains some of the best Pratchett quotes ever regarding all sorts of topics from people in power, money and fate to general human nature. Or maybe not some of the best ... considering how high he set the bar, it's hard to tell sometimes. The situational comedy was just that good in my opinion. Also thanks to my beloved Greebo, of course.

(both when interacting with Nanny and when trying to avoid interacting with Granny).
Let's just say that I was chuckling and even bursting out laughing most of the time and when I wasn't, I was fully committed to the hunt for the ghost and killer. Not to mention Granny's fantastic way of handling magic and interpreting certain rules. Always a delight.

One last thought: the main witches are certainly Granny and Nanny but the one they choose as the third in the coven is kinda important, too, as is actually explained here. While I definitely wasn't a fan of hippie Magrat, I adore Agnes. I might not want her sticking around for too long but at least in this novel she was almost perfect.
So we get two very nuanced girls representing a very serious plight in society that is as old as the man in the moon and quite complex. But I thought it was handled brilliantly. And by a male author, showing how serious Pratchett took his characters and representation and that he truly was a master!
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,376 reviews1,430 followers
April 15, 2021
"The huge, be-columned, gargoyle-haunted face of Ankh-Morpork's Opera House was there, in front of Agnes Nitt. She stopped. At least, most of Agnes stopped. There was a lot of Agnes." pg 9, ebook.

The usually charming wit of Terry Pratchett falls flat in this entry of The Witches, a sub-series of Discworld.

Having already lampooned the general idea of 'theater' in Wyrd Sisters, Pratchett takes a crack at 'musical theater', specifically The Phantom of the Opera. Besides the addition of the witches to the mix, the main gag is that Agnes Nitt is fat.

It's not a story that has aged well.

"Agnes was, Nanny considered, quite good-looking in an expansive kind of way; she was a fine figure of typical young Lancre womanhood. This meant she was approximately two womanhoods from anywhere else." pg 21

Agnes is not the only person in the story with weight concerns, the other being one of the lead singers in the opera, a male. But Agnes, despite her obvious talents, is forced to sing in the chorus, providing the voice for a willowy female who looks the part.

All of this is just a backdrop for the larger story which is basically that Granny Weatherwax is bored and Nanny Ogg is afraid if they don't find another member for their coven, then Granny will turn to the dark side.

Which no one wants, obviously. Because Granny Weatherwax is one of the greatest of her age in headology and general witchy works, which vary greatly depending upon the circumstances.

And it brings the readers back around to the concern that I addressed in earlier books about Magrat (the witch they're looking to replace) being bullied by the other older witches in the coven. In Maskerade, they're just looking for a new punching bag.

The one bright spot in the story was Greebo, slinking around in his predatory human form. I love how he talks to people, elongating his R's and adopting a general attitude of slightly aggressive insouciance, something which I imagine cats would do, if forced to speak English.

But beyond that, for whatever reason, this entry in the series didn't hit the spot for me.

Here's hoping the next is better.
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
January 6, 2022
“Well, basically there are two sorts of opera," said Nanny, who also had the true witch's ability to be confidently expert on the basis of no experience whatsoever. "There's your heavy opera, where basically people sing foreign and it goes like "Oh oh oh, I am dyin', oh I am dyin', oh oh oh, that's what I'm doin'", and there's your light opera, where they sing in foreign and it basically goes "Beer! Beer! Beer! Beer! I like to drink lots of beer!", although sometimes they drink champagne instead. That's basically all of opera, reely.”

The witches go to the opera! Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are in pursuit of Perdita X. (nee Agnes):

“You needed at least three witches for a coven. Two witches was just an argument.”

I've never read or seen The Phantom of the Opera - if I had I may have gotten even more out of this, but it doesn't really matter because I loved it, even without that reference point. I adore the witches, and it was fun to them trying to recruit a new member. I was also impressed with Terry Pratchett for making Agnes' stubborn objections to becoming the third witch make sense; her reasoning against it made sense, even if she was ultimately wrong.

There are also some amazing Greebo moments, which I won't spoil, but they were brilliant.

Some quotes:

“Granny Weatherwax was firmly against fiction. Life was hard enough without lies floating around and changing the way people thought. And because the theater was fiction made flesh, she hated the theater most of all. But that was it—hate was exactly the right word. Hate is a force of attraction. Hate is just love with its back turned.”
“The human mind was a deep and abiding mystery and the Librarian was glad he didn't have one anymore.”
“His progress through life was hampered by his tremendous sense of his own ignorance, a disability which affects all too few.”
Profile Image for BrokenTune.
750 reviews202 followers
November 21, 2017
Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.

Need I say anything more about the Granny Weatherwax, the speaker of this line? She is still one of the best characters in fiction. In Maskerade, Granny and Nanny are faced with the difficulty of being a coven of only two witches. They need a third. Because, as we know, two witches is not a coven, it's an argument. There has to be a third to settle the argument - or act as a buffer.

Unfortunately, Agnes, the hopeful addition to Granny and Nanny, has set her mind on pursuing a musical career, and not on becoming a witch. So, Agnes joins the opera where she is cast as the vocal lead. but as she is blessed with a good personality and nice hair rather than, erm, "looks", her choice may not be all that she hoped for.

Also, there is the slight matter of unexplained deaths occurring at the opera.

In a twist of previous books in the series, Granny turns into a quasi Miss Marple in Maskerade, and Nanny is at hand to explain Granny's use of headology to perplexed by-standers.

What's not to like?
Profile Image for Julie.
1,947 reviews38 followers
April 16, 2023
Six years later...... I am rereading with my daughter. Oh how we laughed!

One observation, or perhaps a truism, is that Nanny Ogg thinks that the ability to cook should be prized over looks, "as kisses eventually lost their fire but cooking tended to get even better over the years."

The quote, "We had to share a drain with two other families," reminds me of how older folk tell younger ones, in a Monty Pythonesque way, about how they struggled in their youth by having to walk to school uphill both ways and/or they lived in a cardboard box on the motorway (or worse!)
Profile Image for MisterFweem.
342 reviews15 followers
December 3, 2010
The musical "Phantom of the Opera" used to drive me crazy. All that foppish flopping around with Christine being the sad weepy and yet easily manipulated girl who would run off and do whatever the creep with the dinnerware stuck to his face told him. I always figured if I were in the opera house and saw what was going on, I'd try to make Christine see the light.

Now, thanks to Agnes Nitt, I know that wouldn't have worked. But thank heaven for Terry Pratchett and Agness Nitt for taking Gaston Leroux' story and setting it in Ankh-Morpork, where the best satirist of the 20th century could have fun with it.

Every bit of the story is comic, from Nanny Ogg's obscene recipes to the transformation of Greebo the cat into Lord Gribeaux. Esme Weatherwax is just as wise and cranky as ever as well.

I remember my first read-through of this book, and how distressed I felt that Pratchett wasn't writing about his wizards. Now I look over my Pratchett collection and have to say my favorite books don't involve the wizards at all.
Profile Image for Ümit Mutlu.
Author 33 books280 followers
January 14, 2020
“Yaktım gemileriii, döğnüş yok artık geri / Tağk etti cağnımaa, buğ maskeli baloooo / Buğ maskeli balo ve oğnun sahte yüzleriiii...”

Elbette, “maskeli balo” tabirini duyunca akla ilk gelen şey bu. Ne de olsa hemen hepimiz Yeni Türkü ile büyüdük ve biz büyüdük ve kirlendi dünya. Ama konumuz bu değil. Bu maskeli balo, o maskeli balo değil.

Bu Maskeli Balo, Diskdünya’nın 18, Cadılar alt serisinin ise 5. kitabı; ve aslen, Operadaki Hayalet’in bir güzellemesi. Kitabın değil ama, müzikalin. (O yüzden, yukarıdaki şarkıyı zihninizden silin şimdi [bozuk plak cıgırdaması efekti] ve şu linkteki şaheseri dinleyerek moda girin.)

Operadaki Hayalet, 1900’lerin başında Gaston Leroux tarafından yazılmış ünlü bir roman aslen. Defalarca sinemaya da uyarlanmış. Fakat asıl patlamasını 1986’da, müzikal kralı Andrew Lloyd Webber’in uyarlamasından sonra yapmış. O müzikalden sonra sinemaya uyarlanmayı ve tekrar tekrar sahnelenmeyi de sürdürmüş ama elbette, Webber’in müzikleriyle.

Pratchett da o yüzden, kitaptan ziyade müzikalden (ve bazı birkaç eski sinema uyarlamasından) beslenmiş daha çok. İyi de olmuş, zira Pterry’nin zihnindeki amansız rocker’ı dizginlemenin başka yolu yokmuş. (Yani, sanırım.)

Opera, müzikal, sahne sanatları ve oradan da dolaylı olarak Shakespeare derken, Diskdünya’da akla elbette öncelikle Cadılar alt serisi geliyor. Ucube Kocakarılar’da Macbeth’i, Hanımlar ve Beyler’de ise Bir Yaz Gecesi Rüyası’nı yeniden, çok daha komik şekilde okumuştuk hatırlarsanız; Maskeli Balo’da da, nihayetinde, Opera Evi’nde gezinen hayalet veya hayaletleri görüyoruz. Ancak bu kitapta, sahne sanatları parodisine ek olarak bir de polisiye sosu var ve belki de bu yüzden, bu kitap diğerlerine oranla çok daha sürükleyici. Ne de olsa, sergüzeşt bir tavır varsa ortada, yolun sonuna kadar gitmek farz oluyor biz fani okurlara.

“Cadılık böyle bir şeydi işte. Kaçık yaşlı adamlar üzerinde kafaloji uygulamak, bitkileri karıştırıp ilaç yapmak, hakkınızı savunmak veya bir şifalı bitkiyi diğerinden ayırabilmek değildi. Cadılık, zihninizi dünyaya açmak ve algıladığınız her şeyi dikkatle incelemekti...”

Havamumu Nine’nin büründüğü bu atanamamış şerlokluk (ve yanında kafaloji, az miktarda büyü ve çokça psikoloji ve telkin) sayesinde, roman ilginç bir noktaya geliyor gerçekten de. Olaylar bile sahnenin kendisinde bitimleniyor. Yani sahneden neredeyse hiç kopmuyor, hatta yer yer dördüncü duvarın ortadan kalktığına bile şahit oluyoruz. Fakat en güzeli, aslında her zamanki gibi, son derece sinematik anlatım. (O yüzden, kitabı okumadan önce en azından bazı sahnelere göz atmak, alınacak keyfi artıracaktır.)

Cadılar demişken... Her zaman söylüyorum: Cadılar alt serisi, Diskdünya’nın en komik maceralarına, en komik diyaloglarına gebe. Ogg Ana ve Havamumu Nine’nin siyahla beyaz kadar farklı dünyaları, bir araya geldiğinde gri renkli, sıkıcı bir mekân yaratmıyor asla; tuhaf bir şekilde, spektrumdaki bütün renkleri aktifleştiriyor bir anda:

“Ogg Ana bakakaldı. Hayatı boyunca pek çok tuhaf şey görmüştü, hatta bazılarını iki kez görmüştü. Elflere, yürüyen taşlara, nallanan tekboynuzlara şahit olmuştu. Kafasına bir çiftlik evi düşmüştü yahu! Ama ruj sürmüş bir Havamumu Nine’yi hiç görmemişti...”

(Valla ben de görmedim. Ama görsem, ben de kesin etkilenirdim.)

Öte yandan, iki yaşlı cadının yanında bu kez Agnes isimli genç bir cadı adayı var (zira hatırlayacağınız gibi çılgın Magrat daha önceki kitaplarda evlenip çoluğa çocuğa karışmıştı). Agnes üzerinden Ankh-Morpork’a akan okur, klasik bir “büyük şehirdeki genç kız” hikâyesi okumayı bekleyebilir elbette; fakat Koçbaşı Dağları’ndan gelen herhangi bir kız bile Ankh-Morpork için fazla kaçabilir. Yine de, Agnes sosunun ileride Tiffany Sızı’nın karakter gelişimine dair küçük bir ipucu olacağı söylenebilir.

Ve tabii, üç cadı şart.

“Ogg Ana başlangıçta hiç inanmamıştı. Ama Magrat Sarımsak, hemen her zaman sümsüğün teki olsa da, bir konuda çok haklı çıkmıştı: Cadılar için üç, doğal bir sayıydı. Üç kişi olmak demek, oradan oraya koşuşturan, çıkan kavgaları yatıştıran ve kavga eden diğer iki kişiyi barıştıran biri olması demekti. Magrat bu konuda iyiydi. Magrat’ın yokluğunda Ogg Ana ve Havamumu Nine birbirlerinin sinirine dokunuyordu. Buna karşılık, Magrat varken, üçü birden tüm dünyadaki diğer herkesin sinirine dokunuyordu ve böylesi çok daha eğlenceliydi.”

Üç cadı. En az üç cadı olmak zorunda.

Son olarak, bir de karşılaştırmalı edebiyat alanına katkıda bulunayım kendimce. Çünkü şu ilk alıntıyı gördükten sonra aklıma gelen ilk şey şu ikinci alıntı oldu:

“İnsanlara ihtiyaç duymayan her insan, insanlara ihtiyaç duymadığını bildirebileceği insanlara ihtiyaç duyardı.”
–Terry Pratchett

“Ben ölmek istiyorum sayın albayım, ölmek. Bir yandan da göz ucuyla ölümümün nasıl karşılanacağını seyretmek istiyorum...”
–Oğuz Atay

Her neyse... Yorumun sonuna geldiniz ve açtığınız parça bitti mi? Hiç üzülmeyin, çünkü yenisi var.
Ve onu biraz tanıdıysam artık, Terry Pratchett da bence en çok bu versiyonunu severdi.

Bu kadar. Yorum bitti.
Profile Image for YouKneeK.
642 reviews78 followers
October 26, 2016
Maskerade is the fifth book in the Witches subseries of Discworld. I usually enjoy the Witches books a little more than the others. I didn’t think this one was as uproariously funny as Wyrd Sisters or Witches Abroad, but I did enjoy it.

The story centers on some goings-on at an opera house. The opera house has always had a mysterious ghost with certain demands, but lately this ghost seems to have gone off the deep end. It's murdering people and leaving crazy notes with lots of exclamation points. As anybody who has read a few Pratchett books probably knows, multiple exclamation points are a sure sign of insanity!!!!!

I’ve had very little exposure to the opera, so I’m sure there were some jokes that went over my head, but I felt like most of it was pretty accessible to me. As expected, there are a lot of Phantom of the Opera references as well as some fun-poking at opera in general. The story itself was entertaining, with a bit of a mystery feel to it, but the solutions to the mystery were predictable to the point where I suspect they weren’t really intended to be a surprise.

Character-wise, Magrat is only spoken about and doesn’t show up personally. I was actually happy about that since I think she can be annoying. Granny and Nanny are there though, and they’re as much fun as always. Another character who we had met briefly in a previous Witches book took a major role in this story, and I liked her quite a bit. I definitely liked her more than Magrat.

I was surprised to look ahead on the reading list and realize there’s only one more Witches book to go. I hope that won’t be the last of Granny and Nanny because they’re so much fun. The Tiffany Aching series seems to be a young adult offshoot of the Witches series, so hopefully they’ll show up at least a little bit here and there.
Profile Image for Selkis.
61 reviews25 followers
January 23, 2021
I love Discworld and I'm especially fond of the witches. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg will always have a special place in my heart. Therefore, Maskerade I couldn't really rate Maskerde lower than 4 stars - I love it!

Granny and Nanny follow the young Agnes (Perdita) Nitt to Ankh-Morpork. Out of necessity - two witches aren't enough, you need three so you can order one around. Agnes, however, wants nothing to do with witchcraft and starts her opera career at the Ankh-Morpork Opera House. Not everything is as it should be. Apparently the opera house is haunted by a ghost! Things get dangerous when people start dying ...

The two witches in Ankh-Morpork are hilarious. I can't think of a better combination / setting! Cheeky comments their very own views on thievery, lying and spending money and their general attitude. It's perfect and incredibly funny.

Agnes struggles to be accepted and respected in the world of opera, the identity of the ghost is a mystery and even Greebo makes an appearance.
As always Pratchett touched upon deeper complicated issues and wrapped them into an exciting story - which also happens to be incredibly funny.

As with every Discworld book, I'd highly recommend it. Although in this case it might be necessary to read the other books in the Witches-series before you start!
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
913 reviews404 followers
September 7, 2017
Perdóneme Señor Pratchett porque al empezar el libro pensaba que no me iba a gustar mucho. La serie de las brujas no es mi favorita y una historia ambientada en el mundo de la ópera no era lo que me llamaba más la atención.
Pero lo que he descubierto ha sido una de las mejores novelas del Mundodisco. Una parodia del teatro y la ópera con acción constante, gente entrando y saliendo entre bambalinas, decenas de personajes, misterios que resolver y un simio tocando el órgano.
Y todo perfectamente hilado para no perdernos entre tanto caos.

Ya no volveré a dudar más de usted.
Profile Image for Toby.
831 reviews328 followers
September 8, 2015
So great to get back to a book with Pratchett doing what he did best after the poor punfest that was Soul Music and the silly adventures of Rincewind in Interesting Times, Maskerade is about the witches and you can't go wrong with Granny and Nanny running riot with things.

Nanny is sick of making the tea, Granny is bored, they need a third (junior) witch to complete their coven and they need adventures to stave off the craziness that can envelope the mind of a bored yet powerful witch (see the adventures of Black Alice for case in point.) It just so happens that their preferred witch Agnes (Perditax) Nitt has run off to the big smoke to join the opera, an operation currently haunted by a murderous ghost. Hijinks ensues.

The major difference between the witches books and the Rincewind books is that first and foremost Pratchett is concerned with telling an interesting and entertaining story about great characters as opposed to squeezing as many jokes per page as possible with a "plot" a secondary or tertiary requirement of the book. Granny and Nanny ARE great characters, they have interesting adventures and the stories are generally reused, reimagined, re-buggered about with, classics of literature i.e. established high quality structure with a fair bit of cunning imagination thrown in to the mix. Maskerade's take on The Phantom of the Opera is no exception to this, and there are still countless jokes that come naturally from the evolution of the characters and plot rather than slapstick humour forced in to scenarios as part of an unacknowledged joke quota.

The promotion of Agnes from a minor character in Lords and Ladies to bone fide replacement for Queen Magrat Garlick is handled marvellously, life is breathed in to her previous caricature with nonchalant ease, bringing a new dynamic to Pratchett's world - a female character that is allowed to just exist on her own for a time without solely being a plot device or a two dimensional villain or a sounding board for Granny etc.

Looking ahead at the rest of the series I think it's fair to say that this is the point where Pratchett became fully in control of his abilities with the pen and grasped the power of the world he had created over the past decade and Maskerade is a good example of what was to come.
Profile Image for David Sarkies.
1,785 reviews306 followers
July 10, 2015
Pratchett takes us to the opera
4 November 2014

Since Margrat Garlick has gone on to do bigger and better things (such as ruling) the remaining two witches are at a loss as to who would fill the missing spot in their 'coven'. They did settle on Agnes, however it seems that she also has better things to do, such as run off to Anhk Morpork to become a world famous opera singer. There are a couple of problems with this though (not that she is unable to become an opera singer, despite the suggestion that she can't sing, though acting ability is not really all that necessary since it is well known that opera singers don't act) and that is that first of all the theatre is so scared of bad luck that there is a plethora of rules that must be adhered too so that the show is a success (not that these shows are successful because they don't seem to be making any money), and secondly the opera house is haunted.

This book is based upon Phantom of the Opera, a musical that I have not seen so unfortunately I am not all that familiar with it (I could have seen it when I was in London, but I decided to go an see Spamalot instead, which meant I missed out on seeing a Rowen Atkinson play, which I didn't realise was on until the day before I left, and that was the one night that there was no performance). However you don't really need to be familiar with the musical to appreciate this book – I certainly did (though there is a difference between a musical and an opera).

Maskerade is sort of a mystery because along with the ghost there have also been a number of murders. This time, though, it is not the city watch that are investigating (though Noddy and Detritus do make an appearance) but Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Of course they have to go undercover, so that means that Granny has to go and dress up as your typical opera goer, which means spending an awful lot of money, as well as turning Greebo back into a human so that she has somebody to accompany her. Unfortunately Nanny (who has all of the money) is relegated to the role of a serving maid.

As the name suggests, this book is all about masks, though it explores masks in a similar way that many other forms of literature explore masks.

Jim Carey is the Mask

In a way we all wear masks to hide our true selves from society at large, and this is taken up more so on stage where the actors put on the masks of the character that they are playing. Thus the actors are not only wearing multiple masks, but there is also the question as to their true identity. Of course, as we are probably aware, the phantom (or ghost in this book) also wears a mask so as to conceal his identity, but this works further to create a vastly different identity where the identity of the ghost, for a while, is thought to be somebody else. Of course, the ghost is not an actual ghost, as Granny points out, because ghosts are not interested in creating any more ghosts because it is already pretty crowded in Ghostland.

I won't necessarily say I am getting bored with the Pratchett books at this stage, I still quite enjoyed this one, but I wonder how the series is going to maintain its standard since I believe there are over 30 books with more in the pipeline. I particularly enjoyed the scene with Death and the cow (and that is all I will say), and I always enjoy the antics of the witches as they move through Discworld with their own eccentric personalities and not really caring about what other people think. However, I am sure there are still many aspects of our world and our culture available for Pratchett to place in his satirical world.
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
780 reviews130 followers
March 15, 2021
Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg take on the Phantom of the Opera, opera and theater in general, and the publishing world in this tightly-plotted Discworld novel.

There were a couple of objectionable notes in the book, particularly glaring as this book came on the heels of Interesting Times with its rampant stereotype-based humor. There are fat jokes throughout, but what struck me the hardest were two moments involving Nanny's cat Greebo. First, he has progressed from raping other animals to raping them in the bum, which he picked up during his foreign travels in Witches Abroad. Second, this passage:
With a cat's unerring instinct for people who dislike cats he'd leapt heavily into their laps and given them the "young masser back on de old plantation" treatment.
I don't even know what that means, but it is cringe factor eleven.

Other than that, the book is superb! Great character work, especially properly introducing Agnes Nitt, great integration with the Ankh-Morpork setting and cameos from the Watch, and no story bloat. Pratchett's rolling, chapterless storytelling really seems to be hitting its peak with this and other mid-1990s books.

From page five onwards, it was obvious that the story wouldn't end "until the fat lady sings", and with that thought in my head I had an awful night of anxiety dreams framing this book as mounting cliches, although of course my anxiety wasn't about the book at all.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,260 reviews222 followers
November 26, 2018
Part of the Pratchett reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2018.

Agnes Nitt, introduced briefly in Lords and Ladies has been selected by Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg as the new third witch for the Lancre coven. Which is a shame, because she's actually already left to pursue a singing career in the Ankh Morpork Opera. A short foray into fortune-telling later and the witches are one the way to Ankh Morpork to find out just what's wrong at the Opera and why so many people are dying there. And what has the Ghost of the Opera got to do with it?

We've had a lot of the Witches by this stage in the series and Pratchett has absolutely nailed the characters of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg by this stage. Agnes/Perdita makes for a wonderful third for the trio, but the real star of this one is the absolute insanity of the Ankh Morpork Opera and the skewering it gives to the Phantom.

My only criticism of it though is that it isn't quite as good as some of the other Witch books, and I feel it drags in places. The action never feels quite as madcap as it probably should, mainly because neither Granny Weatherwax or Nanny Ogg are ever really challenged here. It's a mystery as to what's going on, but at no point do any of our main characters feel at risk. That's a very different story in the next Witches book.
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912 reviews167 followers
September 16, 2016
The Witches series continuous to be witty and hilarious, but all I can really say about it is that the book is good.

I guess it's hard for me to read and fully enjoy serial books without seeing some sort of significant growth in the characters. But while we do find out a little more about Granny's and Nanny's past lives, they're such small tidbits that I wouldn't call them revelations or development. They're still fantastic, hilarious, amazing characters but I want more.

Plus I had a hard time liking Agnes/Perdita because she was such a ... I don't know, maybe it's not her that I don't like, but her story. She at least tries to get out of the small time, tries to fight and achieve her dreams, but the world won't let her and no one wants her too. Granny and Nanny, don't particularly force her into anything and don't tell her what to do, just keep the door open for her but it's just so not fair that in the end, Agnes left the opera not because it was her choice... but because she wasn't really wanted there. Even though she was the best goddam singer there, no one wanted her because she is fat. And that was cruel... I mean, in most of his books, Terry always makes the ending - no matter how bitter - feel just and right in the end. And this one still felt wrong and bitter. No one will regret losing Agnes, there was no realization of losing the greatest opera singer in Discworld history... and that just didn't feel right.

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