Witches #3 is a very interesting instalment on reread. I didn’t actually remember a whole tonne from when I first read it but I remember not being that enthralled because there was so much focus on OLD Granny Weatherwax, instead of the YOUNG relatable Magrat (I must have been pretty young oh dear).
What I’ve noticed rereading is I think this the real beginning of more bad-ass Discworld stories. Reaper Man had a little bit of this style but Witches Abroad is much more of a coherent fantasy action story, with a proper quest, villain and even somewhat serious twists.
There is still a rambling element of random adventures which is sort of relegated to the 1st act while the Witches make their way ‘abroad’ where Pratchett riffs on some cultural oddities before subverting fairy tales – the main theme being what if witches were the good guys in fairy tales?
Most of Pratchett’s characters are the best, but I feel like Granny Weatherwax is by far the most complex and dynamic. Even by book 3 I feel like she is still somewhat developing (and there are only 3 more books to go!) I can’t quite decide whether Vimes or Weatherwax are the most author insert of Sir Pratchett (or is it Rincewind LOL)
Continuing my Discworld journey – Reaper man is an interesting one. As #2 of the Death series its of course going to rate highly – but there is something odd about this edition which probably detracts from it a little.
The basic premise is that Death finds himself given a ‘life’ and told his replacement will arrive soon. With little to no explanation Death decides to settle down on a local farm and adopt the life of one ‘Bill Door’.
Every single scene with Death in it is brilliant and perfect and everything you want from Sir Terry, from Death’s struggle to relate to life both humorously and philosophically to the strange connection between Death and a small child who can tell he’s a skeleton, and the final confrontation and struggle with the New Death.
So what’s the problem?
The weird thing with Reaper Man is the majority of the book is a wizard subplot. Death barely takes up any pages, and most of the book focusses on Windle Poons a recently undead and ancient wizard as him and his colleagues join with a small gaggle of typical undeads and fight against the effects of the build-up of excess ‘life’. The subplot is funny enough but is mostly silly narration – aside from a few really good gags (conversations with a medium) it mostly felt like distraction from the really good stuff.
Of course Reaper Man is all important in the series for introducing the seminal and significant ‘Death-of-[spoiler]’ so will always hold a special place for me!
In my defence there’s been a few things on lately, NZ has recently scrapped almost all of our covid response plan, which is a good thing (it’s because of dropping case numbers) but its a big change in our wee nation and kinda weird to not have to whip on a mask every few moments.
I’ve also had to do some on-call stuff for work which I’ve been lucky enough to get away from this year, but it tend to put a dampener on the writing hobbies!
But enough about me – what about the world?
Sir Terry Pratchett’s biography is coming out shortly I don’t know whether I want to continue my read through of the Discworld series first and then read it, or read the biography as soon as possible :D. Normally I’d prefer to read the works then the biography but given how many Discworld novels there are (I’m up to 12/45) reading all of those is probably going to be another couple of years away!
Jenna Moreci is about to publish a ‘On Writing’ book and I’m pretty excited I haven’t read a book on the craft for a while and Jenna is really funny and smart so should be a good time!
Finally this month a twitter friend of mine published their YA book:
I’m proud to be ‘Moots’ with Dylan but unfortunately can’t claim much more prestige than that! Hopefully when Dylan hits the best-seller lists they don’t unfollow me 😀
I’ve been saving a few reddit type posts but plan on saving those for next weeks Weekly Writing Review, the last few hours of this weekend are ear-marked for cups of Earl Gray and chocolate (separately)