The Opera House – Maskerade

maskerade-2‘A catastrophe curve, Mr Bucket, is what opera runs along. Opera happens because of a large number of things amazingly fails to go wrong, Mr Bucket. It works because of hatred and love and nerves. All the time. This isn’t cheese. This is opera. If you wanted a quiet retirement, Mr Bucket, you shouldn’t have bought the Opera House. You should have done something peaceful, like alligator dentistry.’

Something struck me part of the way through Maskerade that perhaps answers the slightly inconsistent nature of the past few Discworld novels. In Maskerade, Granny is bored, agitated and in need of a change. And it hit me that every novel since Lords and Ladies has been similar. Each has featured characters seeking a break from their old routines. Carrot wants to turn the Watch into something worthwhile in Men at Arms. Buddy wishes to save his soul by rock and roll in Soul Music. And Cohen is tired of raping and pillaging and wishes to settle down by running his own empire in Interesting Times. Continue reading →

Royals – Lords and Ladies

lords-and-ladies-2You call yourself some kind of goddess and you know nothing, madam, nothing. What don’t die can’t live. What don’t live can’t change. What don’t change can’t learn. The smallest creature that dies in the grass knows more than you.

This book is excellent. After the wonder and ambition of Small Gods, Lords and Ladies is the conclusion to a Discworld trilogy of witches stories – from Wyrd Sisters’ spin on Macbeth, through the dark fairytale of Witches Abroad to this, a take on A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. It’s immensely satisfying, with a plot that just races and some fantastic character moments. It also bravely brings its climax forward to halfway through the book, ratcheting up the tension of the closing scenes immeasurably. Continue reading →