Mark Reads ‘Maskerade’: Part 18

In the eighteenth and final part of Maskerade, the witches head home. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld

I really loved this book, y’all. Maskerade has such a pleasant ending, and I’m glad that Agnes does factor into it. Pratchett swiftly deals with Salzella’s last moments, and I was not the least bit surprised that he was still an entitled asshole right up to the end. He’s one of the biggest jerks in the Discworld books, y’all! And like I said on video, I’m actually curious if his true identity is obvious in the text if you read it again. He’s a fascinating character in one sense because he lived a dual life full of spite and hatred, but he’s also not fascinating because HE’S THE WORST.

Whatever, Death showed up in the most fabulous, operatic outfit possible. WHO CARES ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.

The remainder of the end of this book is all about the journey home. As ridiculous and absurd as this book has been (and I’m not complaining about that at all!), Pratchett dials down the action in the end. The muted humor and narration is a treat, though! Granny and Nanny did a wonderful thing in Ankh-Morpork. They help expose a murderer, and they gave Walter Plinge a new life. Thus, the journey home is about them settling back into the life of two witches in Lancre.

Of course, there’s something hanging over this entire trip: What happens to Agnes Nitt? Does she remain in the opera, or does she take up Granny’s offer? The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the witches pass up Agnes in their coach as she walks back to Lancre. And now I realize that the first figure is GREEBO. DUH. Who else could fit under the seats? But it’s Granny’s comment about being independent that pushed me in the right direction.

Granny can be cruel and a bit spiteful, but she’s also got a good sense for Right and Wrong. This book certainly proved that. Part of that includes the reveal here in the end that her sword grip during the climax actually hurt her. She just didn’t have time then to feel pain. I actually found the scene where she dealt with the wound to be one of the coolest things we’ve ever gotten in terms of Granny’s characterization. How many times has she gone home or found somewhere private to deal with cause and effect? It’s easy to imagine that she is so powerful that she’s invincible, but in that one scene, we’re shown that she’s not at all.

I also think it’s easy to see her as manipulative because that’s kind of her whole deal. She gets what she wants through headlogy and intimidation. There’s a bit of it here in the conclusion of Maskerade, but at the same time, her scene with Agnes was a lot sweeter than I expected. Y’all, she’s literally digging a hole for her privy during this sequence. She’s filthy, she’s sweating, and there’s no illusion. Thus, she feels more real. She seems genuinely interested in what Agnes is going to do next. Yes, she does casually mention that Magrat’s old cottage is empty, but then she does something I didn’t expect at all: she admits that she once went by a self-given name. Endemonidia.

It’s like… the first time she tries to empathize with Agnes. And it matters. I think it’s what helps Agnes feel more willing to take up Granny’s offer. SO I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS!!! Will all of the Witches books in the future contain THREE witches? Is Agnes now a permanent fixture? BECAUSE YES, I WANT THIS SO BADLY. Ah, I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and hope I find out soon. I can’t wait! This book was a real treasure to read, and honestly, I feel like it washed away the bad taste of Interesting TimesFeet of Clay, here I come!

Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:

http://bit.ly/markreadsYW

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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