It’s time for a #DiscworldJourney update! During October I read another two Discworld novels, again two I already knew – and loved. The Witches and Death are my absolute favourite characters and Equal Rites and Mort are there respective first adventures in Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
Of Witches and Death – my favourites
The Witches Collection #1
For some reasons, I pay much attention to any of the Witches novels before I started my first try at this journey. And what a shame, because after Death the weird and funny witches are easily my favourites among all the strange inhabitants of the Discworld. Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat Garlick are hilarious and just plain fun. And yes, this is, again, one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s earlier works and a bit rough around the edges but, especially knowing later Witches novels, it’s fascinating to see how Granny Weatherwax, who stars in Equal Rites, started out.
And even considering those rough edges and not quite as polished prose and characters, Equal Rites is a great fun to read. It is full of humour while tackling serious topics – in this case gender equality and sexism – as is typical for all Discworld novels. And, if for some reason, you don’t feel like reading about Rincewind and Twoflower, Equal Rites also works perfectly well as an introduction to the Discworld series. The witches definitely are a great first point of contact!
The Death Collection #1
As I said above, I adore Death. He is easily my favourite Discworld character, even though the witches are a close second. And with Mort being Death’s first solo-novel, one would think I’d love it as well, right?
Well, the thing is, I definietly don’t hate Mort. It’s a good novel, it’s even, again, a solid introduction to the Discworld as a whole, if you don’t feel like reading The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic or Equal Rites and want to start out with a Death story instead, but it’s just not that great compared to some of the other Death novels. That’s the thing though, just as the first two Discworld novels were good but not great in comparison to Pratchett’s later works, this is good but the later Death novels are just better.
Mort is a perfectly solid Discworld novel, full of wit and humour, even though their aren’t as polished and cutting yet as they become later in the series. Also, Death is a great character but he is somewhat overshadowed by Mort, the titular apprentice he takes on. However, the more often I reread this, the more layers and nuances I find. Maybe by the next read it will be up to five stars again – until then, I’m looking forward to the next Death book, Reaper Man in February.
And that’s it for this update! Next on my list are Sourcery and the absolutely amazing Wyrd Sisters – more on them next month!