Maskerade by Terry Pratchett
MaskeradeTerry Pratchett; HarperTorch 1998Agnes Nitt has to get away from Lancre. She doesn’t want to be a witch, and she’s fairly sure Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are trying to get her to be their new third partner. Instead she goes to Ankh-Morpork to find a new life where she can be Perdita instead of Agnes. When auditions are announced at the opera, she goes. She may not have the body of a dancer, but she has the voices of an opera singer.
She is accepted and gets a bedroom next to Christine, one of the other new members. When Christine can’t sleep due to the sounds coming out of the walls, they change rooms. Agnes hears someone talking to her through the mirror. Soon she is taking midnight opera lessons.
The new owner of the opera house has problems. The accounting books are in complete disarray. The opera seems to spend more than it takes in – he never realized the cost of ballerina shoes before. Then there is the Ghost who insists on having Box 8 reserved for him on opening night of each show. When people start dying, he knows it’s getting worse. Perdita gets caught up in the myths. But practical Agnes wars with her alter ego.
Nanny Ogg wrote a book that is selling well. Granny Weatherwax thinks the publisher owes her money. They decide to visit the publisher in Ankh-Morpork. While they’re there, they’ll check up on Agnes, too. She may be ready to come home by now.
If you haven’t discovered Discworld yet and like The Phantom of the Opera, Maskerade is a good book to learn about the flat, round world. The witches are a hoot. They keep you amused and chuckling throughout. Then there is the parody of the famous story. Terry Pratchett uses his wonderful wit and talent to put it into his Discworld. Agnes/Perdita is a well done character that it’s fun to watch. Her dual look at the opera is a comical narrative.
Maskerade is cheerful entertainment. You won’t go wrong with Terry Pratchett’s book.
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