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Archive for the ‘Erzulie Gogol’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: hiatus

[READ: October 2021] Witches Abroad

Our trio of Witches is back.  And they’re about to do something they never imagined.  They are going to “forn parts.”

A local older witch (yes, older than Granny and Nanny) Desiderata Hollow dies and she sends Magrat her wand.  Granny and Nanny are more than a little miffed that she gave it to Magrat.  I mean, really.  Not that Granny or Nanny needs a wand or wants a wand or wants anything to do with a wand, or anything.  But still.

Getting the wand means that Magrat is now the Fairy Godmother to a girl named Emberella.  But although she gave the wand, she also gave no instructions whatsoever.  So Magrat really doesn’t know what to do.  The only note that she gave to Magrat included the important information to not let Granny or Nanny get involved.  Which Granny and Nanny take to mean that they should really take over the whole proceedings.

But Magrat is determined to do this right.  She wields that wand with authority and turns anything she waves it at into a pumpkin (she can’t do anything else with it).

As fairy godmother, Magrat’s one duty is to ensure that Emberella does not marry the Duke (who has a seriously questionable past).

Everyone knows that Fairy Godmothers are supposed to get young girls to marry Princes or Dukes.  So they are working against Fairy Tales.

But before they can even deal with Emberella, they need to cross the disc to Genua where Emberella lives.  This leads to a road-movie type story where the three naive travellers go to all manner of new places.

Nanny Ogg, who fancies herself a wise traveller also seems to know a lot of forn languages (or at least she knows a lot of rude words in other languages).  The Witches have some very amusing adventures.  There’s a Running of the Bulls type event which they find themselves right in the middle of, there’s a cave that they escape from in a giant pumpkin (thanks Magrat), and there’s a village where a giant house falls on Nanny Ogg to the delight of the locals.  Nanny is fine because the house fell on her willow-enhanced hat.

It turns out that the Duke is actually a puppet.  And the woman behind the diabolical plan to have Emberella marry the Duke is Lilith Weatherwax–Granny’s sister.  Nanny knows of Lilith because they grew up together, but no one else knew she had a sister.

Lilith has been using the power of mirrors to create more and more magic.  And she is quite powerful. She has been using the power of stories to impact the Witches travels and wants to use the Cinderella story to change the fates of Emberella and by extension, all of Genua.

Granny and Nanny are a little out of their element here (not that they are weak, they are just in an unfamiliar situation) and wind up getting help from a local witch.  Well, she doesn’t call herself a witch, but as the women talk they see that they have a lot in common.  Erzulie Gogol is a voodoo witch who lives in a swamp and has a zombie servant named Baron Saturday.  Pratchett has some good fun with stereotypes of the swamp–especially Granny not understanding alligators and the like.

Granny hypnotizes Magrat into attending the ball as if she were Emberella.  Magrat quite enjoys the experience. As does Greebo who is turned into a human.  Since Greebo is all impulse, he makes for a rakish human (who, unfortunately, doesn’t understand how his hands and arms work).

Another great rakish character introduced here is the dwarf Casanunda: “World’s 2nd Greatest Lover, swordsman, liar, soldier of fortune, stepladder repairer.”  Casanunda wins over women with his remarkably romantic courtship practices.   He is quite taken with Nanny Ogg who wouldn’t know romance if she sat on it.  He is fascinated that nothing he does impacts her an he finds her irresistible.

This book is a lot of fun because Pratchett is out and about, playing with and massaging sterotypes and just generally having a good time all over the Disc. And of course, it’s always fun seeing Granny and Nanny fight with each other even when they agree with each other.

Incidentally, Magrat and Verence were hot and heavy (well, luck warm and mildly chunky) at the end of the previous book, but things seem a little cooled down between them.  Witches aren’t supposed to marry, so who knows what will happen there….

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