Pratchett, Terry: (03) Equal Rites (re-read), (04) Mort

Continuing the Discworld re-read; I missed posting about Equal Rites in time for Becca’s post, but I am ahead on Mort!

I don’t have much to say about Equal Rites, having re-read it moderately recently. In relation to the first two books, Cutangle feels way more like Ridcully than I’d remembered; Unseen University isn’t anywhere near the complex institution it will be yet, but in this and the next book, there are hints of its direction. (Institutions are a big thing in later Discworld books, and it’s interesting to see the starts toward that.) But, basically, my reaction to Equal Rites: Dungeon Dimensions plots still not my thing, and I desperately want more Esk than we have had to date.

Mort surprised me because I’d forgotten that we start “Death goes human” plots this early; as much as I love Hogfather, I wouldn’t have thought the series could sustain so many of those stories. (Maybe it can’t! I guess I’ll find out.) It feels very Discworld in its characters, but its ending strikes me as remarkably weak and unsatisfying—not just the blatant plot handwave but Death’s reaction that sets up the final confrontation. I liked it pretty well until then, though.

Finally, this is the first major-character romance in Discworld and it is as non-emotional to me as every other one until Unseen Academicals. (I originally wrote “unconvincing,” which this one is, but later ones I don’t find implausible, they just don’t create any emotional reactions in me.)

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