#MarchMagics Bonus: Recent Reads

Halfway through the month, and I've been able to spend some happy hours immersed in DWJ and Pterry books.

After I finished Equal Rites, I wanted to revisit Wyrd Sisters, the next witchy book and the first Discworld book I ever read.  Granny Weatherwax is starting to look more like her eventual self, Nanny Ogg is an enthusiastically earthy presence, and Magrat Garlick is into modern witching, with its innovative new colors and belief in fairies.  I'm well into it now and enjoying every minute.

Late last week, I read The Crown of Dalemark, and enjoyed its complicated story all over again.  One particularly fun detail of this story is the glossary, which collects terms and legendary characters from all four Dalemark books.  The tricky bit is that, as in the "scholar's explanation" in The Spellcoats, the glossary is written by a fictional Dalemark historian (Maewen's dad, maybe?), who knows many things, but does not know everything that is revealed in the books.  It will reward the careful reader.

My rather awful cover
Over the weekend, I went out of town and did a whole lot of driving in a whole lot of rain, but I also read Fire and Hemlock.  Every time I read it, I'm impressed again by DWJ's subtle and complex construction.  It's an amazing novel, with deep scholarly roots, yet readable for a teenager (if confusing in spots, as it is to everyone).  I'm going to go over the Thomas Rhymer and Tam Lin ballads again, and I think I'll try tackling Wasteland, since I'm supposed to be reading Eliot anyway.

I found myself thinking about how DWJ shows all the different kinds of manipulation people use.  The names are frequently clues in this book, and Ivy is like her name, clinging, demanding, and eventually sucking the life out of whoever she clings to.  She is a real-life counterpart to Laurel, who is much more manipulative and deadly, but both use sentiment as weapons; thus Tom's horror of it, which he transmits to Polly.  Tom deserves saving because, even though he has cultivated Polly in hopes of a rescue, he refuses to try to manipulate her the way Seb does, and he's fought so hard on his own behalf, unlike just about anyone else.  (Tom's cultivation of Polly as an apprentice-hero would never fly now, I must say.  He is really skating the edge of creepy.)

Cover of the first (library) copy I read
I've always liked the irony and foreshadowing here, when Polly reads "East of the Sun and West of the Moon:" 
The girl had only herself to blame for her troubles.  She was told not to do a thing and she did.  And she cried so much.  Polly despised her.

Are you reading anything fun for MarchMagics right now?


  1. What I have been noticing this month is how well these two authors books complement each other while having entirely different voices. I have been doing one on audio by one of the authors and a physical book of the other at the same time and I enjoy switching back and forth (until the ends when I just binge on one or the other!). The stories are so vivid and lively that I never forget what is going on in either one. Right now I'm doing Nation on audio and starting Dark Lord of Derkholm in print!

  2. I read Wyrd Sisters for the first time and loved it! Right now I'm rereading Conrad's Fate and it's fun too.

  3. Yep, they are going together really well! I'm having so much fun with this. :)

  4. Oo, didn't know about the Crown of Dalemark glossary. Will have to keep an eye out for it next time I read through that series.

    Isn't Fire and Hemlock grand? I never get tired of it -- even though, yeah, you're totally right, if it were published now, people would have Notes on Tom's behavior with Polly. He IS, as it happens, perfectly appropriate with her, but it's still creepy, esp when she's a wee little girl.


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