Maskerade is the fifth book in the Witches subseries of Discworld. I usually enjoy the Witches books a little more than the others. I didn’t think this one was as uproariously funny as Wyrd Sisters or Witches Abroad, but I did enjoy it.
The story centers on some goings-on at an opera house. The opera house has always had a mysterious ghost with certain demands, but lately this ghost seems to have gone off the deep end. It's murdering people and leaving crazy notes with lots of exclamation points. As anybody who has read a few Pratchett books probably knows, multiple exclamation points are a sure sign of insanity!!!!!
I’ve had very little exposure to the opera, so I’m sure there were some jokes that went over my head, but I felt like most of it was pretty accessible to me. As expected, there are a lot of Phantom of the Opera references as well as some fun-poking at opera in general. The story itself was entertaining, with a bit of a mystery feel to it, but the solutions to the mystery were predictable to the point where I suspect they weren’t really intended to be a surprise.
Character-wise, Magrat is only spoken about and doesn’t show up personally. I was actually happy about that since I think she can be annoying. Granny and Nanny are there though, and they’re as much fun as always. Another character who we had met briefly in a previous Witches book took a major role in this story, and I liked her quite a bit. I definitely liked her more than Magrat.
I was surprised to look ahead on the reading list and realize there’s only one more Witches book to go. I hope that won’t be the last of Granny and Nanny because they’re so much fun. The Tiffany Aching series seems to be a young adult offshoot of the Witches series, so hopefully they’ll show up at least a little bit here and there.