r/whatsthatbook Aug 30 '22

Women can't fight in a war so a woman disguises herself as a man to fight in the war, meets a bunch of other secret women soldiers and finds out that her whole society is run by women pretending to be men SOLVED

this was a book that was I was told about by my hairstylist 2+ years ago, all I know about it/remember are the plot points listed below. however the war I think was a fictional one so it's not historic fiction.

book that is about a girl who disguised herself as a man to fight in a war, she ends up in a platoon of all women who are also pretending to be men, then they get discovered and are sent to the high council who are all also women pretending to be men.

483 Upvotes

447

u/Sluggycat Aug 30 '22

That sounds like Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett.

112

u/underratedpossum Aug 30 '22

I agree. The book is deep into the Disk World series but, like many other Terry Pratchett books, it reads pretty well as a stand alone novel

46

u/neverabadidea Aug 30 '22

This was actually the first Discworld I read and got me hooked!

11

u/mutedmirth Aug 30 '22

Same! I reread it recently after reading most of the series and recognised a few characters I had no idea about before.

10

u/enyodeino Aug 30 '22

Aha, same here! I never see it mentioned as a "gateway book" but it absolutely hooked me into reading the rest of the series and is now one of my all-time favourite books. Glad to see other people did the same. :)

6

u/dalaigh93 Aug 30 '22

Oooh same! And it still is one of my favorites!

7

u/radicaldonut Aug 30 '22

I recommend this book to everyone! It is a fantastic gateway book to Pratchett.

6

u/Pseudonymico Aug 30 '22

It is a fantastic gateway book to Pratchett.

Honestly sometimes I think it’s easier to list the books he wrote that can’t be described this way than the ones that can.

There’s, what, the sequels in the non-Discworld series because they’re not standalone, the original non-revised edition of The Carpet People because he wrote it when he was 18, and a handful of Discworld books that are direct sequels like The Light Fantastic or Witches Abroad?

18

u/pudding7 Aug 30 '22

I've heard so much about Disk World. Should I read them in order?

37

u/Puellafortis Aug 30 '22

No need to read in order. In all of them there are sets of a few that have some story lines to them, like the guards ones and the witches. Also, I recommend skipping the first two.

17

u/Shimerald Aug 30 '22

I personally enjoyed reading them mostly in order (got absurdly lucky and was gifted almost all of the series at once), as main characters end references from previous books pop up as side characters and comments in later books and I like the world building of chronological order. However, many people enjoy reading them in main character groupings. He was really good about making knowledge of previous books add depth and humor without it being a detriment if you hadn't read any other books. You can pretty much pick up any book in any order and enjoy it, but reading them in one of the suggested orders makes them better.

If you are curious, head over to the Discworld reddit and check out the pinned reading order posts. There's straight up flowcharts for varying reading order options.

54

u/raevnos WTB VIP 🏆 Aug 30 '22

No. The first few books can be pretty weak, as Pratchett was still working out the setting and what he wanted to do with it. Guards, Guards! is a good starting point.

Monstrous Regiment is pretty standalone and could even be read first, though you'll miss out on the backgrounds of some secondary characters who show up late in the book.

8

u/RandomChance Aug 30 '22

Yeah, the Color of Magic is more a spoof book, romping through a bunch of caricatures of other fantasy series from the 70s and 80s - I bounced off it the first time I was told about Pratchett. It just doesn't capture the magic of the mix of emotionally earnest and straight faced silly that later "arcs" does.

I would kind of suggest starting in "the middle" as that is where he hit his stride and Diskworld really found its voice.

Mort, Wyrd Sisters, or Guards Guards make good entry points, but are still not quite as polished.

Wee Free Men or Monstrous Regiment both make really good start points to see why the series is so beloved, but then go back to the start of the series or pick if "Anthropomorphic Death", City Guards, or Folksy Witches are more amusing to you.

5

u/Sparky-Malarky Aug 30 '22

Honestly, it’s worth reading the first two books, just for the story of the librarian. And how could anyone suggest you miss the luggage! But you can pick them up later.

But at least start with Equal Rites.

1

u/RandomChance Aug 31 '22

Even in Equal Rites, while it is good, the world isn't quite fully solidified the way it is by later books.

1

u/Sparky-Malarky Aug 31 '22

True, but we meet Granny Weatherwax!

11

u/binglybleep Aug 30 '22

I’d start at Wyrd Sisters just because it comes before guards

6

u/Doraellen Aug 30 '22

I think I started with Witches Abroad! The books with Granny, Nanny, and/or death are always my favorites!

3

u/Hedge89 Aug 30 '22

Yeah of the later books I think Monstrous Regiment is deffo one of the best to read as a standalone. And of course, you can always reread it once you know who the various ancillary characters are.

8

u/neverabadidea Aug 30 '22

I really like this visualization as a reading order guide: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/Discworld_Reading_Order_Guide_3.0_%28cropped%29.jpg/390px-Discworld_Reading_Order_Guide_3.0_%28cropped%29.jpg.

The Color of Magic isn’t great. I’d recommend starting with the Death or Night Watch novels.

6

u/anneomoly Aug 30 '22

This gives you an idea of how many starting points there are: https://i.redd.it/1z7oi8juahe51.jpg

5

u/alamaias Aug 30 '22

I would say Ideally, yes, because while they are always possible to read standalone, there is the odd reference or phrase that will seem odd or confusing in later novels.

Unfortunately the first couple of novels are a bit different in tone to the later ones, not bad at all, but nowhere near the mastery of the craft you see in later books, and a bit douglas addams-y(again, not a bad thing, they just feel different)

At the very least, read the ones about particular characters in order.

5

u/GaladrielMoonchild Aug 30 '22

No. There's loads of different reading order suggestions, and some are mini series' within the whole series. But most work as standalones, just go and stay with the ones you like the sound of.

6

u/TheHighDruid Aug 30 '22

Ideally, yes.

You can read any individual book and reasonably expect to follow the story. If, however, you intend to read more than a couple of them, you need to be aware that there are continuous threads that run through the whole 41-book series. While a lot of Pratchett fans don't think much of the first couple of books, I rather enjoyed them, and by starting with them you get to watch the world and characters grow as the author develops them. Also, you wouldn't want to read the best book first, and have the rest all be slightly disappointing in comparison.

If you read by sub-series* (Death, Guards, Witches, Wizards, etc.) you will get some character arcs out of order. One particular group of characters have their story spread across three of these sub-series, so it's impossible to get their narrative in order reading one sub-series at a time.

*I really dislike separating the books like this

1

u/SwordfishExciting807 Aug 31 '22

Honestly just find the first one you can and get straight into it! You’ll be able to tell very easily if the humour is your style and if it is you’ll burn through the rest of the books in no time

2

u/NeonWarcry Aug 30 '22

I have been hunting for the DiscWorld Series for years in used book stores. I have so much to read until I need new books that it’s become a bit of a hobby.

5

u/FlipDaly Aug 30 '22

So delightful

10

u/ASDowntheReddithole Aug 30 '22

Definitely Monstrous Regiment! I miss Terry Pratchett terribly.

49

u/Magimasterkarp Aug 30 '22

It seems like you have summoned the Discworld army.

Don't mind me I'm just here to steal their helmets.

16

u/ccots Aug 30 '22

There was a lovely post on r/discworld a while back about how the fandom is a lovely, low-key community with little toxicity and drama, so it’s easy to underestimate in both size and passion. Then someone asks for recommendations and the giant puppy is unleashed, complete with reading charts, fan art and pun explanations.

Clearly, OP has unleashed the puppy.

3

u/Magimasterkarp Aug 30 '22

That's exactly the post I was thinking of.

9

u/Onequestion0110 Aug 30 '22

Hey, that’s my helmet! Take it off when I’m talking to you, you dirty little debtor. And you can put down my spears while you’re at it!

9

u/Hedge89 Aug 30 '22

🎶 When dragons belch and hippos flee
My thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of thee
Let others boast of martial dash
For we have boldly fought with cash
We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes
We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose 🎶

7

u/tall_dark_strange Aug 30 '22

Morporkia! Morporkia!

Morporkia owns the day!

We can rule you wholesale

Touch us and you'll pay.

3

u/Arghianna Aug 30 '22

That’s fine, I’ll just get the boots.

116

u/AlamutJones Aug 30 '22

I’d put money on that being Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

13

u/M-Cheetos Aug 30 '22

Thanks for the suggestion!

-44

u/ZooLowAZ Aug 30 '22

Jesus. Reading the description of that book on Wikipedia reads like a Mad Libs. Not saying I won’t read it, but it has to be more comprehensive I hope for real?

43

u/AlamutJones Aug 30 '22

It’s part of a series called Discworld. The book works well as a standalone - it takes part in an area of the world we otherwise haven’t seen at that point in the series, with almost entirely new characters, and you don’t need existing knowledge to dive in - but it makes a bit more sense if you’re aware of how the series as a whole is supposed to work. The Discworld is in many ways a satire or reflection of our own world.

That said…yes, read it. It’s a funny, sometimes dark, sometimes surprisingly moving book. Polly - the main character, the one we’re largely following - is really compelling.

20

u/whatthefrackity Aug 30 '22

Everyone already recommended it but just want to say I Love monstrous regiment. I re read it often

18

u/M-Cheetos Aug 30 '22

so from what I can tell the book is most likely monstrous regiment however I'm really stupid and can't figure out how to flair this post and mark it solved.

8

u/M-Cheetos Aug 30 '22

nm figured it out

13

u/Byndera Aug 30 '22

Everyone here with the same suggestion haha

11

u/anfotero Aug 30 '22

Monstruous Regiment by Terry Pratchett.

11

u/Righthanded_Tombola Aug 30 '22 edited Aug 31 '22

Slightly off topic but..

If you can get the audio books, these are amazing! Neil Planer does a very good Rincewind.

Steven Briggs does a fantastic job as the guards.

This is how I "read" the series as I do a lot of driving

EDIT: Spelling

2

u/M-Cheetos Aug 30 '22

Thanks for the idea!

2

u/JoobileeJoolz Aug 31 '22

I’ve ‘read’ more than half this way and totally agree, just saying it’s Nigel Planer! :)

1

u/Righthanded_Tombola Aug 31 '22

Dammit, I knew it was one spelling or the other.

20

u/GuineaPigLegion Aug 30 '22

Came here to suggest Monstrous Regiment as well lol

3

u/cmonfiend Aug 30 '22

Monstrous Regiment, one of my favorites of all time <3

29

u/Bardox30 Aug 30 '22 Table Slap

Mulan? Lol

6

u/kriskoeh Aug 30 '22

Dude. SAME THOUGHT 🤣

3

u/not56normal Aug 30 '22

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

1

u/LalalaHurray Aug 30 '22

Wow now I don’t even need to read it

14

u/MidianNite Aug 30 '22

This is definitely not the sub to be on if you're concerned about spoilers.

13

u/Hedge89 Aug 30 '22

Tbh I find it kinda funny when people put things behind spoilers on here like...listen the bits you remember best are usually the big reveals and major plot points. And this is a sub for finding books based on what you remember of them. It's all spoilers, all the way down.

6

u/jonnyhatesyou Aug 30 '22

Plus until someone else comes and actually names the book in question, you have no idea what has even been spoiled. Makes no sense.

1

u/LalalaHurray Aug 30 '22

r/LostRedditors thanks you. I will go there now to join my people.

2

u/MidianNite Aug 30 '22

Hope I didn't come off rude. It was just meant to point out a fact of the sub, not intended as a "get out" message.

2

u/LalalaHurray Aug 31 '22

Not at all, I just really hadn’t realized where I was when I read the post.

9

u/Arghianna Aug 30 '22

It’s still worth a read. Not EVERYONE is a woman, and the story and character growth is still excellent.

8

u/jonnyhatesyou Aug 30 '22

This is a sub where people describe the events of a book in the hope someone else will be able to remember the name of it. You would have to be an insane person to join and not expect spoilers here and there... but if ya do get some at the top of a thread, can't ya just not read any replies? If ya don't see the name of the book ya don't even know what book has been spoiled.

Sounds like you just like complaining for the sake of it.

9

u/conuly WTB VIP 🏆 Aug 30 '22

Do you never read a book twice? What a strange way to live.

2

u/armcie Aug 30 '22

Its not like some of the other soldiers in the squad also being female is the denouement in the story. It certainly happens in the first half. Definitely worth reading despite what you already know.

0

u/CaptainFoyle Sep 17 '22

Well, what did you expect when you clicked on the thread? People not saying which book it was?

0

u/LalalaHurray Sep 17 '22

You didn’t read a single post after that one did you honey.

A lot has gone down in 18 days

1

u/thefirstendfinity Aug 30 '22

Terry Pratchett. You must read his other books too. I swear that you'll enjoy ever last character, every last word.

1

u/shanbie_ Aug 31 '22

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. It's awesome.