I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series. I love the characters – particularly Sam Vimes who features in several books including Snuff. Pratchett’s world is dark, yet humorous; fictional yet a great reflection of humanity with all its foibles; and most importantly it’s a believable world.
In this tale Commander Sam Vimes, Duke of Ankh Morpork, Blackboard Monitor is persuaded to take a holiday in the country. He’s not keen. Vimes is not a country gentleman, and he reckons it’s going to be boring.
Smugglers, slavery, murder, the rights of goblins, the question of what makes a sentient people, music, drugs, books about poop, the age-old class struggle – it most certainly is NOT a boring holiday! As ever Pratchett keeps the pace, and the wry humour going all through.
As with many of the later books, there’s a message here, cleverly woven into an awesome tale. The Discworld is medieval Europe (sort of), and the people therein are a window into humanity. What makes a group of creatures ‘people’? What you see, might not be what you get. Treat others how you wish to be treated. Good and evil – are in all of us, and ‘I was only following orders’. These are some of the themes running through this book, and many of the others.
All in all a cracking good tale of bravery, flawed heroes, frantic chases, goblins, and solving small crimes, so bigger ones can be solved.