Oh yay 🙂 This IS one of my favorites of the series! With a grand total of 41 books in the series, to be in the top 20 would put a book in my “favorites” category and that’s basically how I mean it when I reference it in my reviews. With this book I feel The Watch fully comes into it’s stride, it found its feet a little while ago but now it’s in full swing with my top rated books for this subseries just around the corner.
Each of the different subseries highlights a different pallate of social issues/human issues. With the Witches it’s often friendship, with Death it’s defining life and death and the meaning of it all, and with the Watch it tends to be racism, sexism, addiction, and other more day-to-day issues. Sam Vimes is a pretty prejudiced dude at the start of his arc. However, with each book he learns to accept each new ‘species’ or race that comes into the Watch and he grows exponentially as a person each time. At this point he’s got trolls, dwarves, werewolves, gargoyles, whatever Nobby is, and other random species all working together on the same team. This is quite a feat since the trolls and dwarves don’t always get along to put it politely. He’s managed too wrangle what could be a riot into a functioning unit and it’s great too see. At this point in his journey he still hasn’t accepted vampires, he still utterly refuses to allow them in the watch — and hoo boy is it fucking funny when he finally has to get over it, omg.
Some people point to Cheery as an example of a trans woman, and it’s debatable. As far as presenting to society yes she did ‘transition’, but physically she did not. I pulled a quote because I find this to be ahead of it’s time seeing as the release was 1996. There have been a couple attempts to paint Terry as a terf posthumousthly. If anyone tries to tell you he’s in the same boat as Rowling, tell them they’re a -ing moron.
“Female? He told you he was female?” said Carrot.
“She,” Angua corrected. “This is Ank-Morpork, you know. We’ve got extra pronouns here.”
She could smell his bewilderment…
“Well, I would have though she’d have the decency to keep it to herself,” carrot said finally. “I don’t think it’s very clever, you know, to go around drawing attention to the fact.”
“Carrot, I think you might have something wrong with your head,” said Angua.
“I think you might have it stuck up your bum.
So, none of what I’ve said so far addresses the actual plot of the book, lol. So it’s set up in Plot A/B fashion as is typical for Discworld books. Plot A is a murder, someone beat a dwarf to death with his own bread and stuck instructions in his mouth like he was a golem. The investigation of said murder lead down a very strange path, and Plot B revolves around Vetinari and the fact he’s being poisoned. Sam has to figure out who wants Vetinari dead before he dies or gets blamed for his death. It’s not a straight forward question because although Vetinari isn’t well liked, he’s still “better than the alternatives” which keeps him in power. I found both of these plotlines to be entertaining but I preferred the golem storyline. Golems are slaves, and even good-hearted, open-minded people like Angua still think of them as little more than machines. This is because they really don’t have much in the way of outward personality, they don’t really act like normal people do, and so they’re shunted into the background of society. They are programed to work, and that’s genuinely all they want to do in life, or so it appears. They have been conscripted to do the worst jobs in the city and they work nearly 24/7 except for the rare occasion when there’s a ‘holy day’ and they all wander off somewhere secretive to do who knows what. This is the origin story of Dorfl, the first golem sworn into the Watch.
I’m getting into the meat of Discworld and I’m so excited to finish this journey. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to pleasure read like this and even longer since I’ve re-read the series start to finish.
- Plot: 13/15
- Characters: 14/15
- World Building: 14/15
- Writing: 14/15
- Pacing: 13/15
- Originality: 13/15
- Enjoyment: 9/10
Final Score: 90/100 of 5/5 stars on Goodreads