Thud! by Terry Pratchett
By Jacqui Slaney
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I reread Terry Pratchett regularly especially when faced with lots of sitting round hospital waiting rooms. I always worry that I will take a new book on such a visit and not enjoy it, and then will be stuck there with nothing to read, so I tend to fall back on a tried and loved book such as a Discworld book and especially a commander Vimes story..
This is the description:
'Some people would be asking: whose side are you on? If you are not for us, you are against us. Huh. If you're not an apple, you're a banana'
Koom Valley, the ancient battle where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls, was a long time ago. But if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him.
Oh . . . and at six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read 'where’s My Cow?’ with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.
The story line is the bubbling feud between the Dwarfs and the Trolls that is about to erupt again in a second Koom valley, which as described in other books is the only battle in history where both sides tried to ambush the other. Here trouble is stirred by a murder of a dwarf and everyone knows that a troll did it as one of their clubs was found next to the body, so how much more proof do you need?
But Sam Vimes refuses to accept such clues, even as his dwarf and Troll officers resign from the Watch and pressure is mounting on the streets, he wants the Truth no matter what. There is also fearsome talk of an ancient entity, shown by a sign written in the dark of the mines, a sign that once found must be surrounded by light to keep the fear away.
I like all Sam Vimes novels, but this is one of my favourites. There are so many elements here of a great read, not least amongst them is the idea of Nobby Nobbs, the only man who has to carry a certificate to proof his is human, going out with a pole dancer called Tawny. There is also the tension between Angua the werewolf and Sally the new recruit who just happens to be a vampire, and I am sure that everyone will love Mr A.E Pessimal the government inspector.
Most of all you have Sam Vimes, and in this book you see more of the conflict within him. The darkness that is touched upon in other stories and you see the meaning of ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ You also get to read about his story telling skills to his young son, as no matter at 6’oclock that is where he will be. The one time he is late is quite impressive.
As always I recommend this book to anyone, you need to have a little back ground knowledge of the series to properly enjoy, otherwise you might not understand why a man over 6 foot considers himself a dwarf, but there is still a lot that any reader will like.
10 out of 10