Reviews of the books of Terry Pratchett's Discworld

23 Conversations

Reviewing the Discworld

It's been split up into three or four basic categories: the Witches books, starring primarily Granny Weatherwax, the City Watch books, featuring Mister1 Sam Vimes, the Death books, featuring Death, and the other books, featuring characters we almost never hear of again. Discussion about The Discworld can be found at Pratchetts Anonymous.

The Reviews

The Witches/Lancre Books

Equal Rites

This book is all about sex, but, as the author puts it, "...although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author's control. They might."

And so begins the story of Eskarina Smith, the eighth son of an eighth, who happened to turn out to be a girl. Esk manages to be an L-plater-witch, a supposed-to-be-a-wizard and 9 all at once, quite an achievement, but then there's the problem: which is she?

She can borrow the minds of animals (an undoubtedly witch trait), but there's always the staff and the feeling that fire ought to be made from magic (very wizard-like).

So Granny Weatherwax, Esk, the staff and anyone they happen to meet along the way are out to find out once and for all, is she a witch, or is she a wizard?

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - star (out of a possible five smiley - stars).

Reviewed by: Cat Eyes

Wyrd Sisters

Think Shakespeare, and where his plays were performed. Especially
think Macbeth, and the Globe. Do you know the plot of Macbeth? Well, here's how it goes. A good king is killed by a bad thane (lord). The bad thane then becomes an untitled king, and rules the country very badly. The good thane is eventually killed and the rightful heir to the throne put in power in his place. Now superimpose this model onto the discworld. Some bits don't fit, so they are squashed and turn out completely the other way round. This curiously only applies to the play. Shakespeare makes a miraculous transformation to Hwel the dwarf, and the Globe turns to the Dysk. Divers2 Alarums ensue.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Witches Abroad

On the Discworld, the gap between reality and imaginary, stories have power. This is the theme of witches abroad- a story about defeating a story.

Desiderata Hollow is about to die. She knows it, too. One of the (dis)
advantages of being of a magical persuasion. The thing is, Desiderata is a fairy godmother. And she needs someone to pass the wand on to.

Meanwhile, in Genua, Ella is about to marry a prince. And she doesn't want to. The problem is, this being the Discworld, she has to. Narrative Imperative, you see. So, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat (who's the real reason they're going, the other two are just tagging along, of course) go off to stop it.

Emberella, you shall not go to the ball!

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Lords and Ladies

Granny Weatherwax and her coven return to Lancre from their travels in ‘Witches Abroad’ and find it exactly how they left it, but not for long. Magrat and King Verance II get engaged and dignitaries from all over the Disc arrive to celebrate. But Granny Weatherwax is more concerned with a different sort of “Lords and Ladies” altogether: Elves. It’s circle time, and the barrier between realities is weakening. Granny Weatherwax must stop the elves before they manage to escape onto the Discworld.

A parody on ‘A Mid-Summers Night Dream’, ‘Lords and Ladies’ has a lot of back story which requires the readers to have read the previous witch novels. If you have read the previous novels then this is a great book. It’s quite refreshing to have evil elves (the traditional sort) rather than the nature loving elves of other fantasy novels. With the usual humour, and the return of Casanunda, this is a great Discworld novel.

Star Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: GodBen.


Nanny Ogg writes and "interestin'" recipe book but has been cheated out of most of the profit by one JHC Goatberger, so Granny Weatherwax drags her off to Ankh- Morpork to persuade him to give a fairer share of the profits to Nanny. There they meet Agnes Nitt (aka Perdita X Dream)3 who's trying to escape a witching career by making it in the opera. Easy enough when you can sing in harmony with yourself. This, however, is set against the backdrop of a mad masked figure running around the opera house, killing people so that they are dropping like flies out of the flies and writing manic laughter to the new owner of the opera house.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: The other omylouse.

Carpe Jugulum

Granny Weatherwax and coven return once again to fight evil, except the times are changing. Agnes has returned to Lancre to become the new maiden. Magrat, now after giving birth, has returned to become the new mother. And Nanny Ogg is growing older and is slowly becoming “the other one”. All of this makes Granny Weatherwax feel a fourth wheel and so she heads for the mountains. But all is not well in Lancre. A group of charismatic vampires have taken control, and so now the witches must find Granny Weatherwax and convince her to come back and fight.

Continuing the Discworlds darker turn, the majority of this novel takes place over two nights. The sense that Granny has finally been bested certainly pervades the novel, and it certainly gives doubts as to whether this will be Granny Weatherwaxes final outing. This novel also sees the introduction of the Igors, which become a common feature in the rest of the novels.

Witches fighting Vampires: where could it go wrong?

Star Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: GodBen.

The Rincewind/Wizards Books

The Colour of Magic

The first Discworld novel follows the travels of Rincewind (a pathetic excuse for a wizard with a little skill in languages and a healthy distrust of everything else), Twoflower (a visitor from the Counterweight Continent), and the Luggage (Twoflower’s sentient luggage). The places they travel to are obvious parodies of other fantasy worlds, and Rincewind is a reluctant guide, taking no joy in any of it.

In this book Pratchett doesn’t yet have the full toolbox that he later developed, but it is interesting to see how much he did have. Death, Ankh-Morpork, the Patrician, the Unseen University, and the whole design of the Disc can be found here (the last being found in the only footnote this book has). And there’s the Broken Drum, which presumably got Mended after the events mentioned here. To be frank, it’s probably the worst Discworld book because Pratchett hadn’t yet realised all that he could do with this little sandbox, but it did start the whole thing off so it deserves some credit.

Rating: smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: Geggs.


Rincewind and the Luggage return to face their toughest challenge yet, a ten-year-old Sourcerer. The story starts with Rincewind meeting a woman called Conina, who has the task of making sure that the Arch-chancellors hat escapes from Coin, the Sourcerer. Rincewind unwillingly goes to Al-Khali with Conina where they meet the emperor Creosote, and a young barbarian wannabe called Nigel. But the order of wizardry begins to collapse around them as wizards from all sides try to wipe each other out in a “vie for power”. Rincewind has to try and stop Coin before Coin thinks himself powerful enough to take on the Gods.

Terry Pratchett once described this novel as the start of “new Discworld”. The main problem that I had with the book is in the fact that Rincewind and Conina escape from Ankh-Morpork to Al-Khali and then flee from Al-Khali back to Ankh-Morpork. Besides that, this is a great novel. The humour is there, and it is very well written. It also has a nice sad ending. (I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t read it.)

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: GodBen.


Faust, "the debt that must be repayed."

Highly relevant to this book especially when it's crossed-out on the cover

Rincewind is certainly the most well-travelled person on the Disc barring, of course, the gods and Death. After that nasty business with the Sourcerer (a book ago), the Wizzard is in a whole different kind of place he doesn't want to be.

Enter Eric Thursley (13 Midden Lane, Pseudopolis, Sto Plains, The Discworld, On top of Great A'tuin, The Univers, Space. nr. More Space) to get him out of it... by accident. As rules go, Rincewind owes the kid three wishes: Immortality, rule the world, have the most beautiful woman in the world fall in love with him.

You know, the usual.

And thus off sets an adventure that will take the two to Hell and back while Rincewind discovers some whole new things he can do with his fingers...


Can this be called a novel? Well it's 155 pages, 150 if you don't count the title and copyright... so yes it's a novel, the book cover says so!

The actual shortness of the book creates a more relaxed reading experience and works to more of a taster for the next Dicworld book to come along.
Vice versa, the shortness creates a more rapid narrative which is by no means a bad thing a book which works more like a Hows How to the inner workings of the Disc.

Altogether the book comes across more as a bridge from Sourcery to Interesting Times especially if you don't collect the Victor Gollancz books which will offset the reader's continuity a bit.

Oh and Mistrum Ridcully still hasn't become Archchancellor yet. Boo!

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].

Interesting Times

There is an ancient curse. They say, "May you live in interesting times."

This book comes between Eric and The Last Continent, and does a very good job at it too. I do, however, wonder about what happened to Eric at the end, because he was with Rincewind at the end of his book, but not at the beginning of this one. Anyway, at the beginning of this book Rincewind is lost on a desert island with The Luggage. At the same time in Ankh-Morpork, The Patrician gets a mysterious message from the Counterweight Continent, asking for a "Great Wizzard." Of course, we know who they mean. Archchancillar Ridcully, however, is somewhat lost on who it is.

On his little island, Rincewind is having the time of his life. Everything is boring, just how he likes it. Suddenly, he gets magically transported to Ankh-Morpork thanks to the Ant-Powered Supercomputer Hex. Some stuff happens, and he gets sent to the Counterweight Continent almost immediatly. Shortly after his arrival, he meets up with an old "Friend" as some of us would call it (mostly those with strange ideas of the definition of the word "friend") and he meets the "Silver Horde." The Silver Horde is a group of old barbarians. That is important, because it means they are good enough to become old barbarians. Anyway, it turns out that there is also an intellectual with the group, and he tells Rincewind how to get to the forbidden city of HungHung. Which is exactly where he doesn't want to go.

After getting repeatedly hit over the head and knocked unconcious, Rincewind finds himself the idol and "Savior" of the Red Army, a group of young "rebels" who don't know what they're doing. So, he does what he does best, and runs away. Through a strange chain of events, he manages to get captured and sent to prison in the forbidden city. Here he meets up with another "old friend," Twoflower! It turns out that Twoflower wrote a book that was considered revolutionary, and not in a good way. Then, someone in the palace releases them and leaves a map to the Emperor's chambers with a big bundle of swords. It was obvious that it was an attempt to get them in even more trouble.

It is at this time that Cohen reveals his plan, and what he went to the counterweight continent to "steal." I'll let you read the rest and find out for yourself smiley - run.

Star Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed By: I am I'm Better Than You Man, the greatest warrior in all the land!

The Last Continent

It's the return of Rincewind - now champion sheep shearer, and beer drinker. No worries! With the help of a non-existent kangaroo and his usual ineptitude he's well on his way to saving he last continent from god knows what, there is of course the fact that he has doesn't want to but he can be persuaded. Ridcully and the Librarian are just waiting on that strange island to save him (with no way back but everything they want) so they're sure to help. Corks for your hat come free of charge. This is not a book about Australia, its just "vaguely Australian".

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: SpAcEcAdEt_1st_ClAsS.

The Last Hero

Everyone knows that the first hero stole fire from the gods... well, Cohen has decided the time has come to return it, with interest! So he and his trusty Silver Horde5 make their way through the dangerous heights at the Hub (made even more dangerous by Cohen's presence) towards Dunmannifestin, and it's up to Rincewind and Captain Carrot to stop them, only they're in Ankh-Morpork and Cohen is nearly there. Will Leonard da Quirm's fabulous invention get him there in time to save the world (again)? More importantly for the trio will the Mk II Privvy be a sucess? And will the Librarian get his red ballon? Find out in this brilliantly illustrated saga, and remember: Morituri nolumus mori!6

Rating:smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star and an extra smiley - sheep(called Dave) for the illustrations.

Reviewed by: The other omylouse.

The Death Books


Death needs a little break. So, he takes on a dubious apprentice, a young, redheaded, befreckled, gangly, young boy named Mort. Whilst Death is away enjoying his cats, Mort bites off a little more of the business than he can chew, whilst Death's daughter tries very hard to get Mort's attention by telling him to leave her alone. Throw in a wizard avoiding death, a princess, and some serious mayhem, you have another classic Discworld novel. Not as long as Reaper Man, it's a great story for fans of Death, but deserves a star less for just not having the same panache.

Rating: smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: Yankee Shoes.

Reaper Man

Windle Poons is a wizard, coming to the end of his life. Being a wizard, he knows when this will be. The big moment arrives... and nothing happens. Death is missing, presumed, er, gone. So, Windle's soul reinhabits his body7, and Windle, now undead, joins the Fresh Start club. Meanwhile this abscence of Death means that life energy is building up, causing all sorts of havoc and creating...a shopping mall. Death, too, has an adventurous time, working for Miss R Flitworth in the country and having experiences. We also witness the birth of that cheeky chappie the Death of rats8.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Soul Music

"Deep down in Llamedos across the Sto Plains..." Something new is happening. Something, due to the nature of reality on the Disc, which is perhaps of this world. It's not magic, though it's only two letters different from that. And it's new.

What it is is the new phenomenon, Music with Rocks in. Invented almost single- handedly by Imp-y -Celyn
, Soul Music tells the story of how this new way of doing things affects the Disc, its followers, and, perversely, its creator. Not only that, but, as with many Pratchett books, it is a subtle send up not only of the style, but those opposed to it as well. Susan Sto- Helit's character develops, if in a somewhat tragic manner, and I feel that this is one of the books in "Transition Ankh- Morpork"- not quite Old A-M where the whole city is just an extension of the Shades, and not the bright new city portrayed in other books. Add a fantastic (as always) performance by CMOT Dibbler, and you've got one heck of a story on your hands.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.


The plot of this story is beguilingly simple. One day, in the bustling city that is Ankh- Morpork, Lord Vetinari of the Assassins' Guild is approached with a contract. The difference is, this is a contract on the Hogfather
. There's only one person that could deal with a contract like that, and it's Mr. Teatime. Please, pronounce it "Teh- Ah- Tim- Eh"- so we can all be friends. Isn't that nice? Anyway, the problem is this: if Teatime succeeds, the sun will not rise.

This book is not short on wit, and we see a considerable development in Susan Sto- Helit's character, who up to this point I really had not particularly liked. With some very shrewd comments about human nature, and the joys of childhood belief, this book is well worth a read.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Death and What Comes Next

A "Death" short story that can be read in about three minutes.
The only thing that actually makes this a discworld story is a line about clouds on 'other worlds'.

Our favourite skeleton has a philosophical argument with a philosopher leading to Death's eventual winning (of course). It's not really funny in a text sense but merely because we know Death's character and attitudes toward people and life.

Though not bad, the story seems rather pointless unless atheists need a decent argument with those who believe in God - this seems to be the direction the story goes, using items touched upon in The Science of Discworld II: The Globe such as gods merely being an idea that evolved from we apes looking for another word to ask for a banana (An idea that I endorse most heartily). It's Death, it's the Disc in feel, it's a 'heh-heh'.

It's not got anything on the proper novels, though. No, not even Moving Pictures.

Rating: smiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].

City Watch

Guards! Guards!

In the murky depths of Ankh-Morpork a dragon has been summoned. For all the best reasons, of course. The Patrician is a dictator, the people need a King, and the best way to prove a King is for him to slay a dragon, so summon a dragon and you'll get a king.

If this book were written by anyone else it would finish halfway through, because that's when the King arrives and kills the dragon. But in Pratchett's world the King is a puppet, and the dragon refuses to play dead. And so, despite themselves, the Night Watch of Anhk-Morpork is pulled into the fray, and the actions of Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Lance- Corporal Carrot, and Coropral Nobbs will decide the future of the city.

If you asked Discworld fans what their favourite book is, this would come top of many lists.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Geggs.

Theatre of Cruelty

This is the second Watch story. Originaly published in a magazine, it can now be found all over the net. Carrot solves a murder by asking the one person who knows when, where, and howdunit. Death doesn't want to help, so Carrot threatens to arrest him for being an accessory after, or possably before, the offence to which Death replies that he is the offence. This is also the first story to feature gnomes - for some reason they aren't very strong and don't have Scottish accents. Of the two short stories that were never published in a book, in a comparison between this and "Death And What Comes Next", this is by far the weaker story, however it is also the older of the two and can be used to show how Pratchett's writing has improved.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed By: T.B. Falsename.

Men at Arms

Anhk-Morpork is a city on the edge of a knife, a powder keg of species politics that is just waiting for the right fuse to make it explode. Like, for example, the arrest of a troll for the murder of a dwarf. It will take a true leader of men (and all other sentient beings) to stop the riot from engulfing the entire city. Perhaps there could be such a man in the Night Watch, and maybe there would have been, if the Patrician hadn't ordered them all to stand down.

This is Pratchett's second City Watch book, set about six months after Guards! Guards! and sees developments a-plenty, which it would spoil to tell you of. Suffice to say, the Watch enlarges and Gaspode is now permanently clever
11. Pratchett is always funny, but with this book he writes a detective story, and shows us he's clever too.

Rating: smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: Geggs.

Feet of Clay

There's treason in the air and a muderer is out there in Ankh-Morpork.
Sam Vimes has to find out whodunnit as well as howdunnit while there's someone trying to restore the Old King of Ankh back to the throne, removed by Commander 'Stoneface' Vimes: Sam's ancestor.
As if that wasn't enough, there's a new danger in Ankh- Morpork: a golem on the loose who has begun to think for itself.

With the debut of Cheri Littlebottom, this is perhaps the most creative Discworld story as it simultaneously captures and sends up the true whodunnit style whereas Men At Arms only came across like this in feel.
Regardless of the great intelligence shown throughout the novel, it is perhaps the worst in the City Watch series. That, however, isn't necessarily bad...

Rating:smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: [HPB].


When the lost country of Leshp appears under the feet of two rival fishermen: one Morporkian, one Klatchian, tension begins to grow. Of course, both Ankh-Morpork and Klatch know this new country, in the middle of the Circle Sea is theirs by Acquiris Quodcumque Rapis: "You get what you grab".

Because of this, troubles in Ankh-Morpork is growing for Cmdr. Sam Vimes when its citizens are being swayed by anti-Klatch propoganda. War is rising, and Vimes has his troubles when the Klatchian representative, brother to the Prince of Klatch is visiting Unseen University to get an award - not only that but he has to lead the Wizards' "Excuse Me" procession in full ceromonial dress...

One of the more intelligent books in the Discworld series which fully sends up and mocks the futility of war and its politics. Klatch is a 'dangerous' place even though Ankh-Morpork has Klatchian citizens, fully trained Assassin Guild members and supplied Klatch with numerous weapons! The books also shows that Vimes and the Patrician to be the two people in the city that know what a war with Klatch will bring - what will happen when truly stupid people are put in charge. And as if that weren't enough, there's the Disc's largest football game.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].

Fifth Elephant

They say that there was once another elephant which stood upon the back of the Great A'Tuin, which fell off and collided into the disc with a great smash becoming fat...

Over in the country of Uberwald, the crowning of the Dwarf Low King (king of all Uberwald underground) is about to take place.
The Low King is representative of the essential fat mines of the Schmaltzburg. This is important for exports to other nations, including Ankh-Morpork which needs it for necessities like candles, and not-so essentials like soap. Ankh-Morpork needs favourable trade agreements, so Lord Vetinari sends a diplomat- an ambassador as it were. Luckily for Sam Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Vetinari would not dream of sending Ankh- Morpork's police chief. He's sending the Duke of Ankh instead.

So off trek Vimes, Cheri Littlebottom (dwarf), Sergeant Detruitus (troll), and for the first time in more than cameo: Lady Sybil Ramkin (Mrs. Vimes).

Things start of well when they head for Bonk (pronounced Beyonk), Uberwald, but as things frequently do, they get into trouble with the old disputes of dwarf/troll and warring vampire/werewolf factions happening around them.

An intricate tale which has many of the characters evolving.
We find out more about Angua's past, and there's one of the greatest chase sequences in written word. And there's the return of the one and only 'Gaspode the Wonder Dog' as well.

There's also a lawyer in it too, but you can't have everything.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].

Night Watch

There's only one thing that could make the city of Ankh-Morpork more deadly. Its past. And man of many titles, Samuel Vimes has got stuck in it thanks to a thaumatic accident. It seemed simple enough: chase down murdering smartman, Carcer (he's not mad, that's what makes him more deadly), but a thunderbolt atop of Unseen University's High Energy Magic facility sends Vimes and Carcer back to a time to an Ankh-Morpork where laws were almost non-existent. Now Vimes has to teach his younger self to stay alive where there's riots and revolution running rampant. And Carcer's still out there.

Quite possibly the greatest of all the Watch novels or even the
series, though to be fully appreciated, knowledge of the previous Watch books is helpful and lets you see the difference in Ankh-Morpork's past and present. Not one to start out with, and you have to be a fan of Vimes' character as opposed to the whole Watch (Nobby, Carrot, Angua etc.), as they're only in it for about a very short period.

Rating: smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: [HPB].

Independent Characters

Moving Pictures

A new magic has found its way onto the Discworld: the magic of the silver screen.

While trying to find a new way to make lead into gold, the alchemists in Ankh-Morpork have created cellulose, and with it the ability to make films. Seeing a demonstration of this new technology, people from all walks of life in Ankh-Morpork start rushing out to Holy Wood Hill near the city where this new art can be produced without governmental or wizardly interference. Among these intrepid volunteers is student wizard Victor Tugelbend who has no idea why he’s there, former milk-maid Theda Withel, and businessman extraordinaire CMOT Dibbler. But of course it’s not all fun and games. Evil forces from the Dungeon Dimensions are hoping use the magic of film to finally escape onto the Discworld once and for all.

This novel sees the end of an era for the Discworld series, as it is the last attempt by the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions to break onto the Discworld. It also sees the beginning of a new era for the Discworld as it introduces the new faculty at Unseen University, which is still there to this day. The novel is of course a satire on Hollywood, with Victor playing the hapless actor just plying his trade, while Dibbler takes on the role of a greedy film producer/director who makes movies purely for the purpose of making money. The novel is filled with references to dozens of films so you’ll need to be a major film buff to get them all.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: GodBen.

Small Gods

Brutha the novice is the Chosen One. Chosen because he is the only one.

Strange things are going down in the country of Omnia with the Quisition preaching a Word which one small tortoise does not want to hear.

There's also the matter of these strange poeple believing the world travels on the back of a giant turtle to deal with...

Small Gods is prehaps the most unique of the Discworld books. Though the early 'independent character' stories have sometimes seemed not up to Pratchett standard, SG manages to bring a humourous and entertaining story while still tackling the question of when belief becomes religion then fanatacism then gets too far.

SG is also the only the book that seems to escape the 'present' timeline. Night Watch goes into the past but Small Gods is the past. What happens here affects a few minor characters in the later novels.

Readers could be put off by the mainly two-'man' interaction that is the bulk of SG: Brutha and Om and for me, I didn't understand what was going on with Lu-Tze until he popped up in Thief of Time but that could be just me. St. Ungalant is a character who needs bigger 'screen' time.

Not a book for those who are easily offended in their religious beliefs.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].


Prince Teppicymon XXVIII, sone of King Teppicymon XXVII of Djelibeybi, Kingdom of the Sun is an assassin. He completes his final exam despite his examiner's (and his own) best efforts and then his father dies. He is thus made King of the Djeli lands, and of course, the pyramids. He is free to rule as he sees fit, provided that the high priest Dios sees fit as well12. The subsequent building of his father's pyramid and messing around with time and space leads to the destruction of a 7,000- year- old way of life and the thing that Dios fears most: change.

Rating: smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

The Truth

William de Worde writes the news in Ankh-Morpork. He manages well until he hears the rumour that the dwarves can transmute lead to gold. Since this transmutation is through the use of movable leaded type, de Worde's world is changing. When the Patrician, Lord Vetinari is accused of bungled murder and robbery, de Worde's talents as a newsman are called upon. Either Vetinari is suddenly incompetent, or someone is trying for a revolution.

Mr. Tulip and Mr. Pin are killers. Not Assassins -- the Assassins' Guild is highly regulated and they have morals (of a sort) and for the right price they'll kill anyone. But they do question whether their job description calls for them to track a mangy dog?

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed By:SpAcEcAdEt_1st_ClAsS.

Thief of Time

We have seen in other books (such as Small Gods) this mysterious character, Lu-Tze, and the organisation he’s part of – the History Monks. Thief of Time is the first book to focus on him and his organisation as part of the main story, rather
than as a periphery.

In this book, it is the very fabric of time that is in danger. The Auditors, the accountants of the universe, are using a human agent to build a device that will mean the end of time. They were nearly successful before, and the History Monks won’t see time fragmented like that again. So, Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang journey from the monastery to A-M to try to stop it all before it’s too late, meeting Susan Death (who’s become a schoolteacher) along the way.

This is truly one of the best books I have ever read. The story is told properly and the descriptions are wonderful. There is also a rather brilliant spoof of Q of the Bond films. With some Pratchett books I almost get the impression that he’s got a story and is just putting it into a certain framework; not so with Thief of Time. Full marks.

Star Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Monstrous Regiment

Polly Perks wants to get her brother out of trouble. She always has, and she'll be damned if a war is going to stop her.

And war in Borogravia isn't going to stop her because she's going to become a him - alongside a vampire, a troll, a religious fanatic and an Igor, the 'him' really isn't going to be a problem. She's strong, she's tough, she can fart and belch in public and has kissed The Duchess! That, if nothing else shows she's got socks of steel.
Terry Pratchett said that this book breaks new ground for him and he's right. Where Jingo was the view of war from the outside, Monstrous Regiment shows it from the inside in a sophisticated, moral tale which is full of humour while in an unfunny enviroment and as always it includes jokes that will make you groan.

This also seems to be the first in Pratchett's campaign to move established characters into the background as he once stated.

A refreshing Discworld story, prehaps because it is set in an entirely new place: Borogravia, just south of Uberwald.
The cover was worrying as it seemed that Pratchett was bringing the books closer to the millenium as it were, but fears were settled as it the suprisingly backward Borogravia that is closer to our own reality.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed By: [HPB].

Going Postal

Albert Spangler is dead. He must be. Everyone saw him hanged. But Spangler was just one of the identities used by the con man Moist von Lipwig, so how come Moist is still walking around? The answer is that it’s because the Patrician wants him alive. The Patrician also wants him to be the new Postmaster of Anhk-Morpork, and to get the Post Office back on its feet. Its not something Moist would choose do to, but the Patrician may not allow him much choice. And then there’s the businessmen that are now running the Clacks, and aren’t too happy about the Post Office being revived. They might not give Moist much choice either.

This is a novel about Freedom, Choice, and Hope14. It’s a book that shows you just now manipulative the Patrician can be when he wants to be. It’s a searing indictment of ‘business speak’ too. And it shows you how and why people can freely choose to restrict their own freedom. Ankh-Morpork becomes more real with each book, I mean, how many fantasy books you’ve heard of talk about a city’s postal service?

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Geggs.

De Cheloniam Mobile

The Science of the Discworld.

First off, there's something that I'm incredibly glad of. It's in the
introduction of this book. And it is that: this book is not about how the Discworld works. It's trying to explain "Big Science" using the Discworld as a metaphor. And I'm amazingly glad it is. The reason for this is explained more in the actual introduction. But enough.

The science and the story come in alternating chapters. If you're bored of the science, or even, Io forbid, bored of the story, you can just skip along to the next chapter. Which it must be admitted, I did the first time round. The story is good, though, the pretext being that due to a particularly cold winter, Ponder Stibbons is finally allowed to split the thaum and create cheap, clean energy. The excess of energy also creates "Roundworld"- a simulation of our universe as a magical experiment. The story section of the book deals with the wizards' encounters on Roundworld, as they call it, and is also a subtle satire of how closed-minded people can be.

The science is also very good. Though very dense at times, and perhaps assuming a little too much background knowlege, I personally found it very illuminating in many areas. There's also the mandatory reference to Schrodinger's Cat and the paradox of the twins, neither of which I had fully understood before.

Certainly the two complement each other, but perhaps this is their weakness. Were they modified, each could be a cracking stand-alone book.

Rating (story): smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Rating (science): smiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

The Art of Discworld

When this was picked this up, I thought it was a chance to get to see Paul Kidby's Disc art from things that I don't have such as the calender/cards.

I thought the text would consist of saying which character was which or a discription of X character's actions in the painting.

This is so much more.

It's essentially The Pratchett Portfolio on the Last Hero scale of things. Terry P gives his opinion on how close Kidby gets to his in-brain movie cast aswell as comments on the characters themselves: Where they've been, where they're going, are they going...
The comments on Rincewind are particularly of interest.

I love the artwork. I don't agree with the visions of many (white afro for Susan Death anyone?) and in fact get given an idea of characters I had forgotten about eg. Zlorf Flannelfoot.

Although the pictures are great there, is the occasional 'amazing' level of things. It irked me that some of the Last Hero's art appears here but that can be said of the cards, which can be seen on Paul Kidby's website. However, seeing the picture of Pyramid's Teppic and the Last Continent Fourecks Rincewind - competing for best image in my brain next to Last Hero's post-apocalyptic Great A'Tuin - cry out that if those respective books were to be made into films these two pictures are the posters no question.

'Art of' is definately a book for fans, filling in some gaps on the back of a turtle and extending the characters we love just a bit more.

The only problem with the book for me is the depiction of Twoflower. Good art, though it is, my opinion is that it looks morally wrong. This Twoflower's face is an 'Agetean' of the 1950s standard. Doesn't seem right.

Nevertheless the book is visually stunning if you're a fan but those who haven't experienced the Disc need to pick up a few novels before the depth and detail can be truly appreciated.

Rating ): smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: [HPB].

Kids' Books

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

A group of super-intelligent, talking rats (they prefer rodent), some of them clothed, led by a smart cat, Maurice also magically endowed with super intelligence are onto a good thing. With the help of a kid, with a pipe they scam the credulous residents of many a town. An excellent scam, lots of Hamlyns from Ankh Morpork to Pseudopolis via Sto Lat.

They go into Bad Blintz, Überwald for one last show, but something here is wrong and the troupe have to deal with something altogether more dangerous than poison.

There are better studies of evil and what it does to people (ok, and rodents) but they aren't nearly as exciting or insightful as this brilliant Pratchett tale. And you won't learn half as much about rats either.

Rating: smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: 'Englishman in Marseille.

The Wee Free Men

One day Tiffany Aching saw two little blue men in the river near her house. The next thing she saw was a strange green monster coming out of the same river. The second time she saw it she hit it with a frying pan.

The blue men were two of the Nac Mac Feegle, the Wee Free Men. The monster was a Green Jenny. The frying pan was iron. And the fact that Tiffany Aching knows about all these things means that she may very well be a witch. But is that enough when the Queen of Fairies kidnaps her younger brother Wentworth and takes him back to the fairy kingdom with her?

Terry’s second Discworld novel for children gives us a witch who can’t be, a toad who wasn’t, and a pack pictsies highly skilled is making things not. Oh, and a cameo appearance from two better known Discworld witches. There’s not really enough here to sustain a standard Discworld novel – which is probably why Pratchett wrote it as a kids book. And as kids books go, it’s brilliant.

Rating: smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley - smiley -

Reviewed by: Geggs.

A Hat Full of Sky

No longer with frying-pan in hand or indeed the Chalk under her feet, witch-to-be Tiffany Aching has been sent off (by Miss Tick) to the home of Miss Level -- a witch who's quite comfortable to be in two places at once.

However, something sweeps the hills looking for the right mind and Tiffany's 'see me' is letting it see her. Only the Nac Mac Feegle pictsies have the drink to fight something that's invisible and can't be killed.

Then again, if they're pished, seeing it isn't a concern anyway.

For me this second Tiffany Aching story took a while to become Discworld. Oh the characters and names were there but a few pages needed to be bypassed before you can place your finger down and say "that's Discworld right there".

The pacing was strange with reams of dialogue between the Feegles are taxing if y' ken w' a mean.

Once it gets into the authentic Discworld then it's the usual weirdness we've come to expect with a strange case of a city making a cameo.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed By: [HPB].


These, strictly speaking are not books, they are videos (as the title
would seem to indicate). So, the reviews will concentrate less on the stories, but more on the style that the videos take, and extras provided with them

Soul Music (Video)

I personally did not like this video. It may seem funny, because when the preliminary sketches were shown at a Discworld convention, the immediate response was "You mean it's going to get better?"

Who's seen Pokemon? Come on, hands up, we've all done it at some point. Maybe you were glancing through the channels and it just happened to be on. Maybe you were too bored to change the channel


. In any case, do you know what the animation for Pokemon is like? Well, the Soul Music video animation is a lot like that. Looping of certain animations is inevitable in cartoons but in many places here it is really very obvious. Furthermore, I speak as one who did not see the Harry Potter movies because I prefer the version I get in my head. I did have a fantastic image of Ankh- Morpork in my head, better than any animation could possibly create. But now, vying for space with my picture, is the animation. If you are like me, do not see this video.

There are good points to the video, though. Interviews with the author at the beginning, in which he talks about the Discworld and what it means to him, and also about the creation of the video were very entertaining. Death is superbly done, and the voice is exactly right. And one thing I would love to have is the soundtrack. You can hear bits of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Holly in there, without it actually plagiarizing.

It is overall the little extras about the video that make this worth watching. Certainly for a devout Pratchett fan, it is worth trying once at least.

Rating: smiley - starsmiley - star

Reviewed by: Roadkill.

Wyrd Sisters (DVD)

I disagree with Roadkill's comment on the Soul Music animation. The style is more of a throw back of the 1970s animation where motion got sacrificed in place of the visual detail. The same applies with Wyrd Sisters.

Nothing feels right for me except possibly the theme music. It looks old, it feels old, it sounds. This was made of course a few years before Peter Jackson showed people that fantasy could be respected in visual.

And I was never going to give a positive review to the Disc animation for leaving out my favourite scene in the book: The Duke's bandaged hands and paranoid ranting about how his hands won't be clean of Verence I's blood not matter what methods he uses.

Unlike Soul Music's dvd having episodes split, Wyrd Sisters is one long two and a half hour film. I had to watch it in two parts.

I think Christopher Lee is a good Death and Granny Weatherwax/Nanny Ogg sound right despite not looking it. But Jane Horrocks as Magrat is torture and Les Dennis' Fool sounds annoyingly like Soul Music's Imp y Celyn, Andy Hockley. (Wyrd Sisters came first mind you)

The only real laugh I got was the summoned demon.

Pratchett may be "pleased" with it but personally I think it could be done much muchg better with a live action series or less rougher looking animation.

Star Rating: smiley - star

Reviewed By: [HPB].

1Some readers may have noticed, quite rightly, that by now, Sam Vimes is a Duke. The Watch still call him "Mister" as in the full blown "Put down the crossbow and turn around slowly, mister" mister. We have promoted ourseves to honourary Watchmen.2And it is divers alarums this time. But never again. Pat yourself on the back, you are a true Pratchettite! If you noticed, that is.3Never try to make yourself sound interesting by giving yourself from the *rse of the alphabet (*ss for our American readers). You'll be in real trouble when people ask you what it stands for.4

Urgh, no, not thatsmiley - yuk. You and your dirty mind...

5Except Vincent the Ripper who choked to death on a concubine. Damn! Sorry, it was a cucumber.6That's "We who are about to die don't want to" for those of us that don't speak Ancient Morporkian/Latatian/Latin.7An easy thing for one with a liftime's experience in magic to do. You know where the metterphorical window is that doesn't shut properly8Probably not the right word for an anthropo- thingy personnification. Especially not a Death9
Which in the language of Llamedos means "Bud of Holly"
Some explanation may be required here for readers not already familiar with the Discworld; the Hogfather is the Disc's equivalent of Father Christmas
11Probably because his temporary cleverness stole the show in Moving Pictures
12 Subject to interpretation batteries not included roaming around the necropolis at night in assassins' clothes invalidates warranty13
Good news everyone, the footnotes are back!
14Which is the greatest of all gifts15

Yeah, right.

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