Guards! Guards!

Back to the oft-silly, entrancing Discworld of the infamous Terry Pratchett. Who I am now thinking of as the Douglas Adams of fantasy novels. I am planning on attempting to read the Discworld novels in the semblance of a series they form.

The city of Ankh-Morpork lies in ruins. But that’s just from an outside perspective, if you live inside it than the city is doing fine and all outsiders can take a flying leap from the nearest battlement thank you. Following a thin line of logic, the ruler of the city has turned all professions into guilds, including assassins and thieves. If thievery is legal we don’t need to pay guards to catch thieves now do we? And the thieves submit quarterly reports showing how much they thieved and what they thieved and what they plan on thieving. It’s all very efficient. But it does mean that the city watch, once a proud institution, is nothing more than a job for show. And it allows Captain Vimes the opportunity to drink a lot.

But someone in the city is unhappy with the current state of affairs. Ankh-Morpork would be a lot better with a king, a king controlled by his trusted adviser. And how do you get a king? That’s right, you summon a dragon from the magic realm and get the “king” to slay the dragon. Anyone who slays a dragon becomes king you see. If only dragons didn’t have minds of their own that don’t like to be controlled.

Delightfully silly, I actually had some trouble at first getting into Guards! Guards! I was reading straight fantasy before this so it’s honestly hard to switch to silly fantasy. The game is a lot different. Pratchett, while still describing a lot, doesn’t describe things as much as a normal fantasy book. He thinks that you as a reader are smart enough to follow. Well, not at first Mr. Pratchett but I got there. Jokes come fast and swift, but the real joy is the world that he’s built. It’s a shaky foundation of illogical catch-22s, myths and fantasies, but somehow it just works. Since everything is illogical, it’s actually quite logical. As soon as you embrace that, Discworld opens right up. Plus, I love following the orangutan librarian around. How could you not?

3.5 out of 4 stars.

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