Tag Archives: The Discworld Series the Death Story Arc

Thief of Time

This is a review of “Thief of Time” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 26th novel in The Discworld Series and the 5th novel in the Death Story Arc. It follows on, story-arc wise from “Hogfather” but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Jeremy is a strange man. He’s a whizz with clocks, and loves making them. Abandoned as a baby, he was raised by the Clockmaker’s Guild after being left upon their doorstep. He has no friends and doesn’t mind his own company. He is approached one morning by a rather different woman, a Lady LeJean, who wishes for Jeremy to make her a clock. A glass clock. The most accurate clock in the world…

The Auditors are, as ever, unimpressed with the state of the universe, and particularly the Discworld. Humans, they believe are too unpredictable and unorderly. They wish for time to stop, for then things will become more ordered and understandable. Little does Jeremy know, but Lady LeJean is an auditor disguised as a human woman. And the glass clock she wants made will stop time, effectively bringing about the Auditors wishes.

Susan Sto Helit is now a school teacher. Miss Susan is rather frightening, but she’s the best teacher around. Her classroom is amazing, and she brings a whole new meaning to the word “field-trip”. The Death of Rats pays a visit to her classroom, and Susan knows that most probably means she has to perform some occult duty or other.

Lobsang Ludd is a novice of the Monks of History. But he’s causing problems and his mentors just don’t know what to do with him. He’s smart but doesn’t pay attention, and he is always stealing things (but too quickly for comfort). He too is a foundling, first raised by the Guild of Thieves and then recruited by the Monks of History. They decide that he is to become the apprentice of the legendary Lu-Tze. It’s up to them to stop the clock from stopping time and destroying the world.

Death is trying to amass the other three horsemen for the apocalypse. But they’re not all that keen to ride out again. Apparently there used to be a fifth horsemen too, but he left before they were famous…

This book was funny, enlightening and very entertaining. Lu-Tze was humorous, Susan, as kick-ass as ever. I liked Lobsang and Lady LeJean. The auditors-as-humans were very entertaining. This book brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “death by chocolate”.

Favourite Quotes and Passages:

…the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew … there is in truth, no past, only a memory of the past …Therefore, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.
-Terry Pratchett

Time waited for no man, they said.
Perhaps she’d waited for one, once.
-Terry Pratchett

Lu-Tze had long considered that everything happens for a reason, except possibly football.
-Terry Pratchett

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Soul Music

This is a review of “Soul Music” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 16th novel in The Discworld Series and the 3rd novel in the Death Story Arc. It follows on, story-arc wise from “Reaper Man” but it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Susan Sto Helit is a no-nonsense teenaged girl. She’s a bit strange. Her hair is mostly white and she can disappear at will. She’s an orphan and attends the Quirm College for Young Ladies. She’s about to find out who her grandfather is, and he’s definitely not like all the other grandads (his knees are too bony for one). He is Death. And he wants to forget. While he’s trying to accomplish this, it’s up to Susan to fulfil the Deathly duties. But she’s got a lot to learn.

Imp y Celyn is a musician, a bard from Llamedos. He’s decided to seek his fortune in Ankh Morpork. He soon discovers that to play music in the city, he must first become a member of the Musician’s Guild. He finds he cannot afford the joining fee. He meets Lias, a troll and Glod, a dwarf who have the same predicament. Together they form an illicit band. Imp’s harp is inadvertently destroyed and he buys a guitar as a replacement at a rather mysterious Music Shop. The music they make is like no other ever heard befor on the Discworld. It’s music with rocks in.

Music with rocks in has a profound effect on anyone who hears it. The wizards are certainly affected. The Dean becomes quite rebellious and wears besequinned leather robes. The Librarian plays the Organ and Piano like a man (erm Ape) possessed. Archancellor Ridcully knows there’s something not quite right with the music. It’s not magic, but it’s not…right.

When Imp has an appointment with Death (well … Susan), things don’t turn out the way they were meant to.

This novel was very entertaining and humorous. I really liked Susan, she’s my type of girl. It was amusing to read all of Pratchett’s very clever allusions to famous Rock Bands and songs, and it was fun trying to decipher the song titles and band names. There is a cartoon adaptation of “Soul Music”, and they used to air it on the ABC channel here in Australia quite late in the afternoon in the mid to late nineties. The image of the four elephants holding up the Discworld and riding on the back of the Great Sky Turtle A’Tuin will always remain with me.

Onwards I travel in my quest to read all of Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

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