Tag Archives: The Discworld Series

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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Hogfather

This is a review of “Hogfather” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 20th novel in The Discworld Series and the 4th novel in the Death Story Arc. It follows on, story-arc wise from “Soul Music” but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. It has also been made into a film by Sky One. Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather is so great. I loved it. Teatime was perfect and Susan was too. I mean Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary from Downton Abbey) as Susan Sto Helit? Perfection. Well worth a watch!

The Auditors are back. And they want the Hogfather (Santa Claus of the Discworld) dead. They only way to do this, they decide, is to purchase the services of the Guild of Assassins. The guild nominates the disturbing Mr. Teatime (pronounced Te-ah-Tim-eh) for the job. Mr Teatime is not like other people, and even the other assassins find him to be incredibly creepy. But how does one eliminate a mythical being?

Death has taken it upon himself to fill in for the Hogfather in his absence. So with the aid of a pixie-clad Albert, he’s commandeering the sleigh and delivering presents to children with a pillow stuffed up his shirt and a fake beard adorning his skull. He’s spreading Hogswatch cheer. But Death soon realises that although Hogswatch is renowned to be the jolliest time of year, bad (and sad) things still happen.

Susan, Death’s own grand-daughter is now a governess. She’s the bane of childhood terrors everywhere, from Bogey men to crack bears. But when she finds her grand-father moonlighting as the Hogfather, she knows something is up. So she resolves to figure it out. Along with the Death of Rats and Quoth the Raven, she sets out to put things right.

The Wizards of Unseen University have a dilemma of their own. It seems that for some unknown reason, mythical beings who shouldn’t really be, are. It is getting a little ridiculous. Anytime someone mentions a slightly plausible creature as explanation for say: missing socks, balding heads or additional verrucas, it pops into being. Reason: unknown.

Can the Hogfather be saved? What’s Teatime’s plan? What does Teatime and his band of villains want with the Tooth Fairy? How can a mythical being be murdered? What can Susan do to help? Why are things like the Verruca Gnome suddenly existing?

This book is highly humorous and well thought out. Teatime is so creepy. Death is loveable as always. Susan is my kind of girl. Strong, intelligent, bossy. If you’ve ever wished for a different ending to the story of the little match girl, or wanted to know why the Tooth Fairy exists, and why she takes your teeth and leaves you money, then this is the book for you.

And because I have secretly wanted to do this for some time (but not really known when to start) and because Pratchett is such a literary genius, I have decided to include some of my favourite quotes/sentences from this book.

“Don’t get afraid. Get angry”
Susan Sto Helit

There was always something that needed transferring from A to B or, of course, to the bottom of the C.
Terry Pratchett

“I don’t have many [friends]…On the other hand, I don’t seem to have any enemies at all. Not one. Isn’t that nice?”
Mr Teatime

MERE ACCUMULATION OF OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE IS NOT PROOF
Death

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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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Reaper Man

This is a review of “Reaper Man” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 11th novel in The Discworld Series and the 2nd novel in the Death Story Arc. It follows on (story arc wise) from “Mort” but it can be read as a stand alone novel.

The Auditors are strange beings who audit The Discworld, ensuring that everything obeys The Rules. Death has begun to develop a personality. The Auditors think that this stops him from performing his duty correctly. So they send him off to live a normal life like everyone else. So Death assumes the name Bill Door and works for old Miss Flitworth on her farm, harvesting her crop and performing the duties of a farm hand.

But while Death is otherwise preoccupied, humans have no-one to perform their deathly duties. Life force begins to build, and poltergeist activity, ghosts and undead abound. Mrs Cake, a medium (more like a small actually) tries to inform the wizards at Unseen University of this. Windle Poons, a recently deceased wizard, finds he is not as dead as he would like to be. (He was really looking forward to being reincarnated.) Being undead sucks. His friends keep trying to bury him. He attends a meeting for The Fresh Start Club, a club for undead rights.

The Fresh Start Club has vampires, a zombie, a bogeyman and a were-man (a wolf who turns into a wolf man every full moon. Strange little orbs keep popping up in the city of Ankh-Morpork. What they are, nobody knows. They seem to contain tiny cities. There’s just something not quite right about them. What are they? Will Death remain Bill Door until he well, dies? Will Windle Poons remain undead forevermore?

This was like all Terry Pratchett books, very entertaining. It had some wonderful quotes, clever puns and interesting themes: death, shopping malls, fringe groups and minority rights movements. Sometimes Mrs Cake agitated me, her precognition was, while very clever, a bit annoying and confusing. I liked the sweetness of Bill Door/Death at the end. I will continue on in my quest to complete all of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Novels.

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I Shall Wear Midnight

This is a review of “I Shall Wear Midnight” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 38th novel in The Discworld Series and the fourth novel in the Tiffany Aching Story Arc. (YA)

It follows “Wintersmith“.

Tiffany Aching is the witch on The Chalk. Witching is a tiring and often thankless task. Tiffany has to work long hours and do some tough jobs. She barely has time to care for herself, she hardly sleeps and almost never eats.

The old Baron is very ill, and is slowly dying. Tiffany is taking his pain away, but even so, his time is nigh. The Baron’s son Roland, Tiffany’s old friend, doesn’t speak to her anymore. And to make matters worse, something truly awful has just occurred within the community. Something so awful, that the rough music has started playing, and a mob is forming.

Tiffany does her best to prevent events from worsening, but it seems like everyone is turning against her, and witches in general. What could be happening?

Tiffany travels to Ankh Morpork to locate Roland to tell him some news, and here she meets two witches who help her to figure out what’s going on. Tiffany learns that she’s up against an old, old evil. And it’s worse than the queen of the fairies, the wintersmith and the hiver…

A story about growing up, having pride in yourself and your actions and about love.

(I just adore the last page!)

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Wintersmith

This is a review of “Wintersmith” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 35th novel in The Discworld Series and the third novel in the Tiffany Aching Story Arc. (YA)

It follows “A Hat Full of Sky“.

Tiffany Aching is well on her way to becoming a fully fledged witch. She is up in The Ramptops living with Miss Treason and learning more about witchcraft. She is one of the first girls to stay on full-term with Miss Treason. The other girls found her somewhat … frightening in her appearance and manner.

Tiffany attends the Dark Morris with Miss Treason, the Dance that welcomes winter. It is a very solemn affair, silent, serious and it’s meant to be danced by the morris dancers only, and not anyone else. But Tiffany feels her feet tapping along in time with the dance and before she knows it, she has joined in.

She doesn’t really know what she’s done. But she gathers that there will be a price to pay from Miss Treason’s reaction.

She is correct in this assumption.

For now the Wintersmith is in love with her. An elemental, the God of Winter-in love with a mortal girl. The Wintersmith is taken with Tiffany and believes her to be the Summer Lady, the goddess of Summer.

He woos her with snowflakes shaped in her form, ice roses and frost graffiti written on her windowpane. And while it’s admittedly…cool to be the object of such admiration, Tiffany knows she must put things to rights.

Because if she can’t get rid of the Wintersmith, it will stay wintertime forever…

A great novel about growing up and taking responsibility for your actions.

And of course: the Nac mac Feegle and Granny Weatherwax. There’s some Nanny Ogg too.

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A Hat Full of Sky

This is a review of “A Hat Full of Sky” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 32nd novel in The Discworld Series and the second novel in the Tiffany Aching Story Arc. It follows on from “The Wee Free Men“.

Tiffany Aching must leave The Chalk to go away and learn witching. Witches aren’t all that popular on The Chalk though, so she tells everyone that she is going “into service” to learn to be a housemaid.

She travels to the mountains and the house of witch Miss Level, who is more than she first seems… There are other young girls in the mountains, all stationed with a witch learning the arts. Some are nicer than others.

Tiffany can’t stand riding a broomstick (it makes her stomach heave) and even the simplest magic creation, a shamble, seems beyond her grasp. The everyday tasks of witches also seem a little monotonous.

But despite all this, Tiffany is precocious and powerful, and she’s attracted the attention of something really nasty.

Can the Nac mac Feegle help their big wee hag? Or will their new Kelda have something to say about it?

I enjoyed this book. Look out for Granny Weatherwax 🙂

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The Wee Free Men

This is a review of “The Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 30th novel in The Discworld Series and the first novel in the Tiffany Aching Story Arc. The Tiffany Aching Arc is a YA arc.

Tiffany Aching is nine years old. She likes making cheese, and she dislikes looking after her sticky brother Wentworth. She is babysitting Wentworth down by the lake, when a ridiculous monster tries to grab him. She returns later on, uses Wentworth as bait to lure the monster, and bashes the monster with her iron frying pan.

She comes to the attention of witch Miss Tick, who pays Tiffany a visit. As they converse, Miss Tick realises that Tiffany has the makings of a witch. She also realises that The Chalk is in trouble. She leaves to get help, leaving behind her familiar, a talking toad.

And then Wentworth goes missing. Tiffany consults the Nac mac Feegle (Wee Free Men), pictsies: tiny blue men with red hair, Scottish accents and kilts. They inform her that Wentworth has been taken by the Queen (an elf).

It’s up to Tiffany to travel to the Queen’s world and rescue her little brother.

A great story about believing in yourself, doing the right thing, and seeing what’s actually there (not simply what you want to see).

I love the Nac mac Feegle. When something goes wrong, I feel like exclaiming “Oh! Waily waily waily”
or “Crivens!”.

Even though it is aimed at a YA audience, I loved this book just as much (and if not more than) as Pratchett’s other Discworld novels.

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Carpe Jugulum

This is a review of “Carpe Jugulum” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 23rd novel in The Discworld Series and the sixth novel in the Witches Story Arc. Character arc-wise it follows on from “Maskerade“.

There is a big celebration coming up in Lancre. It’s the naming day of the infant princess. An Omnian priest has been summoned, invites have been sent out, but it seems as though an important one has been misplaced…

Vampires have come to Lancre. They were invited (*forehead slap*) by King Verence. And they’re modern vampires. Armed with positive thinking, they can overcome everything. Garlic? No biggie. Holy objects? Pfft. Sunlight? No problemo! They’re also brilliant at mind control.

Only Agnes (and Perdita) and The Quite Reverend Mightily Oats are immune. This seems to be because both are always in two minds about everything. Lancre has fallen into the hands of the vampires, and no-one else even seems to care.

Granny Weatherwax has gone off to be alone, and Lancre needs her more than ever. It’s up to Agnes, Magrat and Nanny to find her and save the day.

This is a book about vampires, witches, friendship, faith, religion and knowing your own worth.

It was very humourous (as usual) and Terry Pratchett’s take on vampires is different, amusing and a little frightening. Look out for the Nac mac Feegle (I love them! They’re probably why I love the Tiffany Aching character arc so much.)

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Maskerade

This is a review of “Maskerade” by Terry Pratchett. It is the 18th novel in The Discworld Series and the fifth novel in the Witches Story Arc. Character arc-wise it follows on from “Lords and Ladies“.

Nanny Ogg notices that Granny Weatherwax is acting differently. Nanny’s worried that with Magrat gone and married to the King, Granny won’t be satisfied with the Lancre witching life with no one to boss about.

Nanny has someone in mind, but young Agnes Nitt has left Lancre to seek her fortune in Ankh Morpork as an opera singer under the pseudonym Perdita X Dream. But how to get Granny Weatherwax to travel to Ankh Morpok?

Nanny Ogg has a humorous solution.

Meanwhile the opera house in Ankh Morpork is suffering from a situation quite similar to the plot of The Phantom of the Opera.

A ghost is terrorizing the Opera House. At first it was making simple demands like surrendering Box 8 to the ghost on opening nights, but lately people are being murdered…

It’s up to Agnes, Granny and Nanny to solve the mystery of the opera ghost.

As with all of Pratchett’s work, “Maskerade” is humorous and entertaining. I quite liked the mystery and suspense of this novel. Look out for the appearance of other favourite Discworld characters.

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