Skip to Content

Guards! Guards!

The last two Discworld books were (once again) solid, and Guards! Guards! is a pleasant continuation of that trend. This time we're back in Ankh-Morpork, but the changes in tone that a fresh set of characters (the wonderful Captain Vimes and the boys of the town watch) bring means it still feels fresh and interesting. Once again, the characters are wonderful, the humour very funny, and the rather sideways view on life full of brilliant moments; from macho, but homesick dwarfs, to spontaneous dragon combustion.

To be critical, Guards! Guards! could have been quite a bit shorter and not been any worse for it. Pratchett seemed to lose his way again in the final third of the book and the plot felt like it was building up to the inevitable conclusion, only for it to get somehow delayed and things to peter out a bit while events footled slowly towards the, somewhat abrupt, end. I really don't know what it is, but things abruptly running out of steam and the pacing grinding to a halt does seem to be a recurring theme with the Discworld novels.

This is a fairly minor complaint, however. I would have preferred the book if it had tighter pacing, but I still found it a thoroughly enjoyable read. The cast of characters were truly excellent this time around, rivalling, and perhaps surpassing, those of Wyrd Sisters. The humour was once again mostly spot on and the sheer ludicrousness of the situations was brilliant.

Perhaps not my favourite Discworld book, but very, very good. Lady Ramkin and her thoroughbred swamp dragons alone are worth the price of admission.