Friday, September 15, 2006

The streets of Ankh-Morpork

Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh, Commander of the city Watch, married to the richest woman in town, and it only took one freak storm, which coincidentally was magically charged and struck right while he was chasing a criminal atop a big metal dome covering the Unseen University Library (which is therefore very high in the magic department too) to take it all… (at least until the end of the book).

Night Watch is the twenty-seventh novel in the Discworld series (main collection, I’m not counting all the other stuff. I don’t know if I can count that high either.) and the sixth in the city Watch sub-series. It is also amongst one of Terry Pratchett best works.

Long story short, Samuel Vimes is sent thirty year into the past mostly due to the events I describe earlier! I say mostly because there is a little detail which is that part of the events which cause the events that eventually (still with me?) lead to the plot of Night Watch are the events taking place in Thief of Time. I mention this because it’s just that little kind of thing that makes the literary experience all the better. This is not new in Pratchett’s works, he uses it extensively in the Rincewind sub-series, but the cool part here is that the relation is only hinted at (mostly because they’re two different stories), making the realization of this much more rewarding.


Vimes is now stuck in the past, but Carcer, a maniac assassin he was chasing came with him. And while the sense of nostalgia actually feels good, he can’t just stop to smell the flowers because these are not easy times, a revolution is just next door, the place is ruled by madmen, and it seems one of things Vimes is better at is making enemies (nothing new here then). As if it wasn’t enough, the man who taught him everything he knew was killed, so now he has to become the man that taught him everything he knew while, among other things, make sure the past happens so he has a future to go back into.

This is most probably one of the best Discworld novels, but is also slighter darker in tone than most. If you know and like the character (If you don’t like the character then I suggest you to finish pre-school first) then this book is your book, because this book is all about Vimes! (not that the other’s aren’t there of course, they’re just a lot younger. Now thinking of it, Vimes is also a lot younger, but that’s the other Vimes, the one that didn’t travel back in time… yet.)

Carcer, the main villain, is evil, cruel cold hearted, and worse of all: smart. In fact he is probably amongst the worst villains in all the Discworld books (Mr. Teatime from Hogfather probably would join him for a cup of coffee though.)

All in all, a bloody good book!

Ps: I’ll probably make Review-o-rama part 2 about everything I read/watched/played in the summer soon. Unless I get lazy or get my hands on a copy of V for Vendetta soon.


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