Sunday, August 10, 2008

Men at Arms

Title: Men at Arms
Author: Terry Pratchett

What it's about: Since Samuel Vimes and the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch foiled a dragon attack, the Watch has been growing. Three new recruits have been hired because of affirmative action hiring policies, including Cuddy the dwarf, Detritus the troll, and Angua, a young woman who hits off rather nicely with Corporal Carrot. The new recruits come at a good time because Captain Vimes will be leaving the Watch to get married. But before this happens, Vimes and his Watchmen (and women and trolls and dwarfs) have to deal with a series of murders that are being committed in a way that no one has ever seen before.

What I thought: I happen to like this book a good deal because Angua is one of my favorite Watch characters. Like Vimes, she has a more normal, sensible outlook than people like Colon, Nobby, or even Carrot. Plus, female characters are always good. Cuddy and Detritus are a good pair, too, and they add an interesting dynamic to the Watch, sort of like another Colon and Nobby. The whole murder mystery plot? Really excels at fleshing out the Discworld, going into everything from dwarfish beliefs regarding the afterlife to Bloody Stupid Johnson and Leonardo of Quirm, to some nods to ancient Ankh-Morpork. The way the murder is solved, too, is done just right, and with a satisfying ending.

Overall: The Watch books just keep getting better and better.

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