Book Review: Guards, Guards Discworld #8 by Terry Pratchett

February 16, 2018 5 Exclamations!!!, Book Reviews, Terry Pratchett 15

Book Review: Guards, Guards Discworld #8 by Terry PratchettGuards! Guards! Published by HarperCollins on 2001-07-31
Narrator: NIgel Planner
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, General
Pages: 384
Source: Purchase
Buy on Amazon

Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco nobilis ("noble dragon" for those who don't understand italics) has appeared in Discworld's greatest city. Not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling everything in its path, in rather short order it is crowned King (it is a noble dragon, after all . . .).

Meanwhile, back at Unseen University, an ancient and long-forgotten volume--The Summoning of Dragons--is missing from the Library's shelves. To the rescue come Captain Vimes, Constable Carrot, and the rest of the Night Watch who, along with other brave citizens, risk everything, including a good roasting, to dethrone the flying monarch and restore order to Ankh-Morpork (before it's burned to a crisp). A rare tale, well done as only Terry Pratchett can.

Fangirl Time!

FINALLY! The last few weeks have been amazing, and I love reading everything that Terry Pratchett has written. But, I’m going to be honest, there is nothing like the Guards books. I LOVE THEM. LOVE.

Any time anyone asks what to read from the Discworld, I mention The Watch. I also have a guild in World of Warcraft called The Watch. Our policies are mirrored a bit off of these fabulous guards and their ability to uphold positivity and graciousness, even in the thickest of battles.

Ok. I’m a bit of a fangirl.

I’ve listened to this particular book at least a dozen times, and it is my go to read when I want to have a pick me up, or when I’m in a Terry Pratchett mood. Which is basically, always.

Captain Vimes

One reason why is Vimes. His story is so intriguing. He’s not perfect. He realizes he’s not perfect, and he does everything he can to become the man that he is proud of being. That’s not an easy task for anyone.

In Guards, Guards we meet Vimes and let’s just say Samuel Vimes as he appears in The Pratchett Po... he is a bit down on his luck. We meet him drunk and in a gutter, in love and hate with the city in which he is sworn to protect and sadly unable to, Ankh Morpork.

Oh! To not write a biased book review, but I will not be able to help myself for this is, in my mind, one of the best Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. In this a new reader will meet Captain Vimes, Carrot Ironfounderson, Nobby Nobbs, Sergeant Colon, The Librarian and many more. The first of many great books and as Vimes is one of my favorite characters I listened to this book with lots of laughter knowing that he will always pull through in the end.

Vimes is a deliciously interesting character. He admits he is not always brave, mainly when facing dragons. I mean, who would be in that case? He is every one of us in this book. This is just the beginning and in the beginning Vimes is quite down on his luck, in the gutter, muddy, drunk and alone.

Vimes: “Listen, if anyone ever sets fire to this city, it’s going to be me.”

Carrot Ironfounderson

Soon we also meet Carrot Ironfounderson. Raised by dwarfs, he is the tallest of his kind, as he is actually a human. And although the Ankh Morpork dwarves don’t really know how to take him, Carrot demands respect in all situations, and earns it because not only is he over six feet, his shoulders are just about as wide and he will arrest anyone who breathes wrong, that is if it’s in the Laws and Ordinances of the Cities of Ankh and Morpork.

The part where Carrot and The Librarian are trying to discuss the crime. I howl with laughter EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Those are only two of the amazing characters that Terry Pratchett has introduced in this book. This book is a twisting, turning, stay on the edge of your seat with laughter, must read!

The Patrician

I am curious more with The Patrician. He is so different in this than the rest of the stories. Did he set Vimes on this path, or just go with the flow? It seems so unlike him to flow with anything that he is against. I tried to listen closely to see if anything jumped out with their relationship, but nothing ever does.

The dragon

What I also find interesting is that there is a dragon in this, and yet he is not really the villain. Pratchett was able to create another character that makes the dragon look like a baby. At least, in the beginning. I am always fascinated by stories where the monsters are not really the villains.

A criticism

My one criticism is with Vimes and Lady Sybil. I want to understand this more. I love their back and forth tit for tat, and to be honest, Sybil gives him a run for his money. She smacks him on his bare bottom after nursing him back to health! Of course he is flabbergasted but Sybil doesn’t care! I love her, but I feel like there is something missing with those two.

Sybil: Do you realise we’re very probably seeing something no-one has seen for centuries?
Vimes: Yes, it’s a bloody flying alligator setting fire to my city!

Anyone that has read this, do you feel the same or does this get filled in later and I missed it somewhere?

This book was phenomenal. Hands down, fabulous. All of my favorite characters are in it and if you’ve never read Terry Pratchett the great thing about the Discworld is that you do not have to read them in order. Just go read them!




15 Responses to “Book Review: Guards, Guards Discworld #8 by Terry Pratchett”

    • Christina

      Night Watch adds so much detail! I can’t wait to get to that one again. Currently listening to Men at Arms and just loving life. These guys are hilarious and Vimes is really coming into his own. But Night Watch is special!

    • Christina

      I keep thinking you can read this in any order but after doing these reviews in order, I’m starting to realize how many portions I didn’t put together. I had the puzzle pieces but didn’t see where they fit into the story. I still think starting with this one is the best idea because you meet so many great people, but reading them in order is just special. 😀

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