The City Watch books are all brilliant and this one is probably the best of the three I’ve read so far. It’s genuinely funny and all the wonderful characters are ones to treasure. Lord Vetinari (The Patrician – the top person in Ankh-Morpork) and Sir Samuel Vimes (Head of the City Watch) don’t get along but tolerate each other. Vetinari knows Vimes loves walking around the city feeling the stones beneath his feet, but gives him a Sedan Chair as a present – it’s that kind of relationship.
Two of the officers of the City Watch, Carrot and Angua, complement each other wonderfully. Angua is always conscious of who she really is or what she really is and can’t believe how honest and sincere Carrot is, and that he seems to know everything about everybody and treats them all the same. Carrot admires Angua even though he knows what she is really like in her nature.
Without giving anything away, this book contains golems galore, a vampire Dragon King of Arms ah-ha, and a superb character called Wee Mad Arthur who deserves a book of his own. Wee Mad Arthur is a rat catcher who helps members of the watch at just the right time. There’s also Corporal Cheery / Cheri Littlebottom who gradually discovers her feminine side as the book progresses.
Two people are murdered at the beginning of the book and Lord Vetinari is poisoned though not fatally. These two whodunit themes intertwine throughout the book, making it a murder / mystery story as well as an imaginatively humourous book and a voyage of discovery for some of the characters and for the reader. Highly recommended. Reading ‘Guards! Guards!’ and ‘Men At Arms’ first would be a great introduction to this book.
This book is as good as Truckers which for me says it all – it was a shame it had to end.