New Read: Guards! Guards!

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I have been working my way through Terry Pratchett’s epic Discworld series: reading the books we already own or as we get our hands on them. Recently, my dad picked up a copy of Guards! Guards!, the eighth instalment in Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series, but I had to wait patiently for him to slowly read it, before I could get my hands on it in mid-April.

In Guards! Guards!, we return to Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld, as the denizens of the ancient, sprawling, stinking twin-city of Ankh-Morpork are plagued by the reappearance of a fine specimen of the, long believed extinct, draco nobilis (“noble dragon” for those of us, who don’t understand italics). However not only does this unwelcome visitor have a nasty habit of charbroiling, indiscriminately people, buildings and anything else that gets in its path, it soon sets its sights on becoming king, hoarding the great city’s wealth in one giant pile and eating virgins…

To the unlikely rescue comes the drunken Captain Samuel Vimes, the new and overenthusiastic Constable Carrot, and the rest of the incompetent Night Watch. Who, along with the Unseen University’s orangutan librarian, the formidable Lady Sybil Ramkin and a small swamp dragon, risk everything –  including a good roasting – to try to stop this flying menace and restore order to the city, before it and them are burned to a crisp! What unfolds is a riotous adventure, with magic, a secret society, a dangerous theft, a couple of bar brawls, mysterious goings-on, incompetent policing and dragons… really, what is there not to love?!

This has got to be one of my new favourites from the series, although not quite great enough to topple the madcap, Macbeth parody, Wyrd Sisters from its top spot, but maybe equal to the wacky, Egyptian-inspired Pyramids. I have now read eleven of Pratchett’s Discworld novels, of which this is the eighth instalment published back in 1989. However this is a series I don’t feel you necessarily have to read in order, as the stories often follow various different groups of characters. In this case, this is the first book following Captain Vimes and the Night’s Watch, who I know are favourite characters for many. This is my first adventure with them and I look forward to more.

Overall, I thought Guards! Guards! was another excellent slice of fun and adventure, that shows how even the smallest, stupidest or commonest man or creature can make a difference, and it had me laughing-out-loud. The next instalment we currently own is Reaper Man. Great read.

Have you read this? What other Discworld novels have you read?

8 thoughts on “New Read: Guards! Guards!

  1. Vimes and co. are my favorites in Discworld. Guards! Guards! is great, though I think later ones with them are even better. One of my favorites of the series is Nightwatch, although it is the rare one that benefits from reading other Discworld books first (at least enough to know the Guards cast of characters). Anyway, enjoy your forays on the Disc! So much fun ahead 😊

    1. To be fair Carole most Discworld fans would probably say that the first book, The Colour of Magic, is probably the weakest of the whole series. In defence of Pratchett it was the very first book and they just got better and better once he was on a roll. I recommend trying Pyramids, Wyrd Sisters or this before you write Pratchett and Discworld off completely.

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