The Illustrated Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was the first novel from Terry Pratchett I ever read and this latest hardback release adds some beautiful artwork by Paul Kidby. The story takes place in Ankh-Morpork and has two major plots which eventually twine around each other with humour, satire and an all too real reflection of the real world and our society. The first story is all about Carrot who as a baby was the only survivor of a wagon party destroyed in the mountains, taken in by dwarfs he was raised but eventually his adopted parents had to reveal the truth and he was sent to the city to have a human made of him. As a volunteer for the City Watch he ends up being dumped into the Night Watch and well the rusty wheels finally begin to turn and the City will never be the same. The second story is the devious plan of an unknown individual influencing the members of a secret society to use magic to create a dragon and use it to punish those that believe to have done them wrong and eventually to set the scene for a "hero" to appear, banish the dragon, unseat the Patrician and install said devious dude in the position of power. Naturally a revitalised Night Watch and the Plot to destabilize the city clash and well by then you will be enamoured with the characters, writing and sheer style that was Terry Pratchett.
Just finished the novel again as part of my Discworld from start to finish reading adventure and it still ranks up there although part of the that is certainly because it was my first and Terry got to know these characters far better as he went on and wrote them with more complexity in latter novels. That said Guards! Guards! is always the first I'll get off the shelf when I fancy a visit to the Disc.
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