Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
In the third instalment of Terry Pratchett’s City Watch storyline, and the nineteenth novel overall in his Discworld universe, Pratchett introduces yet more ethnic groups into the City Watch and provides us with the most unlikely of replacements for Ankh-Morpork’s Patrician.
One of the continuing plotlines for Ankh-Mopork is the absurdity of its ruler, Havelock Vetinari. A former member of the Guild of Assassin’s, holds the city in what can only really be called a vicelike grip. That being said, he finds himself the target of many attempts on his life and position, although is never really at any harm from them. He runs the cities underworld like he runs the business world, saying that the only sort of crime he likes is organised crime; organised by him!
Naturally, Commander Vimes, once again promoted as a result of the previous books ending, is on hand to help Vetinari out, although it’s obvious halfway through that Vimes’ involvement is purely academic. But together the two make up the majority of power in Ankh-Morpork and two of the cleverest characters ever written.
This story isn’t as good, for me at least, as Men at Arms was. It’s more of a cop novel than a fantasy book, which is brilliant in its own way but not what I expected when I read it so long ago. Subsequent readings have endeared the book to me more and more, but still ranks in under Men at Arms.
That’s not to say the story isn’t clever. Poisoning the Patrician is clever, but who’s behind it and why are they doing it? And is everything as it seems at first blush? Probably not, but with the mass of clues in the way who can tell?
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the earlier Discworld novels aren’t as refined as the latter. Which makes utter and complete sense, but is still a word of warning. When you hear people describe the genius and brilliance behind the Discworld books, those characteristics are set up in these early books and then flourish in latter books. These are books you want to read, as they are clever, smart, and fill in a lot of the blanks on characters you may have read or will read when you get to Night Watch and the like. But don’t expect 10/10 brilliance straight away.
This Feet of Clay book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: The Discworld Series
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In the beginning there was…a turtle. Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smel...
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The fairies are back – but this time they don’t just want your teeth… It's Midsummer Night - no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there'...
Feet of Clay
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For Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, life consists of troubling times, linked together by…well, more troubling times. Right now, it’s the latt...
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The Discworld Series: Book 3
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunatel...
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Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching – a wise shepherd – might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it’s up to Tiffany to...
The Discworld Series: Book 31
Polly becomes Private Oliver Perks, who is on a quest to find her older brother, who's recently MIA in one of the innumerable wars the tiny nation of Borogravia has a h...
A Hat Full of Sky
The Discworld Series: Book 32
Something is coming after Tiffany . . .Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic. She expects spells and magic – not chores and ill-tempered...
The Discworld Series: Book 33
Moist von Lipwig is a con artist... ... and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet. It'...
The Discworld Series: Book 35
Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to w...
The Discworld Series: Book 36
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The Discworld Series: Book 37
Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood ...
I Shall Wear Midnight
The Discworld Series: Book 38
A man with no eyes. No eyes at all. Two tunnels in his head... It's not easy being a witch, and it's certainly not all whizzing about on broomsticks, but Tiffany Ac...
The Discworld Series: Book 39
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam...
The Discworld Series: Book 4
There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven...
The Discworld Series: Book 40
To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of...
The Shepherds Crown
The Discworld Series: Book 41
Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time ...
The Discworld Series: Book 8
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 ...
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