I’m behind on my reviews. I finished Thud! and Sea of Shadows and haven’t yet reviewed either of them. I have a good excuse, though – I’ve been sick all week (and still am). Blech.

So anyway, on to the first book I haven’t reviewed, which is Thud! by Terry Pratchett and the only Discworld book I hadn’t yet read (at least until the next one comes out this fall).

Thud! is another Discworld book about Sam Vimes and the rest of the City Watch. Tension is everywhere in Ankh-Morpork as the anniversary of the Battle of Koom Valley, a war between the trolls and the dwarfs, approaches. A prominent dwarf is found dead with a club beside him and a famous painting depicting the Battle of Koom Valley disappears from the museum. It’s up to the Watch, with a bit of help from “Mr. Shine” (who turns out to be a troll king and not, in fact, a cleaning product), to discover what is going on and the truth nobody wants to hear about what actually happened at Koom Valley.

As has been the case with the last few Discworld books, there is a bit more of a serious note to Thud!. It’s certainly not all seriousness, though, as becomes apparent by such touches as the artist of the stolen painting being afraid of a chicken he hears in his head. Another humorous addition is the Gooseberry dis-organizer with Bluenose technology that Sybil gave Vimes, which is reminiscent of the palm pilot except this one is powered by a little talking imp.

It’s always fun to see how Pratchett takes a fantasy world and illustrates our modern world through it. The “affirmative action” in the Watch that results in the hiring of dwarfs, trolls, a werewolf, golems, and in this book, a vampire always keeps things interesting as all these different species try to get along. Different religions and superstitions are wonderfully illustrated through these various creatures. I also liked the way he poked fun at art and artists and what makes a piece of work actual tasteful art.

I wouldn’t call this the best of the Discworld books, but it was certainly still a lot of fun containing much of the satire the series is known for.