I’m continuing to read Pratchett’s Discworld novels focused on The Night Watch, as I’ve found them more interesting than some of the other Discworld themes. In this one, golems are the focus for the first time. Made from clay and brought to life by magic, they are the least human of Ankh-Morpork’s inhabitants perhaps, but very useful to those who own them. They never sleep, never tire, never eat, and don’t require pay. They tend to be abused therefore, and their only rebellious acts thus far have been to work so hard and so fast that they overwhelm their workplaces with excess product. Now twelve of them have worked together to create a new golem they want as their king, with the help of a priest and a dwarf baker to bake the clay. Meshugah is given to the owner of a candle factory, but conflicting instructions cause him to go on a mad rampage of revenge and destruction.
Commander Vimes is having his usual problems at home and with the upper crust society he’s found himself an uneasy part of. He’s much happier at the Night Watch station house and patrolling the streets. Meanwhile, a plan is made by some of that upper crust to replace Ankh-Morpork’s leader, Lord Vetinari, which leads to him being poisoned and causes the death of several innocent citizens. Vimes enlists the help of a new recruit, a female dwarf, Cheery Littlebottom, who has the skills to become the Watch’s first forensics expert, if not many of the tools. The city’s favorite Watchman, Captain Carrot, and his partner the werewolf Angua are put on the poisoning case, and soon find themselves facing the wrath of the rogue golem along with Vimes.
This was a great read, the characters continue to grow and Pratchett always finds new ways to make them entertaining. The mystery here is a good one, and the book has plenty of action and suspense as well as humor. Recommended.