This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
I started reading this book with very mixed feelings. Yes, another City Watch book. Another dose of Samuel Vimes, one of my all-time favourite characters. But it is also one of the very last books Terry Pratchett has written and the last City Watch book there will ever be.
Sam Vimes goes on holiday in the countryside. A lazy, slow area behind Ankh-Morpork and behind the times. But dark and dangerous nonetheless. And naturally, crime follows a policeman everywhere — even on the vacation.
The stakes are high, but Sam Vimes is growing in power and influence and there’s now a bit of supernatural on his side as well.
Reading the last few City Watch books, I did have the feeling that everything was escalating and it had to hit the ceiling at some point. Or the series could just end on a high note wrapping everything up.
Which it did, nicely.
There’s nothing final about this particular book other than — like always — it ties up all the loose ends and leaves no question unanswered.
So I don’t actually know whether the feeling of closure is because I knew it’s the last one or whether Pratchett had such suspicions himself and put them in the writing. But I definitely felt it.
As a sidenote, I have a strong suspicion that this book contains a lot of Jane Austen references, but having never read any of her works, I can’t comment on how many or whether they’re any good. This is Discworld, however.
As always, if you’re interested in Discworld, but are intimidated by the sheer number of volumes, you could do much worse than start with Guards! Guards! and sticking to the City Watch novels.