This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
A clockmaker with a natural instinct for making timekeeping devices of all kinds is hired by suspicious people to build the perfect clock and gets an Igor as an apprentice. Things go about as well as you’d expect under the circumstances.
And since this is a Death novel, He is pretty much absent throughout the book, leaving His granddaughter Suzan to sort everything out (again!). This time, with a help of a time monk called Lobsang.
Despite being entrenched in the wibbly-wobbly as well as the timey-wimey, the plot is quite straightforward to follow. But the characters are wonderful, especially Lu-Tze, Lobsang’s teacher who is basically Samuel Vimes without the drinking and depression. Surprisingly, this is not a bad thing.
It does one of my favourite Discworld things where it goes philosophical about the nature of time, consciousness, normality, emergence and chaos theory precisely when these things are rattling through my own mind. All this while presenting a wonderful little mystery and of course wrapped in excellent humour.
Thief of Time is a little less laugh-out-loud funny than most Discworld novels, but there’s still a lot to chuckle about and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.
While technically a part of the Death subseries, this book is pretty much perfectly standalone and if you like messing with time and taking the piss out of ancient martial arts, it might just be your thing.