Wednesday, 24 May 2000

Terry Pratchett: Carpe Juggulum (1998)

Edition: Doubleday, 1998
Review number: 510

The Discworld novels now have separate groups of characters, who each inhabit their own novels: the wizards of the Unseen University, the guards of Ankh-Morporkh, Death, and, as here, the witches of Lancre. Magrat having given up being one of the coven to become queen, she is replaced by Agnes Nitt, who is basically a caricature of the plump, unpopular teenage girl, and who in addition has an inner voice, the pushy Perdita - because of the saying that inside every fat girl there's a thin one struggling to get out.

The enemies they face are vampires, nobles from a neighbouring country invited - usefully for them - to the christening of Magrat's daughter. They see this as an opportunity to take over the kingdom of Lancre, a new source of food. They are slightly different from traditional vampires; seeking to modernise themselves, they have forcibly acclimatised themselves to sunlight (at least on dull days), religious symbols, and garlic.

This story is actually quite exciting as well as amusing. The novel is one of the best Discworld novels, full of the trademark Pratchett humour (funnier than in some of the series) - I particularly liked the idea of vampire watermelons, which such back.

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