Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
If you pick up a Terry Pratchett book, there are certain things you can expect from it. First of all, you can expect it to be a good read. You can also expect multiple interweaving storylines without any real chapter breaks, very human characters with lovable foibles (even though many of the characters aren’t technically human), and satire. Pratchett’s Feet of Clay delivers on all these expectations.
As the third of Pratchett’s Night Watch books, ostensibly the plot of the book revolves a mystery: who is poisoning Lord Vetinari? But really, the mystery is just an excuse for all the cool Discworld stuff that Pratchett puts into his novels.
First of these is Cheery “Cheri” Littlebottom, the Watch’s first openly female dwarf. As Angua, another female cop, takes Cheery under her wing, expect lots of interesting reading about gender expression. And explosions. Cheery is the Watch’s new forensics guy and her tests tend to explode.
We also get to learn a lot more about Dorfl and Ankh-Morpork’s golem population. I love a good robot story, so I’m picky about how they’re portrayed, but Pratchett does not disappoint. Expect a lot of deep examination of the nature of freedom and slavery.
One of the storylines made me feel like an American in a strange land, though. The characters of Ankh-Morpork are obsessed with finding themselves a new king, but why? What is it with Discworld (and by extension, Great Britain) and hereditary nobility? Where I come from I guess we have movie stars and business tycoons, but it’s just not the same.
Pratchett draws all the plotlines to a satisfying conclusion, as usual, but you should check out this book for the wild ride.