“Guards! Guards!” is a entertaining page turner with it’s mesh of twisted tropes, hilarious characters, and engaging plot. Terry Pratchett’s first Guards book seems to be where he begins hitting is stride as a fantasy humorist.
Pratchett introduces the hero-versus-dragon plot as well as the numerous no-so-hero material veteran guards dealing with an enthusiastic recruit to Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch (Night squad). The veteran-versus-rookie dichotomy is given a humorous spin in the Criminal Guild run city that soon finds it’s only hope of salvation from the a new King Dragon in the detested Watch. Pratchett misdirects the reader into believing the 6’6″ dwarf Watch recruit Carrot (he’s adopted) only to turn the attention to Captain Sam Vimes who begins investigating incidents related to when the dragon first appears. The new characters are wonderfully portrayed and several previously seen but never full developed characters are given space to be fully rounded out while not taking away from the overall story.
As I got closer to the end of “Guards! Guards!”, I found it increasingly harder to put the book down during my work breaks and lunch, which to me is the sign of a book that I have to read again and again in the future.