Once again events in Ankh-Morpork necessitate that the City Watch buckle down to save the day, so how will the city survive after “Feet of Clay”? Terry Pratchett’s third book of the Guards sequence, sees the very integrated (sans vampires) tackle a rampaging golem and the sickening of the Patrician in yet another monarchist coup attempt but is just slightly lower in quality than the previous two books.
As stated above, the plot revolves around monarchists wanting to return to the “good ol’ days” before Sam Vimes ancestor decapitated the last King of Ankh-Morpork. However, unlike previous times the main instigator has gone for a slow approach so make others accept the candidate he proposes. However, everything is undone by an insane golem roaming the streets that forces the Watch to not only find him while figuring out who is slowly poisoning the Patrician. It turns out that both situations are interconnected, but on the way Vimes, Carrot, Angua, Fred Colon, and Nobby all have to deal with serious issues amongst themselves as well as some new watch members of the integrated force. All told it’s an interesting few days in Ankh-Morpork for everyone involved.
While Pratchett mixes situational humor and wordplay with a very good story, this particular “Guards” book did not feel as up to the previous two. My main problem was that one little subplot felt forced, and that was the citizen impulse to smash golems when they were offing themselves. I guess one could mark it down as public hysteria, but still it felt forced as a way to make the Watch’s common sense approach stop the proposed violence.
However, even though I have one little problem with the book doesn’t mean I don’t recommend it to everyone else that is a fan of the Discworld books. But if you’re a new reader to the series, read either “Guards! Guards!” or “Men at Arms” before this one as both are slightly superior.