My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Once again the kingdom of Lancre is in a tough spot and it’s up to Granny, Nanny, and Agnes to face-off with an enemy whose motto is Carpe Jugulum. In the 23rd installment, sixth in the Witches subseries, of Terry Pratchett’s fantasy-humor series sees vampires, sorry vampyrs, from the country of Uberwald take center stage as they are invited to invade Lancre only to get invaded back.
Lancre is celebrating the birth of Princess Esmerelda Margaret, her father has invited everyone to join the celebration including many foreign dignitaries including the ruling Count of Uberwald. Unfortunately the Count is a vampire, sorry vampyr, which means he gets to come in and take over the place. Of course, Nanny and Agnes instantly know they need to stop this and when they go to get Granny they discover an even worse problem, she’s packed up and left because the Count’s mental barrier is really strong. However after Nanny, Agnes, and their new trio member Queen Magrat herself rejoins the coven and confronts the Count leading to bad results, Granny comes in and seemingly gets defeated by the vampires. However, sometimes a defeat is a victory in disguise.
Unlike some previous Discworld books, Pratchett keeps this one tight with subplots and secondary characters being closely connected with the main story and characters. Mightily Oats, a priest of Om whose been having a crises of faith his entire life, and the blue pixie clan the “Wee Free Men” are some of the highlights of this tightened plot and subplot connection as they are both integral yet separate at the same time to the overall story. While I do not know if Mightily Oats makes a return appearance, I do know that the blue pixie clan’s time in the series I just beginning and I’m looking forward to seeing how their story will develop.
Carpe Jugulum is a very good book, but because of the feeling that it is just Lords and Ladies it falls short of being a great installment in the Discworld series.