'Guards! Guards!' was not the first City Watch book I read. But after reading, and LOVING, 'Men at Arms', I just knew I had to get this one. From the start of the book, when the plot was established, and the characters introduced, I knew I was onto something good. I enjoyed the range of characters involved, particularly the obvious differences between Vimes and Carrot. The plot, basically the idea of a dragon ruling a city after being conjured up by a mad secretary, is absurd, but thoroughly Discworld. There is a lot of good humour in here to, much of it is darkly hilarious, but this is a good thing as it contrasts with the crime/mystery atmosphere that surrounds this, and indeed all of the City Watch books. The villain in this is Lupine Wonse, secretary to Lord Vetinari. Apparently from the same background as Sam Vimes, he is a strangely clever, if quite insane character. The way, in which Pratchett shows the whole situation to be getting first out of Wonse's hands, and then spiralling out of control, portrays two things. First it shows, brilliantly in my opinion, Wonse turning from disillusioned and power-crazy, to the maniac he is by the end. This also shows how Pratchett can build up the drama up to the very end of his books. From reading all of Pratchett's City Watch books I can see then is a similar pattern in all of them. They each have a dark and mysterious atmosphere and defiantly the nastiest jokes in any of the Discworld books. Here, 'Guards Guards!' is no exception. My favourite joke in 'Guards! Guards!' is from an incautious Vimes, "Throw the book at him, Carrot ....." Overall ,this is a excellent City Watch book, and probably my favourite Discworld book so far.
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