Reading Men at Arms and reconnecting with Cpl. Carrot, Cpt. Vimes and the guys felt like coming home. I thoroughly enjoyed Guards Guards! and coming back to the Night Watch was an awesome experience, like slipping back into a comfortable pair of slacks.
The main storyline is a murder mystery, wrapped into the regular Discworld crazyness. This time the not-so-subtle undercurrent is a social critique on ethnic diversity, and as usual, it’s handled with aplomb and buckets of absurdities.
Men at Arms focuses on the different species and Guilds that populate Ankh Morpork and weaves those very closely into the main story narrative.
Apart from the warm welcome with the returning Nightwatch cast, we meet some new recruits. Detritus the Troll, Cuddy the dwarf and Angua the… ehm… Wo…, ehm.. man. 1st rule of the Watch, in the Watch, everyone is a man of the Watch. All of these characters have their own little arc and reading their adventures and interactions was a ton of fun.
Well, it’s a Pratchett novel… As usual I have a whole list of passages that I’ve highlighted, so here’s some of my favorites:
“We’re Watchmen,” said Cuddy. “Our job is to keep the peace.” “Good,” said Stronginthearm. “Go and keep it safe somewhere until we need it.”
What do you think, Quirke?” “I don’t think, Vimes.” “Good man. You’re just the type the city needs.”
The moon was high now, in a sky as black as a cup of coffee that wasn’t very black at all.
Men at Arms is hillarious and smart and I loved every minute of it.