Guards! Guards! Is about the people in fantasy novels we don’t see much, you know, the ones that storm in during a climatic scene for our hero storming the castle. Only these people are faceless, slain without mercy and never heard from again…Till now.
Guards! Guards! Deals with the night watch of Ankh-Morpok, which has dwindled down to just three. The city runs fine without them, divided into their own guilds, such as the theives guild or the assassin’s guild. The night watch just sort of… exists. One day Carrot, a dwarf that looks a suspicious amount like a human is sent to the city to volunteer for the night guard. No one has ever volunteered before.
“I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You’re wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.”
At the same time a secret society decides that they’re fed up with the unfairness of the city and they decide to hatch a plot. They summon a dragon onto the city so that a chosen one may defeat it and a King once more return to Ankh-Morpok. But the guards are not quite so useless as they seem…
“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”
Pratchett does a wonderful job of playing with the hero-trope in fantasy while at the same time introducing/deepening some great characters. I was thouroughly enternained for the most of the book, but I did think the ending ran on a bit long. All in all, it was alright.