A little while ago, I wrote about how much I’d enjoyed Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch and Guards! Guards! before that. I’m glad to say Men at Arms, the second of the five Guards books, didn’t disappoint one bit. Laugh out loud funny, clever, witty and with an eye for detail, Pratchett takes you through another investigation with the Night Watch. The Watch has been ordered to recruit some watchman from other races to reflect the city’s ethnic diversity. The Watch doesn’t understand why; Corporal Carrot, after all, is a dwarf (technically) and Lance-Corporal Nobby was disqualified from the human race for shoving. They’re joined, however, by Cuddy (a real dwarf), Detritus (a troll) and Angua (a female werewolf). Added to which, Captain Vimes is getting married and retiring. But when an ancient and deadly weapon is stolen from the Assassins Guild and is used to murder innocent people, the disjointed team must pull together and rely on each other to bring the perpetrator to justice. So superb it fails description.
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Reviewed: 30th January 2005