Title: Feet of Clay
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 416
Feet of Clay was the first Pratchett book that I ever read, and it’s the book that made me fall in love with the Discworld series. I still think that the Ankh Morpork City Watch books are the best books within the series, and I’m not sure whether that’s because they’re the books that introduced me to Vimes and Vetinari or because they’re just really, really good. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.
In Feet of Clay, the Watch is finally beginning to get into shape, and if you’ve read the later books in the City Watch series, you’ll kind of see how it was in this book that the Watch became an actual credible organisation, rather than a ragtag bunch of corrupt nutters who everyone looked down upon.
Part of that is because of the golem aspect of the story line – it’s their feet of clay which cause something of an uproar in the city, and we get to see the full force of Vimes’ liberal attitude, here. Perhaps ‘liberal’ is the wrong word here, but you can’t deny that he has a strong sense of justice, and justice is justice no matter what species you are.
And there are plenty of other reasons to love this book, too – to start with, a crime has been committed, but nobody knows who did it, how they did it, or what it was that they actually did. Meanwhile, Angua is on fine form, Carrott comes into his element as the Watch is forced to deal with dwarfish politics, and Vimes has several of his finest hours.
Now, I read this book first because it was one of Pratchett’s most recent works at the time, and whilst I do think it’s one of his greatest works, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you start with it. In fact, you’re probably better off with one of the earlier City Watch books, or if you read them all in order. That said, it’s definitely one to look forward to, and your enjoyment can only be enhanced if you’ve read the books that came before this, as you’ll pick up on more of the nuances.
And so overall, I’d say that this is an essential book for your collection, whether you’re a Pratchett reader or not. In fact, you should get it whether you’re into fantasy or not, ’cause Pratchett rocks!