Title: Men at Arms
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 384
Men at Arms is one of my favourite Discworld books, but then how could it not be? I make no secret of the fact that the city watch novels are my favourites, and that Ankh Morpork is my favourite city – couple that with the fact that this book was one of Pratchett’s (reasonably) early works, and you can see why we’re on to a winner!
This also happens to be the book that introduces Angua, who would later become an integral part of the Watch. She arrives almost fully-developed as a character, and I think it’s fascinating to watch how Pratchett sticks so closely to that character throughout the rest of the books which feature her, although her circumstances change fairly dramatically between when she’s introduced and where she is by the end of the series.
Detritus joins the watch for the first time here, too – it’s kind of interesting, because by the end of the series, both of them are regarded as veterans of the city watch, and all of the new recruits look up to them. It also features a huge change in the life of Sam Vimes, and I’d say it’s definitely worth reading the books in order if you don’t want to bump into any spoilers along the way.
I won’t go into too much detail about the story line, because it’s actually pretty complicated in some ways, but suffice to say that a plot is afoot and Vimes finds that he’s the poor bugger who has to foil it, as usual. He approaches it in his usual style, and woe betide any criminal who gets in his way. Vimes is my favourite character.
Overall, then, I’d say that this is probably one of the best of the Ankh Morpork City Watch books, if you can even compare the different watch books. Each one of them has a heart and a soul, and this one is no different – it’s my personal opinion that you should read all of the Watch books, and that you should read them all in order. So what are you waiting for? Sign up to the City Watch today – they could use someone like you!