Laura's Reviews > Pyramids

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
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's review
Jul 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: cats, death, gods-need-worship, government, monsters, timey-whimy, zombies

** spoiler alert ** An old favorite that comforted me in my newly Ming-less existence.

Teppic is the crown prince of a tiny-but-functional Kingdom that might be a wee bit preoccupied with death. His mum was a foreigner and extracted a promise that he could go to school elsewhere, before she got eaten by crocodiles. No one seems to question that education elsewhere means the assassin’s guild. So off he goes at 12 to learn the stealthy art of killing, seemingly without much thought about whether these are useful skills for the future god king of the oldest kingdom on the Disc. On his drunken way home from his final exam, he gets a serious case of Fertile Feet and home he goes. He has vague thoughts of bringing the benefits of modern civilization to his tiny kingdom, or, at least, plumbing and mattresses. But the thick layer of tradition – and a certain high priest -- between him and everyone else causes trouble. Meanwhile, an architectural figures out advanced geometry and quantum, and Teppic hires them for an ill advised project. There may be a wee bit of Geordi La Forge and Wesley Crusher lurking in that trope. They build it, and the gods all show up. The problem is solved, in no small part, by the good works of a camel.

This is not Pratchett at the height of his powers. There are a lot of themes – the idea of rightful kingship, of the moral use of power, of the right way to deal with the past, of the old vegetative divinity, of assassins as reasonable leaders – that he plays with beautifully in later texts. But it is a huge amount of fun. And at least one important comma.

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