“People needed to believe in gods, if only because it was so hard to believe in people.” // Review of “Pyramids” by Terry Pratchett

Title: Pyramids (Discworld #7)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Genre: SFF/Satire
Date Read: 11
/12/2016 – 22/12/2016
Rating: ★★★

Review:

This was the first Discworld book I’d read in quite a while, and it was just what I needed at the time. I read a few Discworld books back when I was a bit too young to get them, but this time around, I was laughing out loud.

Teppic is the heir to the throne of the River Kingdom, but he has been training in the Assassin’s Guild in Ankh-Morpok for several years when his father passes away and he has to return home. Having got used to the modern trappings of the city, such as plumbing, puts Teppic at odds with the High Priest, Dios, who insists that millenia-old traditions must be followed. And then things only get worse when the giant pyramid built to house Teppic’s father starts causing quantum havoc and the gods of the River Kingdom start appearing up and down the river.

Given the nature of satire, this isn’t really the sort of book I’m used to reading – the YA ones where I can get completely unhealthily invested in the characters, but the characters were all well-developed in a way that furthered the points that Pratchett was making about religion and sticking to tradition in the face of every suggestion to get with the times. I laughed at Teppic’s awkwardness regarding Dio’s inability to let him actually do any ruling, and I sympathised with the dead former King, who was unable to move on and had to watch all his wishes being decidedly not carried out.

Some of the quantum stuff got a bit confusing, as there would be several versions of the same character, all from slightly different time periods, in the same room at the same time. For the most part, though, I was able to keep these straight. Time travel-type stuff always runs the risk of getting confusing, but I think Sir Terry managed to strike the right balance.

The writing style and narrative voice reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams. Given the era during which the book was written, this isn’t entirely surprising. It is interesting to see how an author aws prolific as Terry Pratchett developed over the course of the series and his career.

As I said, it had been a good while since I last read a Discworld book, but Pyramids has definitely put me in the mood to return to my shelf of Pratchett books and keep working through them.


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