Saturday, June 09, 2007

This morning I finished Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett. This is one of the Discworld series of books.

Back in the late 70's/early 80's, humorous fantasy novels started to get popular. Some of the main authors in this sub-genre were Robert Lynn Asprin with the MythAdventures series and Terry Pratchett with the Discworld series. Since I was reading a lot of fantasy back then, I read a lot of these books as well. I'm not sure if it was my general dis-enchantment with fantasy or actual quality issues but it seemed that the quality of these series started to fall off rapidly as new titles came out. I quit reading them both around the fifth or sixth books in the series.

I was surprised a few years ago to realize that Pratchett was still around and had continued the series pretty much without pause. He had grown into one of the best selling fantasy authors. Even more surprising was that somewhere in the time between when I stopped reading them and when I started again, the quality had gone way up. I've been reading the new ones and going back and reading some of the old ones when I run into them at the library and I think the newer ones are even better than the first ones in the series. One of the reasons for this is that Pratchett uses multiple main characters and locations so he can switch things up when he has run out of ideas for one particular group.

If you're already a fan of this series, Carpe Jugulum is a little more serious than most and is quite good. TIt is centered around Lancre and the 3 witches - Agnes, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax.

If you're interested in starting the series, I recommend reading the first few to get your feet wet and then picking them up as you find them. They are mostly independent stories, not heavily dependent on what happened in the previous books.

Amazon Link: Carpe Jugulum

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