Among writers of humorous fantasy, Terry Pratchett must be the most renowned. His Discworld
series had been read (and loved) by millions of people all over the world, and this twenty-first installment
is no less funny than the rest of his books. However, this book features a slightly darker sense of humour than the earlier books, as we witness the assassination
of the Hogfather
(you know him, big fellow with red clothes and a jolly laugh, hands out presents at midwinter) and its consequences. As it turns out, this devious murder is part of a much greater plot to destroy all of mankind
kind, and troll
kind, etc) laid out by a group of beings called the Auditors
. The true nature of these entities is somewhat unclear, but they seem to prefer a universe that consists only of spherical rocks in elliptic orbits, without the disturbing elements called life.
The disappearance of Discworld's Santa equivalent, of course, leads to several humorous situations as well as the appearance of some quite strange anthropomorphic personifications, such as the Eater of Socks, and the Cheerful Fairy. Our heroine, Susan, is left to sort all this out. She does, however, have certain advantages over normal people. For example, she can walk through walls and become invisible whenever she wants, all a heritage from her grandfather, who we know as Death. (As stated in the book, genetics isn’t all about sex.)
This all adds up to quite an interesting story about human beliefs and superstition, even though it is far from as funny as, for example, Maskerade or Guards, Guards!. I still found it a very enjoyable read though, and who wouldn't laugh at moments like when Death is forced to dress up as the Hogfather and take his place (imagine a seven foot skeleton with a pillow up his robes, practising his “Ho, ho, ho!”). This book definitely has a place in the bookshelf of every Pratchett fan, though I would advice those new to his books to start with another title, such as Mort, or The Colour of Magic.
This is a review I submitted in high school English class. I know, but they don't ask for much either. Node your homework.