Pyramids, Terry Pratchett

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

As the blurb puts it, "It isn't easy, being a teenage pharaoh. You're not allowed to carry money, uninhibited young women peel your grapes for you, everyone thinks you're responsible for making the sun rise and the corn grow, you keep dreaming about seven thin cows and seven fat cows (one of them playing the trombone), and on top of everything else, the Great Pyramid has just exploded because of paracosmic instability."

I'm not sure you could call this the sort of First World problems that confront your average great leader, especially when the rest of the blurb states "And then you've got to deal with all these assassins, sphinxes, huge wooden horses, mad high priests, philosophers, sacred crocodiles, gods, marching mummies, jobbing pyramid builders and Hat, the Vulture-Headed God of Unexpected Guests.

And all you really wanted was the chance to do something for young people and the inner cities."

That last bit kind of makes sense in the current world though, what Young Pharaoh wouldn't want to do something for young people and inner cities. Therein lies the wonderful truth behind the Discworld Novels. They are set in fantastic and unusual circumstances, peopled by characters who are human, dwarf, troll, tortoises and everything and anything in between, and those characters are real, and the situations they deal with are real, and everything is believable, and fun, and true and mad and so much of it rings bells and the whole series is just an absolute joy. Listening to them as a method re-reading them, has also been a particular pleasure.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

“Look after the dead,” said the priests, “and the dead will look after you.” Wise words in all probability, but a tall order when you have just become the pharaoh of a small and penniless country whose largesse—and indeed treasury—is unlikely to pay for the construction of a monumental pyramid to honor your dead father. And particularly when your only visible means of support is a recently acquired qualification from the Guild of Assassins, an association wherein running a kingdom and basic financial acumen were not prerequisites for course entry.

Review Pyramids, Terry Pratchett
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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