Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19)

By Terry Pratchett

Rating: 4 stars

Someone’s poisoning the Patrician, golems are lurking and it’s up to Sam Vimes to sort things out.

The main themes that Pratchett seems to be mulling on in this book are the nature of freedom, its limits and responsibilities, as well as leadership and what makes a ruler. There’s both cynicism and pragmatism in the line “They think they want good government and justice for all, Vimes, yet what is it they really crave, deep in their hearts? Only that things go on as normal and tomorrow is much like today.” It’s something that Pratchett will come back to and is worth bearing in mind when we think of our own democracy and what makes people vote in the ways that they do.

I really like Feet of Clay: the humour is sparkling, the use of language masterful and the characters spot on. Vimes has that smouldering anger that makes him Vimes, Carrot is cheerful and innocent, with a rod up him and we find hidden depths to Nobby Nobbs. This book also introduces us to the delightful Corporal Littlebottom, a dwarf who just wants to express herself (one shade of lipstick at a time).

Book details

ISBN: 9780552142373
Publisher: Corgi
Year of publication: 1996

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