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A good installment, but not up to Sir Terry's snuff
Too much felt like it had been jammed in without a second lookover and gotten past an editor.

Trying to figure out if the back-to-back introduction of goblins and orcs is a build-up to a Tolkien Shout Out where it turns out they're the same species. Otherwise, it seems strange to have both races suddenly show up in the 'verse. (Which is not to say that the goblins aren't interestingly developed and well-done.)

I really hope he doesn't go too much further with Vimes and the Summoning Dark. I *like* Vimes when he's being a Badass Normal. The Summoning Dark looked like lazy storytelling and occasionally a Deus Ex Machina so Vimes would find out things he otherwise couldn't know. Shouldn't the Guarding Dark in Vimes's head be doing something about this?

Vetinari also seemed slightly off- his attention was on the wrong details. Part of me wonders if he's an Author Avatar in that regard, and Sir Terry's going to write his decline into Vetinari.
Good point about the summoning dark/normal thing
comment #12581 Tomwithnonumbers 30th Jan 12
The bit about the Summoning Dark bugged me, too. I mean, it IS a spirit of vengeance, isn't it? It just won't feel right to have such a thing be all 'oh, okay, you bested me, I'll work for you without any ill idea or plan behind it'. It's weird.

comment #14443 LilMaibe 26th May 12
I think it's pretty safe to say that goblins and orcs are not the same species in Discworld. It was pretty much stated outright in Unseen Academicals that orcs were created from human stock, and between the two books it's clear enough that goblins (unlike orcs) are much smaller than humans.

You're right about the Guarding Dark though. If nothing else, it should really be in Vimes' corner when he's trying to figure out if he can trust what the Summoning Dark tells him.
comment #14585 Jefepato 3rd Jun 12
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