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Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls It was far away It was a long time agoBut if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again right outside his officeWith his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war drums sounding he must unravel every clue outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution And darkness is following himOh and at six o'clock every day without fail with no excuses he must go home to read 'Where's My Cow?' with all the right farmyard noises to his little boyThere are some things you have to do


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    What kind of creature defines itself by hatred? That is the overarching theme of Terry Pratchett's Thud which is indisputably one of his best works in content and execution and the amount of serious thinking it makes me do after seeing the usual 'mundane' things through the prism of Pratchett's writingLike other Pratchett's later works this book is a departure from the light hearted humorous comedic tone of earlier Discworld books which initially were just smart and witty parodies of fantasy genre conventions but have easily transcended that since Yes the witty remarks dry humor and the moments of pure comedic genius are still unquestionably there but the overall tone has changed It's serious It gets angry It has sharp edges It's not afraid to bite It wants to make you think and maybe chuckle once in a while during it The comedy this time has met the tragedyAnd no wonder for the material it tackles is not light hearted at allIf I had just one word to sum it up the theme it would be Darkness Of course the darkness of underground mines and caverns the obvious one The horrible darkness of bigotry and hatred and prejudice and ethnic conflicts The intolerant darkness of any sort of fundamentalism The oppressive darkness of political intrigues that plow right over the lives of ordinary persons The seductive darkness of mindless revenge And of course the hidden darkness that lurks inside each person Even inside Sam Vimes Especially Sam Vimes No excuses No excuses at all Once you had a good excuse you opened the door to bad excuses Commander of Ankh Morpork City Watch and also the Duke of Ankh and former Blackboard Monitor Sam Vimes is a straight as an arrow copper who may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer so they say but they may not always be right but who is your go to man when manure hits the windmill After all When people are trying to kill you it means you’re doing something right It was a rule Sam had lived by He has been through a lot since his days as a cynical disillusioned drunk in the once dysfunctional Ankh Morpork Watch As time went by he gained a lot a city that miraculously functions and manages to remain stable loyal colleagues who became dear friends and family that provides him the blessing he is afraid he does not deserve But all things gained can be lost and that's something that would worry him quite a bit Vimes had never got on with any game much complex than darts Chess in particular had always annoyed him It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him if only the pawns united maybe talked the rooks round the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves And this time Sam Vimes has enough to worry about Ankh Morpork is not a good place to be right now with tensions from the centuries old ethnic conflicts in Discworld fashion those are between the dwarfs and the trolls at the all time high as the anniversary of Koom Valley is nearing Koom Valley was a place where centuries ago the dwarfs ambushed the trolls Or perhaps the trolls ambushed the dwarfs Nobody knows What they do know is that they are supposed to hate each other because it's always been so For them the battle of Koom Valley never ended and Sam Vimes would do anything to prevent it from replaying in the streets of Ankh Morpork The no idea who ambushed whom Battle of Koom Valley seemed like a throwaway joke in the earlier Discworld books But here Pratchett takes full advantage of it turning the funny on its head making it serious and even tragic at times Because Koom Valley still lives on in the minds of people despite hundreds of miles and hundreds of years and still claims its victims as the dead bodies pile up and hatred is sparked by those who think they see the light or rather the darkness and riots are about to tear the city apart and turn it into another battle of Koom Valley and Sam Vimes is not having it and not even ancient supernatural entities can stop him ‘Given then a contest between an invisible and very powerful quasi demonic thing of pure vengeance on the one hand and the commander on the other where would you wager sayone dollar?’‘I wouldn’t sir That looks like one that would go to the judges’ Pratchett's Ankh Morpork world by the time of Thud has become incredibly complex and developed to the point where the portrait of the city in my mind is as vivid as though I have really lived there The characters are unbelievably alive complex multilayered evolving developing growing and very real yes real despite this being a fantasy world it's firmly grounded in sometimes whacky reality Pratchett excels at so seamlessly combining the comedy and suspense and drama and tragedy often within a single page that the effect is mesmerizing and undeniably incredibly memorable “The important thing is not to shout at this point Vimes told himself Do notwhat do they call itgo postal? Treat this as a learning exercise Find out why the world is not as you thought it was Assemble the facts digest the information consider the implications THEN go postal But with precision” The little details from the father's unerring love for his child view spoilerVimes' semi delirious rendition of 'Where's My Cow?' amidst the destruction in the caves under Koom Valley and his chilling moment of realization that the assassin would easily target his small child hide spoiler