Welcome back to the Disc! Today we will be taking a journey through the Valley of the Djel in the country of Djelibeybi. A world of ancient pyramids, over zealous priests and the ever pressing question of what Handmaidens actually do awaits you as we follow a new character we have not yet met in the Discworld.
Pteppic has just graduated from the Guild of Assassins. With the ink still wet on his certificate, he feels himself drawn back to the kingdom of Djelibeybi after the death of his father, the Pharaoh. But Pteppic soon realises that running a kingdom isn’t always down to the king. Contested with the ancient attitudes of his High Priest Dios, Pteppic will soon realise why things haven’t changed around here for a while.
Out of all the Discworld books I have read so far, this one has to be my least favourite. This is definitely one of the weaker books in the series. While it is still an enjoyable read with the usual wit and fantastic character moments from Pratchett, I kind of was feeling very meh until the final act really kicked off which I find I always enjoy in this series.
The plot is what is the biggest let down here definitely. We have the beginning which is really interesting since we finally get see some guild stuff up close, then Pteppic leaves Ankh Morpork and then it stops. For ages. Then it picks up again with a conflict arising at last, dies again for a while and then ends on a great climactic event. It does wrap up quite well but I can see why this one is very rarely talked about.
Pteppic on the other hand is a joyful addition to the cast of characters so far. Sent to Ankh to be trained and arriving back at his home an outsider once again. Something that Pratchett does achieve here is that struggle within Pteppic of where exactly he fits in with everything. There is a real sense of inner conflict here and we really get to see Pteppic grow into his own person while also accepting his own role in the Discworld and not just Djelibeybi.
I’m not sure in terms of the Discworld how often Pteppic will pop up again if he ever will. From the reading order I have looked over, this book exists with Small Gods within a smaller section of the ancient civilizations of the Disc overall. I did highly enjoy a little view into the Assassins Guild and Pteppic’s development overall but this wasn’t as much of an impact on me as Mort or any of the witches novels.
I think I am finally making some progress here. I have no blog tours over the coming months since i am still settling in at a new job and I’m trying to get back to exercise while also not getting infected. But this marks the seventh novel in the series publication order and I hope to get to at least tenth by the time this month is over.