Mark Reads ‘Feet of Clay’: Part 4

In the fourth part of Feet of Clay, Angua finds another clue, Vimes finds a nearly-dead body, and Littlebottom finds… well, I don’t know what. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

Life as a Wolf

THIS SHIT IS SO COOL. It’s weird that while Discworld is a fantasy series, I often don’t think of it as part of the genre in the strictest sense. I’ve never been the biggest fantasy fan anyway, but still! In my mind, this series sits just off to the side of what’s considered fantasy. Yet that’s mostly a silly idea. Just because Pratchett skewers and pokes fun at this stuff doesn’t mean he’s still not a part of it. Let Angua’s perspective in this section act as a loving tribute to fantasy because… well, it’s worldbuilding! Learning how Angua experiences Ankh-Morpork is a goddamn treat, which is why I felt a little sketchy about the whole bit at the beginning here concerning her transformation state. Like… Pratchett spends so much time telling us how interesting Angua’s life is because of how sight and smell work differently for her. So… maybe she doesn’t want to be seen in that transitory state because she’s a werewolf, not a woman? It just seemed a callous way to make another joke about how ~weird~ and ~quirky~ women are.

This stuff, however, was far more interesting:

Afterward, she always remembered the odors as colors and sounds. Blood was rich brown and deep brass, stale bread was surprisingly tinkly bright blue, and every human being was a four-dimensional kaleidoscopic symyphony. For nasal vision meant seeing through time as well as space: man could stand still for a minute and, an hour later, there he’d still be, to the nose, his odors barely faded.

YES. THIS IS GREAT. FANTASTIC. And it all creates a more entertaining mystery. We know a golem was most likely responsible for Mr. Hopkinson’s death. (I THINK. I COULD STILL BE WRONG.) Thus, Angua can’t smell the golem because it’s technically not a “living” creature. However, things are more complicated than that for Angua, especially since she transitions between these two states and is never fully one creature or the other. The best way I could summarize this was that she retained aspects of the other state. Even as a human, scents still had different meanings to her. Thus, when she smells something “muddy,” it’s clear that there’s something left behind. But where in Ankh-Morpork did she smell this before??? I NEED TO KNOW.

The Patrician

I’ve spent my time in the Discworld getting to know the Patrician from a distance. We’re never really let inside his mind beyond some POV sections, and even then? He still feels like someone who exists separately from the entire cast of characters. Part of that is his deliberate way of making himself out to be a mystery. We don’t know what his desires are beyond organization and power and such. Like… what’s his favorite food? Or his benign pet peeves? Does he have any friends? Is he sexual or romantic or none of the above?

Therefore, when Vimes arrives for his summoning and discovers that the Patrician is unconscious due to a poisoning, I just felt weird. This is the Patrician we’re talking about! He doesn’t have weaknesses! Everything is part of his plan! And yet, here he is, delirious, unable to stand upright, and sick. DOES THE PATRICIAN GET THE COMMON COLD. I don’t like thinking of these things!!! It feels odd! (Though I wonder if this’ll add depth to his character beyond what we know. The possibility is too much!)

So, one of the Guild heads poisoned him, right? They all the motivation for it, but I can’t ignore that there’s a high probability that this is connected to the golem murders. Unsurprisingly, this all makes no sense to me. Would the Guild of Assassins lie about attempting to take Lord Vetinari’s life? Not really, and given the price on the Patrician’s head, I imagine they’d be proud of the act. So… someone else? The people responsible for the murders? Because… reasons?

You’re all laughing at me, I know it.


More so than the previous Watch books, this book feels the closest to a procedural or a crime novel, and that’s pretty damn cool. Granted, Littlebottom fulfills absolutely none of the tropes that usually come with an investigator like him, which makes this all a lot more fun. Like the rest of the City Watch, he’s making it up as he goes along. But that means we get to see his observational skills at work, and it dispels the notion that he’s a fool prone to making mistakes. That’s what I expected of him after his interview with Vimes. The dwarf blew up an entire council, so I figured he was a bit of a mess.

But he’s not! He’s unsure at times, he questions what he’s doing at the crime scene, and yet he’s still astute enough to collect a sample of the gunk under Tubelcek’s nails. He also finds another clue: there’s something in Tubelcek’s PUPIL. What that is remains a mystery, since Pratchett doesn’t reveal it in the text. In addition to this, he’s the one who figures out that the Patrician might have been poisoned with his BEDDING. Is he right? I don’t know, but I admire that Pratchett has given a character who so quickly broke the stereotype we might have assumed him to be.

Who poisoned the Patrician????

Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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