In the fourteenth part of Thief of Time, I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN TRICKED THIS WAY, I WILL NOT FORGIVE ANY OF YOU FOR THIS NOW OR FOREVER. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
I JUST WANT TO YELL AT ALL OF YOU AND MAKE THAT THIS WHOLE REVIEW BUT THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER COOL THINGS ASIDE FROM RONNIE so I will calm down and be something like an adult or… something.
Lu-Tze and Susan
I’m a big fan of converging storylines in books with ensemble casts. (And it’s about the ONLY reason I am interested in watching Game of Thrones these days, but that’s a completely different thing.) Now, from very early on in Thief of Time, it felt obvious that Susan, Lu-Tze, and Lobsang would have to converge on Ankh-Morpork, since they were all after the Glass Clock. I didn’t expect that the Clock would get completed so early, though, and so I wasn’t preparing myself for these people to meet AFTER time had stopped.
Pratchett does a fine job building up the urgency of all of this, initially through Lobsang’s journey in the city. I now understand why Lu-Tze was so particular about Lobsang not touching anything while he was slicing time. IT’S ACTUALLY INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TO DO SO. So, Lobsang has to navigate through this physical space without touching anything, unaware of what has happened to Lu-Tze (and why he has seemingly disappeared), and then, Susan arrives. And when Susan arrives… oh lord, this gets so good.
It’s bewildering for Lobsang, namely. Like, he’s barely started training with a mentor like Lu-Tze, and then he meets this woman who is intimidating and who seems to know so much more than he does, and WHAT IS HE SUPPOSED TO DO??? Plus, she is – and I’m using her words here – calculating towards Lobsang. There’s that bit where she criticizes him for being a hero, where she argues that if he’d concerned himself with stopping the clock, they’d all be fine. However, I understand why Lobsang behaved as he did, and I don’t know that I’d agree that he was being heroic. Lu-Tze was his only connection to this world of time travel and to the Clock. Of course Lobsang is competent and skilled, but he’s still so young, and when Lu-Tze appeared injured, Lobsang ran to him because he cared. Who else has shown Lobsang the kind of respect he’s gotten from Lu-Tze?
And look, Susan doesn’t have as much of a personal stake in this. She’s far more experienced with the inherent weirdness of the world than Lobsang. That’s not to suggest that she doesn’t care about the outcome, though, because she very much does. But these characters come from such different places, and so it’s really rewarding as a reader to see them interact.
One thing that wasn’t clear to me before, though, was what the Auditors were going to do after time stopped. Well, there’s another complication that I hadn’t anticipated: WHERE IS JEREMY? He wasn’t “frozen” in the room with Igor and Dr. Hopkins. Did Lady LaJean take him with her? And I was unnerved by what Lobsang and Susan witnessed, because what are the Auditors meeting for? Are they about to decide what to do with humanity?
ESTABLISHED. WITH NO DATE. BECAUSE HE’S BEEN AROUND FOREVER. Oh my god, how much were all of you cackling every time I wondered what Death was going to do after the other horsemen rejected him? BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DID NOT EVEN THINK TO GUESS THAT THERE WAS A FIFTH HORSEMAN WHO LEFT THE GROUP BEFORE THEY GOT FAMOUS. Wait, what was that period like? So did these five beings exist and were just super bored the whole time until humanity came around? PROBABLY.
Oh my god, I need to know approximately four thousand things about Ronnie.
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