In the eighteenth part of Thief of Time, everything coalesces. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
This section had such an entertaining pace! So since things jumped from one scene to the next so rapidly, I’ll talk about the plots separately so I can try to get everything.
Death vs The Auditors
This is about the one thing here that felt the most elusive to me, but only because I haven’t figured out the logistics of the battle that Death waged on the Auditors. Much of what he focuses on throughout his scene is the growing humanity of these beings, all of whom have become – for lack of a better word – infected by their new proximity to humans. Their attempt to freeze the universe in an unchanging, “perfect” state may have succeeded in this specific moment, but none of the Auditors expected that humanity would begin to seep into their consciousness. It’s why the appearance of Ronnie feels so fitting: human bodies and minds and emotions are utter chaos to the Auditors. So what is it that the Four Horsemen can DO with that? After the other three horsemen arrive to complete their ride, they fall in step with Death’s plan: to ride against the Auditors, not humanity. It’s a brilliant twist that unfortunately doesn’t really work because… well, the Auditors might be flirting with humanity, but they’re still Auditors! How can Famine work on beings that still haven’t learned to eat? What of War, who can’t compel the Auditors to fight amongst themselves? (Lu-Tze does a much better job of that, for the record.) Or Pestilence, who can’t make Auditors suffer from even the common cold? What can they actually achieve?
There’s also the complication of the Angel of the Iron Book, who USED to be the angel meant to blow the trumpet over the End Times, but who waited thousands of years only to discover that they were edited out of the Book of Om. It’s a clever punchline about the shifting nature of belief, but what other purpose did they serve? To point out that Chaos was missing to Mrs. War? I’m not sure what their presence meant, y’all. Perhaps there will be a justification for them in the next part.
Regardless, I was very thrilled by Robbie’s reunion with the other horseman. I HOPE THIS MEANS THAT THEY WON AGAINST THE AUDITORS. How they did so is still a mystery to me, but I’m eager to find out.
Everyone forgets about Rule One!!! EVEN THE AUDITORS!!! Oh, I’m so pleased that my prediction about the yetis and their whole time borrowing thing came to fruition. It worked!!! Lu-Tze not only pulled off something that no human had ever done, but he used it to surprise Mr. White’s mouth open so he could shove a chocolate-covered coffee bean into it. (Bless this book for allowing me to type that sentence and allowing it to be an accurate summary of what happened.) (Also, I need to state it again: I truly believe that coffee and chocolate are amongst the most holy flavor combinations in the world.)
Lobsang and Susan
I can see now that one of the final things that will need to be resolved is the central question of identity: Who is Lobsang now? Was he always meant to be one person, but got split by his very strange birth? Is he now complete? And what does that person look like? Act like? Believe in? From what I can gather based on his interactions with Susan in this section, he FEELS like the Lobsang I knew throughout the book, just… more excited? More certain? Yet I don’t know if that comes from being united with his other half, you know???
I am gonna guess: We’ll find out now that Susan, guided by Lobsang to the clock and kept whole, is about to destroy the damn thing. There’s got to be a resolution to this, right?
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