Mark Reads ‘Monstrous Regiment’: Part 14

In the fourteenth part of Monstrous Regiment, the soldiers finally reach the Keep. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

There is still SO MUCH of this book left, I have no idea what’s going to happen next, HOW IS THIS BOOK REAL.


I mentioned this before, but there’s a rich fabric of character conflicts in this book, and I’m only just now getting a grasp on how Pratchett is pushing them all towards some sort of thunderous resolution. I say that because I feel like there has to be some big confrontation between Blouse and Jackrum by the novel’s end. Just in these twenty-odd pages or so, the two of them bicker and argue and quietly insult one another and LOUDLY insult one another. They disagree on tactics. They question the authority of the other. It’s a disaster waiting to happen in that sense because the two of them won’t ever see eye-to-eye. How can they? Jackrum thinks Blouse is unqualified and a fool; Blouse believes Jackrum is a hypocrite and prone to violence for the sake of it. 

If there is a way for these two not to come to blows, though, it’s in Polly. She’s got a knack for getting Blouse and Jackrum to be honest with her, as if they’re the only person confiding in her. She can also play them to her own end, and the last line in this split is evidence of that. If she can get Blouse and Jackrum on her side, perhaps she can get into the Keep, find her brother, and then get the hell out. 

I’m still worried, though. Jackrum is particularly frustrating during this, especially once he was called out for lying to Blouse. He’s so goddamn STUBBORN. So, what happens if he suspects that Polly is trying to manipulate him? What if he sabotages her attempt to get into the Keep? SEE, I HAVE EVERY REASON TO BE WORRIED, OKAY.

The Spies

As much as Jackrum despises Blouse, though, there’s another reason that I suspect fuels his dislike of him: he’s really good at WEIRD SHIT. He has an analytical mind, and it manifests here when he figures out that there’s a way he can trick the signals and intercept a message for the Zlobenian spies. His plan is SO BRILLIANT that it pisses Jackrum off. Jackrum didn’t think of it, and he can’t control the execution of it OR the outcome. He has nothing to do with Blouse’s misdirection, and LORD, does it bother him. 

They’re gonna fight, y’all. I CAN FEEL IT.


HOLY SHIT, THIS LITTLE ASIDE WAS SO GREAT! As I said on video, I wonder if the “hallucination” that everyone experienced earlier was just the group nearly discovering Buggy and Morag. BECAUSE VIMES IS HAVING THEM SPIED ON. So he knows they’re coming for the Keep!!! He knows that there are very, very few of them left, and that they’ve somehow survived despite overwhelming odds. Does he care enough to stop them? Does he want them to have a victory? Mostly, I got the sense that he couldn’t stand how war-obsessed these countries were, so he was gonna derive as much amusement from this predicament as he could. Well… the whole coffee bit suggests that he does want to help, so… I AM VERY INTERESTED.

The Secret Entrance

Oh, the beautiful, beautiful irony that the Keep does have a secret entrance, and it’s for the washerwomen. Meaning that the soldiers will have to “disguise” themselves as women in order to get inside. There’s not much of a plan beyond that, and Polly knows it. But as she’s gotten closer to the Keep and practically every possibility for her brother was eliminated, she’s become a bit one-track in her motivations. Look, I’m worried about another thing: What if Paul isn’t in the Keep??? She doesn’t seem at all prepared for that outcome. And in terms of the “invasion,” she doesn’t have a plan to stop that, either. OH, THIS IS SO MUCH, Y’ALL. It’s a great way to build tension through a character. Polly is cunning and crafty, and that’s helped her to make it this far. But it’s not a solution in and of itself, you know? So even if she convinces Blouse through manipulation, that’s still not necessarily enough. 

And what of the others? How is this going to affect Wazzer’s perception of and devotion to the Duchess? Hell, even Polly starts to question divine intervention after she, Maladict, and Wazzer are saved from some Zlobenian soldiers on patrol. Was that really a coincidence, or was Wazzer right the whole time?

Whew, this is so great. I need more!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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