In the twelfth part of Thud!, Angua and Sally learn more about one another as they track down more clues surrounding Hamcrusherâ€™s murder. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read Discworld.Â
Oh, Iâ€™m just so HAPPY that these two characters got to spend so much time together, yâ€™all. I love that theyâ€™re both part-human characters who have some shared experiences, but who have trouble seeing that because theyâ€™re â€œsupposedâ€ to dislike one another. Weâ€™ve seen all of this from Anguaâ€™s perspective, but this long sequence gives us a chance to see things from Sallyâ€™s point of view, too.Â
So, letâ€™s start with Anguaâ€™s search. Weâ€™d been told that there was a strange smell inside the mine, and Angua has tracked it down to a specific high-rent neighborhood in Ankh-Morpork. From here, weâ€™re taken on a strange journey, one that suggests a whole new theory as to whatâ€™s going on by using clues given thus far. Once Angua enters the old well, her skills as a werewolf take her to more dead bodies. Actually, before that, thereâ€™s this:
There were fresh planks in the bottom. Someoneâ€”and surely it could only have been the dwarfsâ€”had broken into the well down here, and laid a couple of planks across it. They had dug this far, and stopped. Why? Because theyâ€™d reached the well?
So, this is the first major wrench in the story. See, I assumed that the well was a secret and intentional way in and out of the mine that wouldnâ€™t arouse suspicion. But there was refuse covering it up, right? And the well entry doesnâ€™t seem to have been used by anyone but Sally. As Angua describes all this, itâ€™s clear that the dwarfs were looking for something, not mapping out a deliberate set of tunnels:
These tunnels werenâ€™t built to last; they were there for a quick and definitely dirty job, and all they had to do was survive until it was done.
Okay… so… what the fuck? What is this? Once Angua finds Sally, the two of them discover more confirmation that this is much bigger than they initially thought. But I love that Pratchett doesnâ€™t focus solely on this. Indeed, some of Sallyâ€™s first words to Angua after she reveals herself echo exactly what we heard from Angua. That the other one has things better. Which is so fascinating to me! THIS IS WHAT I WANTED FROM THIS BOOK AND IT IS BEING DELIVERED. Because from Sallyâ€™s perspective, the metamorphosis is easier for werewolves, since they maintain only a single body the entire time. (Unlike vampires, who must turn into an equivalent volume/mass of bats and can only reform once ALL the bats return.) On top of that: female vampires canâ€™t rematerialize clothing??? Thatâ€™s… odd, right?Â
As these two women spend time with one another, though, they begin to get used to the presence of the other, and that is just as fascinating. While there is a competitiveness between them, what Iâ€™m hoping is that they appreciate that they each have skills and talents that make them wonderful on their own. But thatâ€™s going to take time, and Pratchett doesnâ€™t rush any sort of development. As it stands, while theyâ€™re certainly friendlier than they were before, theyâ€™re not best friends or anything.Â
They are damn good investigators, though, and I would absolutely read their body cop series. WOULDNâ€™T THAT BE GREAT. I mean, look at what they discover here because of who they are. They find more dead dwarfs, who were all killed by axe by… something. I assume itâ€™s that thing that frightened off the other thing early in the book. So, the dwarfs were purposely looking for something, found it in or near the well, it murdered a bunch of them near the well… and then what? They brought it back? They brought Hamcrusher back after he died? Why did they even want it? Itâ€™s got to do with all those signs, Iâ€™m guessing. But thatâ€™s just because Iâ€™m assuming Pratchett wouldnâ€™t put them there if they werenâ€™t meaningful. Plus, thereâ€™s that one dwarf who wrote a sign in his own blood as he died. Whatever this thing is, itâ€™s real bad, and they… set it free?Â
At least thereâ€™s some good news here: the fight between the trolls and the dwarfs was barely a fight. Only Vimes and A.E. Pessimal were injured. (Though Pessimalâ€™s injury is kept from us; we only know that he didnâ€™t think it was that bad, others did, and Igor fixed him up.) In short, both parties were just too drunk to do anything? Iâ€™d say that this is anticlimactic, but itâ€™s mostly relieving. For the moment, this disaster has been averted. Of course, itâ€™s only a matter of time. The real anniversary of Koom Valley is impending, and I bet something is going to break out then, particularly if the Watch doesnâ€™t determine what really happened in this mine.Â
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