Sunday, 6 May 2012

Review: Pyramids

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is a terrible thing, having your believes destroyed by truth. Sometimes, it is even more terrible to see that you were right.

Pyramids, first published 1989, follows young Teppic, only son of king (Pharaoh) Teppicymon XXVII. He has decided to get his education outside of the small desert kingdom Djelibeybi, so he travels all the way to Ankh-Morpork to join the Assassins Guild. The book starts with his final examination, telling his story in flashbacks as he succeeds.
Shortly afterwards his father dies and the kingdom calls him back home. Suddenly, he has to get used to the old ways of the kingdom again, and he discovers that being king isn't at all as he expected. For example, he doesn't seem to have anything to say.
When the erection of the greatest pyramid ever build (for his father, even though he doesn't want one) tears the whole valley along the Djel out of reality, Teppic, who is not present then, has to make up his mind whether or not he is going to try to go back and save it. Meanwhile, in the kingdom's new reality, all that was ever believed there becomes true, and citizens and priests alike come to realise that it is much more comfortable believing in gods you cannot see (especially the ones with too many heads or legs).

Before I started with Pyramids I didn't know there was an Ancient Civilisation line in the discworld novels. I enjoyed the book immensely, the greatest mathematician of the world was good fun, and the criticism of religion and the unwillingness to let go of the old ways rings very true. Plus, the slow motion climax of the story would have been worth the special effects Oscar, if only it had been in a movie.
Even if you are not interested in diving into the whole discworld universe, you still should give this specific volume a try.

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