Today’s book is Monstrous Regiment By Terry Pratchett. This novel follows the adventure of Polly Perks, a young woman who joins the army to search for her brother. Like many Pratchett novels, this book uses ridiculous situations and just general hilarity to discuss serious issues such as gender equality, religion and nationalism.
The characters are really the star of the story, and the reader quickly falls in love with them. Plunged into an impossible situation, they have to figure their way out, as only they can. This book also introduces Sgt Jackrum, who quickly became one of my favourite Discworld characters. There are also some appearances from well known characters, though they play only a small part.
It’s difficult to talk too much about the characters and plot of the novel without getting into spoiler territory so I won’t linger. I’ll just say that the character grow delightfully and the plot is fast paced and very interesting, full of twists and turns.
What really sticks out to me when I think about this book is the way that Pratchett mercilessly attacks certain topics, as I mentioned previously. Gender differences, the insanity of nationalism and warmongering, as well as religions fervour and fundamentalism. All these topics are attacked by Pratchett, so much so that you can feel the anger below the pages, disguised by comedy. The fundamental question that is asked in the book is this; is it possible for a whole nation to be insane and what would that look like? Despite being over fifteen years old, the novel feels timely, as many of these issues are at the very prevalent today.
Despite the heavy undertones and subject matter, the novel is still a very enjoyable read. Pratchett doesn’t come off preachy, as it would be easy. Perhaps parts of the book are a bit repetitive but that is fine, it only drives home the message further. Overall, I loved this book. The characters were great, the plot was engaging and the conclusion satisfying. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, and Terry Pratchett in general.