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Thief of Time    by Terry Pratchett order for
Thief of Time
by Terry Pratchett
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Thief of Time is the 26th Discworld novel, but, it must be admitted, one for the series' adoring fans and not really for anyone new to Pratchett's universe. Only one (or do I mean two?) main characters are new; the rest are old and dear friends - such as Death himself, the Death of Rats and his raven friend with a taste for eyeballs, Death's granddaughter Susan the schoolteacher, the Auditors, Nanny Ogg the second witch, and of course an Igor.

In minor parts we meet an unkillable yeti; Auditors who have taken human form and are rapidly being corrupted by chocolates; and the Abbot of the Monks of History, who is in the process of reincarnation and is easily distracted by rusks, toys and the urgent need for his potty. Towards the end we also meet Ron, the Fifth Horseman of the Apocolypse, in a walk-on part. The story is about the making of the world's first truly accurate clock, after which of course there will be no more need for Time - or anything else much. Lu Tze, one of the Monks of History, races to prevent this with the help of Lobsang Ludd, a very junior monk with hidden talents and a mysterious connection with the clockmaker, Jeremy Clockson.

As usual the book is crammed full of wit, humour and playfulness, but the wit is more subtle perhaps than the author's usual fare. And the need to elucidate the problems of Time, upon which the story is hinged, takes up just a little too much Space. Fans will love Thief of Time; newcomers should pick an earlier book (any earlier book) to start with.

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