Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finished this Discworld novel so many weeks ago that I can't remember if I was going to give it four stars or five! I think five, so that's what I'll do. I also can't remember enough to give it a decent review, and for that, I truly apologize. I've read too many books in between.
This book is another in the Rincewind the Wizzard series, and it's really very good. In it, he's chosen to go to the Agatean Empire on the mysterious Counterweight Continent -- a place that appears to be like ancient China, with a little Japanese thrown in for good measure. The emperor is dying and various factions are vying to take over upon his death. However, there's an ancient legend that at just such a time in centuries past, a great wizard rose up with his Red Army and won the war, enabling the "right" emperor to live on. Rincewind is supposed to be that wizard, reincarnated. Of course they don't know he's inept. But he's got his magical Luggage with him. And he runs into Twoflower again! Not only that, but he runs into Cohen the Barbarian, who with several other ancient barbarian heroes, have decided to ruthlessly take over the Agatean Empire and rule it themselves. It's seven and against an army of 700,000. They like their odds. The rebels Rincewind encounters are exceedingly polite. Their slogans are hilarious. And of course, as you knew would have to happen, Rincewind saves the day. I won't tell you how, though. You have to read it to find that out.
Interesting Times is an interesting book and Pratchett does a nice job of taking non-pc, yet playful, jabs at other cultures, while still taking a few at his own. I don't know if this is the last Rincewind book I'll read -- I suspect it is -- but the character couldn't have gone out on a higher note. Certainly recommended.
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