I believe that Sir Terry is on record as saying "A Hat Full of Sky" is his personal favorite, and I agree that it is a great book, but I have to respectfully disagree with His Grace on this. I feel "Night Watch" is not only the pinnacle of his "Watch" themed books, but the best of Discworld. This book always seems to transport me to Ankh-Morpork and bring it and the characters to life; this is escapism at its best. And Stephen Briggs is, simply put, _The_ voice of Discworld. (Though, how amazing would it be for Briggs and Nigel Planar to team up, each doing the characters they do best? I'm not sure that Pratchett fans would be able to handle the euphoria of that pairing.)
If you've never read Pratchett's work, or are new to Discworld, I think this book could easily leave you wanting more. There are other Discworld books that precede "Night Watch" in the "Watch" arc, and having that background would certainly help make this reading a bit richer. But this book stands on its own nicely and would be a great introduction to Pratchett's work and the massive Discworld series. Be warned--Discworld has driven the most sane and boring of us to ridiculous levels of fanaticism. You may soon find yourself looking for a red pointy hat and a staff with a knob on the end.
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