I admit to some hesitation as I started the book ??? knowing how his brilliant mind is slowly being eaten away as I write this ??? but after just a few paragraphs the doubt disappeared.
In short, I think this might be his best book ever. Starting on a very dark note he has the now familiar young witch deal with the hidden ugly side of village life. The story grows to embrace threads that were present from the very first book in the series (the old woman, outcast by the local people) and uses it to talk about the fear of the unknown and how outside forces can use this to break us apart.
I'm sure everybody will read something different into what the dark man represents, but I don't think there is an exact target here; Pratchett is just warning us to be vigilant.
The puns and obscure jokes are as thick as ever. It will take many passes through this text for me to get even half of them (as it should be). Even if he never writes another book (but please please do if possible) I am happy. I hope that Terry Pratchett gets to spend his endless summer running through the fields as a happy little boy once he passes through the door that mortals only pass once.
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