I've been reading MM's work for years on and off. A lot of it used to go over my head - I periodically re-read Jeremiah Cornelius and piece together a few more hidden meanings within the text. Others like Oswald Bastable I like for their atmosphere. As it was I'd never read Von Bek (Our hero) before. Its very different to other pieces of MM's work in that it is set in a historical part of our world - medieval Germany.
Essentially Von Bek is contracted by Lucifer to seek out the cure for the World's Pain (or the grail.). Whilst an interesting journey with vibrant slightly-larger-than-life characters forms an enjoyable tale, I enjoyed this for similar reasons to Anne Rice's Memnoch. Its interesting to look at the christian mythos from different angles. What if the devil isn't really what we think. What if hes more like us, seeking redemption and meaning than the god he rebelled against? What if he wants to return to his place of grace in heaven? To most of the tales we hear Lucifer is the ultimate evil, the final bogeyman waiting for us behind the door of death - and to my eyes very two dimensional.
MM asks questions like these with intelligence and a certain irony. His books may not always be the easiest to read, but I find them worth the effort of persevering with, even if it takes me some time for the thoughts they provoke for me. TWatWP is something I'll probably revisit in a few years, but in the meantime there are the two further chronicles of the Von Bek family to discover.
Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett
Not finished yet, but it will be later tonight :) The third in his series of Tiffany Aching books allegedly for younger readers. Theres not a vast amount to say really. If you like Pratchett then you'll find him in good form, alternating laughter, irony, and some pointed statements about the ways people see each other into a very enjoyable romp. If you're like me you'll have bought it anyway and be prepared to forgive the flatter novels. If not theres probably not a lot I could say that would convince you to try it, so I won't. For me though it, like its two prequels is some of his better work, and I hope TP's current high form (Wintersmith and the very thought provoking THUD!) continues.