By Terry Pratchett
One rat, popping up here and there, squeaking loudly, and taking a bath in the cream, could be a plague all by himself. After a few days of this, it was amazing how glad people were to see the kid with his magical pipe. And they were amazing when the rats followed him out of town.
They’d have been really amazed if they’d ever found out that the rats and the piper met up with a cat somewhere outside of town and solemnly counted out the money.
The Amazing Maurice runs the perfect Pied Piper scam. This streetwise alley cat knows the value of cold, hard cash and can talk his way into and out of anything. But when Maurice and his cohorts decide to con the town of Bad Blintz, it will take more than fast talking to survive the danger that awaits. For this is a town where food is scarce and rats are hated, where cellars are lined with deadly traps, and where a terrifying evil lurks beneath the hunger-stricken streets…
Terry Pratchett is another author that I’ve been meaning to get to for years. I’ve heard much good about his works and was excited when I was assigned this book for my college young adult lit class. That being said, I did enjoy this stand-alone story that takes place in Pratchett’s popular discworld. The animals were fantastic, specifically Maurice, Ham n’Pork and Dangerous Beans. It was droll and very humorous poking fun at fairy-tales and stories in general in the form of the dramatic Malicia. The most sensible person in the story at times seems to be Keith, the boy piper, who at first comes across as a bit of a dunce. I loved the characterizations of a con-artist cat and his intelligent mice and the ensuing adventure. This story is very entertaining and will leave anybody with a smile on their face. There are times when Pratchett’s style reminds me of Diana Wynne Jones, whom I love to read for her dry wit. I look forward to reading more from Terry Pratchett.