A hilarious fantasy, co-written by Terry Pratchett, aged seventeen, and master storyteller, Terry Pratchett, aged forty-three.
The Carpet People is Pratchett's first published work but has been extensively rewritten since then. As he puts it, this is now "a collaboration" between the younger author and the older.
I love Pratchett's Discworld series and the only reason I can't give this book more stars is because his other work sets the bar so high. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The Carpet People feels more like a children's, or young adult story, although if it can be found, it will often be placed with Pratchett's Discworld titles in the fantasy section. The story is a delightful bit of imagination, entire societies coexisting within the world of the Carpet. These tiny creatures go about adventure on the epic scale, with Pratchett's typical ironic observations and humorous interpretations. Our hero, Snibril has to set out on a quest to save a kingdom from enemies and to stop the destruction of a force known only as The Fray.
This is not one of Pratchett's most seamless works by a long shot. I don't think he intended it to be. A lot of the themes and world-building elements he puts into practice for this work are later fulfilled with much more skill and elegance in his Discworld novels and Bromeliad trilogy. For any Pratchett fan, this book is a delight simply from its standpoint in the evolution of Pratchett's writing.
I gave this book four stars because I do not feel it is Pratchett's best work. It shouldn't be, this story was one of his earliest. This is a wonderful way to introduce younger readers to Pratchett, along with his Bromeliad trilogy. If you are discovering Terry Pratchett with this book, be aware that his writing only gets better from here! ^_^
Under the omnipresent threat of Fray and after the destruction of their village, a group of carpet people decide to march against the evil mouls and snargs. Along the way, they meet other tribes with other ways of living and other points of view, and they know they'll have to ally with them in order to win the battle.
What sort of disappointed me is that Terry Pratchett almost doesn't take any advantage of the setting of his story, i.e. an actual carpet, at all and in the end you realize it could have happened anywhere. However, he approaches many great themes, like proving that in union, there is strength, and in a way this is a pretty good early sketch for his later masterpiece: the Bromeliad.