Pyramids (Discworld Series #7)

Pyramids (Discworld Series #7)

by Terry Pratchett

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, August 27


Pyramids is the seventh book in the award-winning comic fantasy Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.

In Pyramids, you'll discover the tale of Teppic, a student at the Assassin’s Guild of Ankh-Morpok and prince of the tiny kingdom of Djelibeybi, thrust into the role of pharaoh after his father’s sudden death. It's bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn't a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. First, there's the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad — a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal—not to mention a headstrong handmaiden—at the heart of his realm.

Sometimes being a god is no fun at all...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062225740
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Series: Discworld Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 65,739
Product dimensions: 4.36(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nothing but stars, scattered across the blackness as though the Creator had smashed the windscreen of his car and hadn't bothered to stop to sweep up the pieces.

This is the gulf between universes, the chill deeps of space that contain nothing but the occasional random molecule, a few lost comets and...

...but a circle of blackness shifts slightly, the eye reconsiders perspective, and what was apparently the awesome distance of interstellar wossname becomes a world under darkness, its stars the lights of what will charitably be called civilization.

For, as the world tumbles lazily, it is revealed as the Discworld — flat, circular, and carried through space on the back of four elephants who stand on the back of Great A'tuin, the only turtle ever to feature on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, a turtle ten thousand miles long, dusted with the frost of dead comets, meteor-pocked, albedo-eyed. No one knows the reason for all this, but it is probably quantum.

Much that is weird could happen on a world on the back of a turtle like that.

It's happening already.

The stars below are campfires, out in the desert, and the lights of remote villages high in the forested mountains. Towns are smeared nebulae, cities are vast constellations; the great sprawling city of Ankh-Morpork, for example, glows like a couple of colliding galaxies.

But here, away from the great centers of population, where the Circle Sea meets the desert, there is a line of cold blue fire. Flames as chilly as the slopes of Hell roar toward thesky. Ghostly light flickers across the desert.

The pyramids in the ancient valley of the Djel are flaring their power into the night.

The energy streaming up from their paracosmic peaks may, in chapters to come, illuminate many mysteries: why tortoises hate philosophy, why too much religion is bad for goats, and what it is that handmaidens actually do.

It will certainly show what our ancestors would be thinking if they were alive today. People have often speculated about this. Would they approve of modem society, they ask, would they marvel at present-day achievements? And of course this misses a fundamental point. What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?"

In the cool of the river valley dawn the high priest Dios opened his eyes. He didn't sleep these days. He couldn't remember when he last slept. Sleep was too close to the other thing and, anyway, he didn't seem to need it. Just lying down was enough-at least, just lying down here. The fatigue poisons dwindled away, like everything else. For a while.

Long enough, anyway.

He swung his legs off the slab in the little chamber With barely a conscious prompting from his brain his right hand grasped the snake-entwined staff of office. He paused to make another mark on the wall, pulled his robe around him and stepped smartly down the sloping passage and out into the sunlight, the words of the Invocation of the New Sun already lining up in his mind. The night was forgotten, the day was ahead. There was much careful advice and guidance to be given, and Dios existed only to serve.

Dios didn't have the oddest bedroom in the world. It was just the oddest bedroom anyone has ever walked out of.

And the sun toiled across the sky.

Many people have wondered why. Some people think a giant dung beetle pushes it. As explanations go it lacks a certain technical edge, and has the added drawback that, as certain circumstances may reveal, it is possibly correct.

It reached sundown without anything particularly unpleasant happening to it,* and its dying rays chanced to shine in through a window in the city of Ankh-Morpork and gleam off a mirror.

It was a full-length mirror. All assassins had a full-length mirror in their rooms, because it would be a terrible insult to anyone to kill them when you were badly dressed.

Teppic examined himself critically. The outfit had cost him his last penny, and was heavy on the black silk. It whispered as he moved. It was pretty good.

At least the headache was going. It had nearly crippled him all day; he'd been in dread of having to start the run with purple spots in front of his eyes.

He sighed and opened the black box and took out his rings and slipped them on. Another box held a set of knives of Klatchian steel, their blades darkened with lamp black. Various cunning and intricate devices were taken from velvet bags and dropped into pockets. A couple of longbladed throwing tlingas were slipped into their sheaths inside his boots. A thin silk line and folding grapnel were wound around his waist, over the chain-mail shirt. A blow-pipe was attached to its leather thong and dropped down his back under his cloak; Teppic pocketed a slim tin container with an assortment of darts, their tips corked and their stems braille-coded for ease of selection in the dark.

He winced, checked the blade of his rapier and slung the baldric over his right shoulder, to balance the bag of lead slingshot ammunition. As an after-thought he opened his sock drawer and took a pistol crossbow, a flask of oil, a roll of lockpicks and, after some consideration, a punch dagger, a bag of assorted caltraps and a set of brass knuckles.

Teppic picked up his hat and checked its lining for the coil of cheesewire. He placed it on his head at a jaunty angle, took a last satisfied look at himself in the mirror, turned on his heel and, very slowly, fell over.

It was high summer in Ankh-Morpork. In fact it was more than high. It was stinking.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Pyramids 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Zhadi More than 1 year ago
Here we go again on Discworld. Pratchett is mixing an hilarious take on a stiff and unchanging tradition with his blend of twisted logic and magic. All the myths about pyramid power are here- sharpening blades, prolonging life, preserving food and then there are a few Prachett made up himself. There is a reluctant king, a beautiful slave girl, a "Zorro" figure and lots of laughs. And don't forget the importance of a thirsty camel. Finally, as in all Terry Prachett books there is an underlying social commentary. What should we do with our land and other resources? And is eternal life really something to be sought?
polarbear123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wyrd Sisters was good stuff but not Pratchett's best. 'Pyramids' sees Pratchett back to his best. The humour is great and the storyline is gripping from start to finish. There is so much in this novel to get your teeth into. Keeping me coming back for more no doubt.
comfypants on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The seventh Discworld book. It has entirely new characters (except for a brief cameo by Death, of course), none of whom I found particularly great. And judging by a glance a Wikipedia, none of them return later, so I might suggest skipping this one. But I won't suggest that, because it's reasonably funny. It's not hilarious - I find Pratchett's best humor is when it comes from funny characters rather than from jokes or parody - but it's reasonably funny. I'm a little disappointed that so far most of the Discworld series all basically have a variation on the same plot. The form the variation takes in this one is fairly clever, though.
Orangez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've finished this book in a record time (and i'm a rather slow reader in the English language). As with all of Pratchett's books you can see every little detail in your minds eye. The characters are funny and well rounded. Teppic is a true leader that learns a couple of valuable lessons along the way. The 'sidekicks' involve a camel with the name 'Youbastard' that is the most knowledgeable being on the matter of math. Just a great read. One of the best in the Discworld series if you ask this Pratchett nutt.
SimoneA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this satire on religion/ancient Egypt. I wouldn't mind seeing some of these characters back in the series.
jnicholson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Teppic's father dies the night he graduates from the Assassins Guild, he returns to the old kingdom to make some big changes. Unfortunately, the old kingdom is determined to stay old. This is one of Terry's best works, with entirely new characters and some interesting background on Ephebe and Tsort.
rakerman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some amusing physics stuff, as I recall.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Discworld is always enjoyable, and the 7th in the series always makes me laugh. Pyraid builders, embalmers, quantum math, camels as mathematicians,and the assassin's guild. Plenty of puns, and best of all a dinner of philosphers.
eddy79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Standard Discworld fayre, this a standalone tale (i.e. not connected to the Witches, Death, the Watch, etc) and is a nice change of pace for the series, a chance to see other parts of the world. though some of the later description isn't particularly clear to this reader (I may have been really tired!), it is still a good read
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the only book in which the main characters don't reappear anywhwere in the series. Not a bad plot and some decent humour, but not up to the standards of the later Discworld books.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Assassins, ancient priests, giant crocodiles and math... a combination like no other - worth reading for You Bastard, and the tortoises, if nothing else.
shavienda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first discworld I didn't completely enjoy from start to finish. It started to lose me near the end of the novel, and I found myself wishing that it would just END already. I think it's time for a break from discworld novels.
ravenwood0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Prince Teppic was finishing his test to become an official Assassin of the Assassin's Guild the last thing he expected was automatically giving it up to take up the throne and Godhead of Djelibeybi. Brought into the modern world with his years in Ankh-Morpork he stood the entire ancient society of his homeland on its head when he came home. To think that the newly crowned Pharaoh would care about who served under him and that he would want to do a few things on his own?!
ngeunit1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 7th Discworld novel and the first in the small "Ancient Civilizations" storyline (kinda a one-off compared to the rest). The book tells the story of the Discworld's Egyptian like civilization, that continue to exist in "modern" times. The interesting comparison between the rest of the world and how they live is shown very clearly through the eyes of our protagonist Teppic. He trains in the major city of Ankh-Morpork to become an assassin by trade only to return back to his home town of Djelibeybi, where he must take over as ruler after his father dies.It is quickly shown that the pyramids in the area have mystical powers utilized for their creation, but when these get out of hand, some strange events begin to occur. It becomes Teppic's job to try and fix the city of Djelibeybi back to "normal."This is a very fun Discworld novel and is a bit more offbeat than the rest. It stays fun and interesting and a bit of different perspective. There are some really fun puns and wordplay, alongside the normal great Pratchett humor and satire throughout.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Must say I'm enjoying the journey through Terry Pratchett's witty, weird mind. An almost entirely new cast of characters in this installment of Discworld, very human, ordinary folk who are thrown into extraordinary situations. The result is a funny, madcap spoof of ancient Egypt, legendary assassins, new age occult beliefs and pseudo-sciences, and, well, pyramid power. I swear I heard Baldric (Tony Robertson of Black Adder fame)in there from time to time. Despite the madcap, unpredictable quality of Pratchett's books, there is a sharply intelligent mind there and if you're not paying attention whole strings of references zoom by, never to be caught.
Greatrakes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pratchett is good at what he does; what he does is provide an ingenious, but jaundiced, parody of life - seasoned with puns and prejudices. I doubt he will have a lasting place in the literary canon; his books are really about life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, and his characters all recognisable stereotypes as seen through British eyes. I think the books will become dated and unread within two more generations.Pyramids was enjoyable, but not a favourite. This is one of Pratchett's occasional expeditions beyond his usual troop of characters, none of the characters appear elsewhere (cue for Pratchophiles to point out that I'm wrong). The story concerns the nature and power of belief, the multidimensional nature of the universe, and the importance of camels. Plenty of jokes about quantum physics and Greek philosophy; rather too much about pyramids. My favourite part was the early set-piece where Teppic, the hero, was undergoing his final examination for the Assassins' Guild - perfectly paced and very funny.
symcbean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all the Discworlds books I've read, this does not disappoint. Great light reading.
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a god who walks among men. The entire Discworld series is a joy and only a strange mad creature cursed by gods and man would refuse to read and love these books!
PortiaLong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light fantasy fiction, a quick read. Mathematical multiverse meets magic.
bastet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hilarity. Pratchett is one of the most brilliant humorists around, and this time he has great fun with the ancients.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago