Imagine for a moment that Father Christmas has disappeared and Death himself has decided to take up the open position.
That’s pretty ridiculous… but that is the gist of Hogfather.
Except there is no Father Christmas. Instead, there is a jolly old God who flies around in a sleigh pulled by magic hogs (the Hogfather), bringing toys and oranges to all the good little boys and girls.
This Hogswatch something is awry. An assassin has been hired by the Auditors of Reality to dispose of the Hogfather. Death has decided that in order to save the world, he must deliver all the presents. The wizards of the Unseen University begin creating all kinds of silly Gods. Basically, nothing is as it should be, and it is up to Susan to save the day.
Susan is a no-nonsense governess who has no time for silly made up stories intended to make children behave. Instead, she is all about truth and practicality. Somehow she gets swindled into saving Hogswatch and investigating the disappearance of the beloved holiday figure.
Will Susan succeed?
Will Hogswatch be saved?
I’m not going to spoil the ending so you’ll have to actually read the book to find out the particulars.
However, I will tell you that this story was a delightful Christmas read. It’s short and sweet and doesn’t demand much of your brain post Christmas dinner. It’s entertaining and turns all the Christmas traditions we know and love on their heads, creating Terry Pratchett’s very own festive holiday: Hogswatch.
So who will this story appeal to? Everyone. Or at least everyone who likes a bit of comedy with their fantasy. Both long time fans of the Discworld books and new readers can enjoy this standalone story. However, if you have established yourself as a very serious person who doesn’t like any kind of silliness then this book might not be for you.
Overall I give Hogfather 4/5 stars for being just the festive book I needed for this holiday season. Everyone should definitely give it a try.