Pyramids is essentially Discworld versus Ancient Egypt. The entire idea of a kingdom that has been stable for so long that they do everything because they always have combined with the idea of spending basically everything on giant pyramids for the dead. Throw in some reality unstability, some worldbuilding on the Assassin’s guild,
Worldbuildingwise, pyramids on the Discworld have this tendency to store time. Each king must have the greatest pyramid of all time. This time around, the pyramid is so big that reality gets a bit broken, sending the kingdom of Djelibeybi into a parallel reality where beliefs become reality.
And the people of the Old Kingdom were learning that, for example, Vut the Dog-Headed God of the Evening looks a lot better painted on a pot than he does when all seventy feet of him, growling and stinking, is lurching down the street outside.
It’s a neat bit of worldbuilding. The beliefs becoming real bit feels a bit redone coming off Hogfather, although to be fair, this is 13 books before that in the publishing order. And it works in both cases.
Characterwise, the main character Teppic is wonderful. He’s the son of the King of Djelibeybi, who has decided that his son should have a well rounded education. So he sends him to Ankh-Morpork to train as assassin. That’s certainly one way to do it. It’s interesting to see the contrast of an extremely traditional upbringing and … well … Ankh-Morpork.
After that, there’s the high priest Dios. He’s been high priest for a long time. He’s a fascinating antagonist in that he doesn’t actually wish harm on anyone. He’s
You Bastard [the camel] was thinking: there seems to be some growing dimensional instability here, swinging from zero to nearly forty-five degrees by the look of it. How interesting. I wonder what’s causing it? Let V equal 3. Let Tau equal Chi/4. cudcudcud Let Kappa/y be an Evil-Smelling-Bugger* (* Renowned as the greatest camel mathematician of all time, who invented a math of eight-dimensional space while lying down with his nostrils closed in a violent sandstorm.) differential tensor domain with four imaginary spin co- efficients…
That is all.
Overall, a wonderful books. Easily among my favorites of the Discworld books I’ve read or listened to thus far.
Side note: Read Djelibeybi out loud. I doubt I would have caught that had I been reading, but listening to an audiobook, it’s a bit obvious.