5 out of 5 stars

Every town on Discworld has a story about rat infestation and a piper who can blow a magical tune to lead the rats away. Maurice, a streetwise tomcat saw this as a business opportunity and had cobbled together a bunch of rats who had been affected by the same magic as him. They had persuaded a young lad called Keith to be the piper and ‘lead’ the rats away.

The group are on their way to a small town called Bad Blintz and the rats persuade Maurice that this should be the last town that they pull this stunt on. But on arrival, they realise that there is something strange about the town, there are no other rats around. The residents of the town think they already have an infestation and have been paying two rat catchers to clear them. Their food still keeps disappearing and yet the rat-catchers hang up large numbers of tails from rats they have caught. Except these tails look suspiciously like shoelaces.

Malicia, the mayor’s daughter has concluded that the rat-catchers are up to something, but quite what she has no idea. As they investigate more, they realise that the rat-catchers have created a King Rat called Spider. This entity is pure evil and its presence is starting to affect the rats and Maurice realises that he knows what he has to do.

I thought that this was a really enjoyable book and the first set on the Discworld that is specifically aimed at a younger audience with simpler plot lines. However, it is still suitable for those of an older generation though (i.e. me), as the later part of the book really is quite dark. If there was one tiny flaw, things work out too well at the end for my liking. Great stuff and can highly recommend.

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