I first read Carpe Jugulum (Carpe Diem means ‘Seize the day’ this of course being ‘Go for the throat’) a few years back when Manda lent it to me and I enjoyed it immensely. Though I will admit when I picked up a copy a week or so ago there was very little I actually remembered about it.
The story follows a family of vampires (mum, dad, two point four children) who after being invited to a neighbouring kingdom for the blessing of the kings daughter attempt to gain control and essentially turn the local villagers into something resembling cattle. That is a large animal to be milked regularly for resources, in this case blood. The only one who doesn’t immediately fall under their spell is Agnes, a young witch with two personalities. It is down to her and her small coven of witches to save the day.
The thing I love most about this book is the way Pratchett plays with the usual clichés in vampire stories. Yes these vampires are hurt by sunlight and garlic and religious icons, but their father has slowly been building up their exposure to them so the effect is lessoned. Then of course there is the young vampire girl, Lacrimosa, a character who I absolutely love. Not only does she have a delightfully twisted personality, but Pratchett has taken every goth/vamp stereotype going and reversed them. She wants to wear bright colours and stay out ’til noon. Some of her friends have even taken on new names, such as Gertrude and sit around pretending to drink wine, when in reality it’s only blood in a glass. This on it’s own would make it one of my favourite books.
As to what happens to the vampires in the end, well you’ll just have to read the book.