Hmm. I suspect like other early Discworld books (particularly Equal Rites), I'm going to come to like this one considerably better upon a reread. Going by first impressions, it begins with a hefty shower of sparkle, and both dialogue and plot hit high points whenever either of the two female leads (Death's adopted daughter Ysabell and Princess Keli, heiress to the throne of Sto-Lat) or, of course, Death himself appear -- I mean, just the mere notion of Death attending a party or(show spoiler)
is sheer genius in and of itself.
Somehow, though, it's definitely still on the light side of Pratchett, and the main wizard's Death's apprentice plotline doesn't quite work for me -- maybe because Pratchett already did similar things in the first two books (what but a bumbling wizard's apprentice is Rincewind?), only with a pointed spoof of 1980s fantasy conventions added into the mix. I also have to say that the ending didn't quite work for me.(show spoiler)
Well, at least now I know part of the back story of Hogfather, though. And I'm still vastly enjoying this journey through the Discworld universe from the very beginning! After thoroughly having enjoyed several of the later books, it still feels only right to finally catch up with how it all started.