The Fifth Elephant–Terry Pratchett


Two Discworld books in 3 weeks. I know. I’m sorry. I was in a Discworld groove.

I’ve said repeatedly that my favorite subset of the Discworld books is the witches, but my second favorite is the city watch books. This is a city watch book and it’s really good.

It builds on relationships and character information we’ve learned over the course of the several books, which is fairly imperative to fully understanding the book.

Main characters: Commander Vimes, head of the city watch of Ankh-Morpork and recently created Duke of the city due to his marriage to Lady Sybil

Carrot: raised as a dwarf, but actually the heredity king of Ankh-Morpork. He’s a fundamentally good person who just wants to be a good policeman.

Angua: Carrot’s girlfriend and fellow watch member. She’s a werewolf.

Cheery: a dwarf in the city watch, expressing the new (and scandalous) idea that dwarfs can be male and female instead of functionally unisex.

Detritus: a troll in the city watch.

The land of Uberwald–which we met in the last book–is the land of vampires, werewolves, dwarfs and other magical creatures. The dwarfs are electing a new king, and the leader of Ankh-Morpork is sending Vimes, his wife, and the three watchmen that hail from that region (Angua, Cheery, and Detritus) to the coronation.

But Angua’s gone missing. Carrot is tracking her. So Vimes takes Cheery and Detritus.

There are issues afoot. The stone the dwarfs are crowned on (the scone of stone, which is HYSTERICAL if you know anything about how the Scottish royals did things) has been stolen. The replica in a museum in Ankh-Morpork has been stolen, and a man who makes rubber casts of things has been murdered. This isn’t hard to figure out–someone is making a replica of the scone of stone. The question is 1) how did they steal the real one and 2) who’s doing this?

The vampires are far more benevolent in this book than in the last book. The werewolves are a major issue, though. They’re working to destabilize the dwarf political system and trigger a civil war so they can grab power. Bad dogs.

As always, these books are full of clever little gems. I really loved this one. It’s probably one of my favorites thus far.




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