Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

This book is the reason why I was grinning like a fool in public while I was reading it (I really should know better than to try and read a Discworld novel and hope to look dignified).

The Fifth Elephant is part of The Watch subseries of the Discworld novels and it has His Excellency Commander Sam Vimes going to attend a dwarf coronation as the Ankh Morpork ambassador. Naturally, he finds a crime because Sam Vimes is the Watch.

While he does leave the watch in the capable hands of Carrot, Carrot suddenly finds the urge to resign and authority of the watch falls to Colon, with side-splitting consequences (for the reader. Also, this subplot will make a lot more sense if you’re already familiar with the Watch).

And like the best of the Discworld novels, Pratchett weaves in a deeper meaning, this time looking at the meaning of tradition, living with other races, and how identity (specifically dwarfish identity) is defined.

While I love this book, I don’t think that this is a good first book for people looking to get into the Discworld series because it assumes the reader knows about pre-existing relationships. But it’s definitely a must-read for fans of the Watch. And I don’t really need to go on about the book because I will just rehash my old feelings for the characters (p.s. if you’re invested in Carrot and Angua’s relationship, you have to read this book!)

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