|Terry Pratchett: The Fifth Elephant|
Collins (Hardcover), ISBN 0-06-105157-8
Part diplomatic mission, part trade delegation, Vimes' mission revolves around obtaining the best import prices for the main ore extract produced by the dwarves of Uberwald -- fat. But royal politics interfere. The new dwarvish king cannot be crowned, because someone scarpered with the king's scone, the Sacred Scone upon which the new king must sit in order to be officially crowned.
Throw into this seething concoction a dog that thinks it's human, a dwarf that thinks she's a she, and a bevy of servants called Igor who run a spare parts factory -- spare Igor parts, that is. Any covert follower of Pratchett's Discworld can predict the ensuing hilarity. Come to think of it, any overt follower can too.
In a land of legendary monsters, Vimes faces the unenviable task of uncovering the identities of the real villains in the piece. Could it be Lady Margolotta, the vampire who possesses an uncanny knowledge of Ankh-Morpork news? What about the loveable furry werewolf family led by Duke Wolfgang? Or perhaps the new dwarf king himself?
But at the end of the day, there's nothing funnier than a cop in drag.
Problems? Not really. The Fifth Elephant delivers plot, excitement, romance and good guys who win and bad guys who don't. I found some of the jokes a little tired and a bit repetitious (a common complaint of mine lately). But hey, a Pratchett book always deserves a read.
Stephen John Smith
Click here to share your views.