And Then I Read: THE FIFTH ELEPHANT by Terry Pratchett

Continuing to follow the Night Watch thread of Discworld books, I really liked this one. Samuel Vimes, the head of Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch (their police force) has been assigned an unwelcome duty: to go to the distant and dangerous area known as Überwald as an ambassador representing the city and its home area at the crowning of a new Dwarf King. Fortunately, Vimes will have his high society but no-nonsense wife Sybil with him to help with the actual diplomacy, and he’s also bringing some of his Watch members like the fearsome troll Detritus and the dwarf Cheery. Assisting Vimes is Inigo Skimmer, ostensibly a government official, but he soon proves to have other skills.

Überwald is the mountainous home of many supernatural-based populations of Discworld. In addition to the dwarves, there are vampires, werewolves and trolls among others. Vimes and his group waste no time finding trouble as their coaches are attacked by bandits along the way. Meanwhile the City Watch werewolf, Angua, has also been called home to the area on family business, and her partner, Carrot, has followed her into different kinds of trouble with real wolves. And once Vimes and company reach the Überwald capital for the ceremony, he finds his troubles are only beginning. The Scone of Stone, needed for the coronation, has been stolen, and his police skills might help if he can stay alive long enough to use them.

A fun read, and it fills in background on some of the City Watch as well as the politics of all those unusual groups. Recommended.

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

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