Commander Vimes arrives as Ankh-Morpork's ambassador but he soon finds he's an escaped prisoner--out in the icy woods, wearing only the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya and being chased by a pack of fascist werewolves who don't play by the rules.
Pratchett is always at his best when the comedy is combined with a real sense of jeopardy that even favorite characters might be hurt if there was a good joke in it. As always, the most unlikely things crop up as the subjects of gags--Chekhov, grand opera, the Caine Mutiny--and as always there are remorselessly funny gags about the inevitability of story:
They say that the fifth elephant came screaming and trumpeting through the atmosphere of the young world all those years ago and landed hard enough to split continents and raise mountains.
No one actually saw it land, which raised the interesting philosophical question: when millions of tons of angry elephant come spinning through the sky, and there is no one to hear it, does it--philosophically speaking--make a noise?
As for the dwarfs, whose legend it is, and who mine a lot deeper than other people, they say that there is a grain of truth in it.
All this, the usual guest appearances, and Gaspode the Wonder Dog. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In this book, Commander Vimes (a recent addition to the nobility of the city) is sent to attend the coronation of the new Dwarf "King." Vimes is new to all of this "politics" stuff, as he generally sees himself as a cop first, and a good one. He feels out of his element in this new political arena. Of course, that's why the head of the city, Patrician Vetinari, has sent him on this mission. In going to this coronation, Vimes stumbles upon a plot between a family of werewolves and some of the dwarfs who don't quite like the way society is being liberalized (i.e. dwarfs actually showing that they're female by wearing dresses and jewelry, dwarfs going to the city of Ankh-Morpork to find better lives, etc). They plan to disrupt the coronation, and Vimes finds himself having to stop them.
There are two sub plots in the book, one related, and one seeming to be there just to give some characters something to do. The first one involves Carrot and his girl-wolf, Angua. Angua was supposed to go on this mission with Vimes, but she has disappeared.Read more ›