Tuesday, 21 August 2001

Terry Pratchett: The Fifth Elephant (1999)

Edition: Doubleday, 1999
Review number: 916

With several of Pratchett's more recent Discworld novels, there is a considerable diminution in the concentration on humour. There are still funny parts, but they are at the service of the plot rather than the other way around.

The world of the dwarves, secretive and separate from the lives of most Discworld inhabitants, stirs when a progressive is elected to the post of Low King. Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankh-Morpork city watch, is sent to the coronation as the city's ambassador, a role he has some difficulty with.

The Fifth Elephant is more exciting than funny, and is well worth reading as a fantasy novel. Those looking for Pratchett's humour should seek out the earlier novels in the series, even if there are still funny touches here with the Pratchett trademark, such as the Igor, identical servants in every house based on those henchmen in horror films.

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