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The Fifth Elephant

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Fifth Elephant (1999) Terry Pratchett (Discworld #24)

Sam Vimes is about to have something really terrible happen to him.

He’s about to become an ambassador.

“Let me see if I’ve got this right,” said Vimes. “Uberwald is like this big suet pudding that everyone’s suddenly noticed, and now with this coronation as an excuse we’ve all got to rush there with knife, fork and spoon to shovel as much on our plates as possible?”

“Your grasp of political reality is masterly, Vimes. You lack only the appropriate vocabulary.

This book is full on snark and I love it.

“It’s over,” he said, as they rounded a corner. “You can tell by the sudden increase in suspiciously innocent bystanders.”

Killing a stranger without malice or satisfaction, other than the craftsman’s pride in a job well done, is such a rare talent that armies spend months trying to instill it into their young soldiers. Most people will shy away from killing people they haven’t been introduced to.

It’s also where one comes to really appreciate Vetinari.

“I really cannot guarantee that sufficiently clever people will be unable to read your messages!”

“Good.”

“But, my lord, they will know what you are thinking!” Vetinari patted him on the shoulder.

“No, Leonard. They will merely know what is in my messages.”

We also spend time with Angua.

When she’s human-shaped she’s just like a human. And what’s that got to do with anything? Humans don’t like werewolves. Wolves don’t like werewolves. People don’t like wolves that can think like people, an’ people don’t like people who can act like wolves.

The werewolves in Discworld are kinda fascinating.

Werewolves sometimes hunt wolves.”

“I’m surprised,” said Carrot. Angua shrugged.

“Why? They hunt humans, don’t they?”

Elsa looked human all the time, even at full moon. Andrei was always a wolf.”

“You mean you had a human sister and a wolf brother?”

“No, Carrot. They were both werewolves. But the, well, the little…switch…inside them didn’t work.”

Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, eBook, Fantasy, Reread
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