NESFA Members' Reviews

coverThe Fifth Elephant

by Terry Pratchett

A book review by Mark L. Olson

HarperCollins, 2000, 321 pp, $24.00

Uberwald was recently added to the Discworld scene in Carpe Jugulum, where Uberwaldian vampires try to take over Lancre. Uberwald is a large country which seems to be reminiscent of German myth -- it's a country with no central authority, inhabited by vampires, werewolves and dwarfs -- and people, of course.

Politics in Uberwald are complicated. Besides the basic three-sided (people don't count) structure, the dwarfs are split and a young werewolf is trying to build up his own organization.

In Ankh-Morpork, Sam Vimes and the Watch are dealing with the mysterious theft of a replica of the Scone of Stone, an especially durable piece of dwarf bread upon which a new King of the Dwarfs sits to complete his investiture. Then the Patrician decides to send Vimes to Uberwald as Ankh-Morpork's representative to the crowning of the next Dwarf king.

As you'd expect, the missing Scone of Stone plays a role as do Capt. Carrot (the 6' adopted dwarf) and his girlfriend Cpl. Angua, a werewolf.

As always, it's a good story, well told and with some moral depth to it, also. (I continued to be amazed at how Pratchett has taken a cute idea and spun it out into a 20+ book series which just keeps getting better.)

See also my other Pratchett reviews: The Truth, Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, Carpe Jugulum, The Science of Discworld, The Fifth Elephant, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, The Last Hero, Jingo, Night Watch, The Wee Free Men

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