The Fifth Elephant: A Discworld Novel: 24

by Terry Pratchett | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0552146161 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 10/5/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Thursday, October 05, 2017
This is one of the Discworld books I already knew from the audiobook but bought to read along with Mark discovering Discworld.

The plot:
Commander Vimes is sent to Uberwald as Ankh-Morpork's ambassador on the occasion of the crowning of the Low King. It is entirely coincidence that he's perfectly placed to investigate when the Scone of Stone (needed for the coronation) goes missing. (Or is it?)

Copying from another comment of mine:

This is not one of my favourites, but I found this reread surprisingly pleasant, so it did make it into my top ten after all.

1. Carpe Jugulum
2. Small Gods
3. Maskerade
4. Men at Arms
5. Jingo
-------- (imaginary line splitting special favourites from "normal" favourites)
6. Guards! Guards!
7. Reaper Man
8. The Fifth Elephant
9. Hogfather
10. Witches Abroad

There are a few things that bother me about this book.

One is Carrot's arc. I liked Carrot a lot when he was first introduced and especially loved him in Men at Arms, but afterwards he increasingly started grating on my nerves. I figured that maybe he'd become boring but this book does show some further character development, and I don't like it. I know this is highly subjective, but for me, this book answers the question of whether he's truly oblivious or sneakily manipulative. Gaspode and Vimes wonder a few times about Carrot's motivations, and the hints sort of pile up. The fact that Carrot's charisma helps hide his manipulative side only makes it worse.

Closely related to this first point is Angua's role in the plot. I was actually surprised to learn that Angua in fact did confront her family and even defeat her brother (which was awesome). Somehow I had completely forgotten that (only having listened to the audiobook twice) because what stuck in my mind was Angua ending up in some sort of relationship triangle between Carrot and Gavin. Gavin fetches her to take a stand against her family's machinations and instead it feels like her entire arc revolves around Carrot yet again!

I also was deeply disturbed by Vimes being chased by werewolves. That section goes on forever and is just so creepy and tense I hated that part when listening to the audiobook. That said, it's a lot more enjoyable when I can read the book at my own pace and already know the outcome.

Not to be too negative, there are also quite a number of things I love, first and foremost being Cheery and her continuing development as well as the depiction (and development) of dwarf culture as a whole. Detritus, as always, is a also a delight. I also greatly appreciate Sybil playing an active and important role for once.

Also, the final twists (the Scone, Dee, the Low King) are amazing.

Next up: The Truth

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