|Sam Vimes is a man on the run.
Yesterday he was a duke, a chief of police and the ambassador to the mysterious fat-rich country of Uberwald.
Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask). It's snowing. It's freezing. And if he can't make it through the forest to civilisation there's going to be a terrible war.
But there are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves - and they're catching up. Sam Vimes is out of time, out of luck, and already out of breath...
The Fifth Elephant is Terry Pratchett's latest installment in the Discworld cycle, this time starring dwarfs, diplomacy, intrigue and big lumps of fat.
The new Low King is being crowned in Uberwald, and the Duke of Ankh - aka Commander Vimes of the Watch - is sent as an ambassador. Angua receives news of problems within her family, and leaves for Uberwald. Carrot resigns to follow her, and Colon is temporarily promoted to Captain, a job he makes an absolute hash of. Vimes arrives in Uberwald to find that the Scone of Stone, which the Low King must sit on to be crowned, has been stolen, creating huge problems for the dwarfs. Meanwhile, Angua's brother, Wolfgang, has rallied the werewolves of Uberwald to take over the country. Vimes is arrested after he accidentally touches the new King, escapes, and is chased across the country by Wolfgang and his friends. He realises that the Scone was never stolen, merely destroyed, and is rescued from the wolves by Angua and Carrot. Angua fights Wolfgang, but he escapes. Vimes follows him and manages to kill him. The dwarfs make a new Scone in time for the coronation (in great secrecy). Everyone goes home, and Carrot does of course rejoin the Watch.
But it's a lot more complicated than that, of course.
I've been looking forward to this book for a long time - over a year - and I wasn't disappointed. It's a great book, better than Jingo, truly fantastic. If you haven't got a copy yet, then you must - for those in this neck of the woods, Sussex Stationers does a good price - you won't regret it.