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Monstrous Regiment

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The 28th Discworld story focuses mainly on the trials of a group of new recruits to the Borogravian army. Borogravia is a small, dismal country in the mountains of the Disc, apparently more or less perpetually at war with numerous neighbouring countries (this time it’s Zlobenia).

The recruits have to get to the thick of the war, without getting killed along the way, but they also must survive encounters with enemy spies, the Zlobenian prince, lack of coffee, and not forgetting The Word’s own intrepid reporter, Mr de Worde. However, these recruits are not your bog-standard army recruits, including amongst their number a troll, a vampire and an Igor (the Disc’s most skilled surgeons).

Then, in the greatest tradition of cinema, they decide instead to try and invade the most strategic fort , currently held by the enemy, by sneaking in disguised as washerwomen. As you would expect from a Discworld book, things don’t quite turn out how you expect them to, but whilst this isn’t a bad book, it’s not one of Pratchett’s best – a couple of twists are too overused (previous stories have been so good because they don’t keep repeating the same twist in the same story).

I also couldn’t help feeling at the end, that something more could have been made of the overall story. This is more a book for Discworld fans and completists, rather than the first-timer or “casual” Discworld reader.

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About jadester48

  • I just checked this out of the library last week, but read a Spider Robinson novel (“Lady Slings The Booze”) before getting to this one… I’m not exactly a completist, but probably enough of a Discworld fan to enjoy this one. Thanks for the review.

  • Terry Pratchett could write a Discworld recipe book and I would devour it…hands down, my favourite writer in the world.
    Still gonna wait for the paperback version, tho.

  • i usually only get hardbacks if it’s secondhand/on sale, but this was an xmas present (when i receive books as presents, it’s usually about a 50/50 split between how many are hardbacks and how many are paperbacks, overall)