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.Powered by Sidelines