“Unadulterated fun.”—San Francisco Chronicle
The fate of Ankh-Morpork and the Discworld itself rests on the unlikely shoulders of newly promoted Corporal Carrot and his hapless charges in the City Watch in this wildly wacky Discworld novel from the legendary New York Times bestselling author Terry Pratchett.
Corporal Carrot has been promoted and is now in charge of the new recruits guarding Ankh-Morpork from Barbarian Tribes, Miscellaneous Marauders, unlicensed Thieves, and other dangerous Discworld denizens. It’s a big job for an adopted dwarf keeping the likes of young coppers Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detritus (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving) in line.
Especially since someone in Ankh-Morpork has been getting dangerous ideas about crowns and legendary swords, and destiny—which points its crooked finger again when an ancient document reveals that Ankh-Morpork has a secret sovereign . . . and his name is Carrot.
It’s the beginning of the most awesome epic encounter of all time (or at least all afternoon), in which the fate of a city—indeed of the universe itself!—depends on a young man’s courage, an ancient sword’s magic, and a three-legged poodle’s bladder.
The Discworld novels can be read in any order but Men at Arms is the 2nd in the City Watch collection and the 15th Discworld book.
The City Watch series in order:
Guards! Guards!Men at ArmsFeet of ClayJingoThe Fifth ElephantNight WatchThud!Snuff
In his latest effort, Pratchett skewers the hard-boiled detective novel as effectively as he's satired fantasy fiction all these years. Set on Discworld, there are a few more gargoyles and exploding dragons than Sam Spade ever had to deal with. But there's a trail of corpses and a hero named Carrot determined to track down the killer. His partners-the token dwarf, troll and werewolf on the police force-must overcome discrimination as well as the occasional rampaging orangutan. Although Men at Arms isn't as consistently funny as his earlier novels, the dialogue is hilarious, and Pratchett's take on affirmative action is a whole lot of fun. There's not a lot of rational narrative cause-and-effect here, but it doesn't really matter. As usual, Pratchett provides enough bad-tempered clowns, bloodthirsty trolls and dogs with low self-esteem to keep readers entertained.
I began reading the Discworld series with Men at Arms, and it remains my favorite of all Pratchett's books.
First book was better
A good read a bit complicated through the middle. Harder to follow all the characters in this one but it eventually finds it’s way and the pieces somehow fit together. A bit contrived…but love happy endings. The full development of Pratchett’s characters is what kept me reading. And the societal parallels are hidden in the dialogues so you don’t want to miss those.
Good but flawed
Good read at a good price. Standard Pratchett Diskworld goodness except I am not a fan of his anti-gun message in the evil gonne plot device.