CBR15 Bingo: Politics (the word is used 18 times over the course of the novel)
Official book description:
It isn’t much of an island that rises up one moonless night from the depths of the Circle Sea — just a few square miles of silt and some old ruins. Unfortunately, the historically disputed lump of land called Leshp is once again floating directly between Ankh-Morpork and the city of Al-Khali on the coast of Klatch — which is spark enough to ignite that glorious international pastime called “war.” Pressed into patriotic service, Commander Sam Vimes thinks he should be leading his loyal watchmen, female watch-dwarf, and lady werewolf into battle against local malefactors rather than against uncomfortably well-armed strangers in the Klatchian desert. But war is, after all, simply the greatest of all crimes — and it’s Sir Samuel’s sworn duty to seek out criminal masterminds wherever they may be hiding…and lock them away before they can do any real damage. Even the ones on his own side.
Terry Pratchett was a genius. I don’t really think that many people who know about his long career, even people who have never even read his books, would dispute that. What started out as tongue-in-cheek parodies of classical fantasy tropes in the early Discworld novels soon became something more and deeper and much more clever than anyone had expected it to be. In total (when including his middle grade books The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents and the Tiffany Aching books), there are 41 Discworld novels. There’s also a number of spin-off books, like The Science of Discworld, The Folklore of Discworld, cook books, diaries, you name it.
In the latter half of the series (this book is nr 21 of 41), a lot of the already well-written and entertaining books start to become somewhat sharper and more satirical. Pratchett used his incredibly popular authorial voice to highlight and criticise a lot of modern society, and in this book, the thing he is both angry about and wants to highlight is the absolute absurdity of most international conflicts and wars breaking out at the drop of a hat, usually because the other people (who are different from us and foreign and suspect and threatening) have in their possession that our country wants, or vice versa.
In this book, Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is trying to solve a murder and prevent an international crisis, and subsequent war with Klatch (think any Middle Eastern country or culture you can imagine). Suddenly, all the Klatchians who have been living and working hard in the city are seen as suspect and threatening and a fervour of patriotism is rising among the nobility. War seems to be right around the corner, and it seems like it would be good to ease the tensions between the two nations before actual fighting breaks out.
Full review on my blog.