The Fifth Elephant is the fourth in the Night Watch series in the Discworld series. Sam Vimes, protagonist, is probably my favorite of all the Discworld heroes. This book is right up near the top on my Discworld favorite list just because of all of the time we get to watch Vimes and his wife, Lady Ramkin, interact. D’aww.
Anyway, the main plot is that Ventari sends Vimes, much to the latter’s horror, as ambassador of Ankh-Morpork to the Überwald, land of very conservative dwarves, werewolves and vampires. Also, it is a land of rich fat deposits because, rumor has it, that the fifth elephant that used to hold up the Disc fell to earth. Vimes is sent ostensibly to attend the coronation of a new Low King of the Dwarves and secure new fat trade agreements. The real reason he’s going, though he doesn’t realize it for a while, is to prevent a Dwarf civil war.
Also, Carrot and Angua have a lot to do, Gaspode finds himself useful, and we discover Colon is not made for leadership. Naturally, it all ends well, thanks to Lady Ramkin.
Themes covered: rural conservative vs. urban liberal thinking, the influence of information on capitalism, how insane werewolves can be, and how awesome Vimes is.