A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett.
There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate and complex dance. There are others who maintain that it’s merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. The oldest and most inscrutable (not to mention heavily fortified) empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes; warlords are struggling for power – and what the nation wants, to avoid terrible doom for everyone, is a wizard. Rincewind is not the Disc’s premier wizard – in fact, he can’t even spell ‘wizard’ – but no-one specified whether competence was an issue. And they do have a very big stick… (Goodreads Summary)
An intriguing premise as usual – and a little variety of scene, as most of the action takes place in a new continent well away from Ank-Morpohk, even if the central city is still heavily premised.
Sexual content: “I keep telling him, it’s rape the women and set fire to the houses.” (Neither of these actually take place.) Describing a man’s innocence/naiveté, “He had ben forty before he found out oral sex didn’t mean talking about it.” A schoolteacher working with barbarians tries to get them to “talk to the woman without ripping her clothes off” […] “And then, I rip her clothes off?” “Possibly. Eventually. If she wants you to.”
Language: 23 bloody, 20 d***, 10 derogatory names, 6 hell, 2 scatological terms
Violence: Completely non-graphic – indeed usually brushed over. A couple of guards killed without any sight/sound from pov character. A character beheads an assassin. Some violent robbery (involves hitting over the head with a watermelon) which happens off-screen. Character stabs an assassin with a red-hot sword and kills him. The emperor orders men tortured to death – they are dragged off screen and are not mentioned again. Character forces a man to eat poisoned food, whereupon he explodes.