Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

(9.2/10) The subtlety of his humour and his inoffensive parody is coruscating in its effectiveness.

Pratchett's ‘Monstrous Regiment’ takes us into a parody of regimented life in the army as we follow Sir Samuel Vimes, hot off the press from Night Watch, as he resumes his ambassadorial role. This time we move to the land of Borogravia, constantly at war with the Zlobenians and follow the story of Polly Perks who has learned how to act like a boy (with the aid of a few well-placed socks) and joined up with her fellow recruits, the vampire Maledict, Tonker Shufti, Wazzer, the troll Corfundum, Igor, and Lofty, to name a few, under the command of the self-important and nasty corporal Strappi and the quietly heroic Sergeant Jackrum. After losing Strappi, very quickly, Polly's secret is out (as is most of the last regiment) and they find themselves on the front line with no training (as the war's going badly but this cannot be mentioned). Nevertheless, they manage to surprise and overcome an advance scout group of heavy dragoons under the command of the disguised Prince Heinrich (there is a very amusing episode as Sergeant Jackrum neatly manoeuvres his way around Discworld's Geneva Convention equivalent). Gradually, they stumble their way past a skirmish at a clacks tower, bump into William de Worde and the delightful Otto Chriek, deal with Maledict's coffee-withdrawal symptoms, and eventually end up dressing as washerwomen to gain entry to the Zlobenian-held Kreck keep. Once inside, the ever-surprising lieutenant Blouse manages to steer them, with Polly's excellent guidance, to freeing all the prisoners with some explosive help, restore control of the keep to Zlobenian hands and then avoid a court martial with de Worde's intervention before Polly moves onto her next mission.

Pratchett is without doubt the current master of satire across all genres. The subtlety of his humour and his inoffensive parody is coruscating in its effectiveness, poking enjoyable fun at the establishment. By breaking all the usual rules our gallant ladies defy and rampage through the war with devastating effectiveness to show that in a war, there are no rules. Written with Pratchett's usual wit and razor-sharp satire, this would come somewhere high up my list of Discworld recommended novels.

Review by

12+

Monstrous Regiment reader reviews

9.2/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

All reviews for Terry Pratchett's The Discworld Series series

The Colour Of Magic

The Discworld Series: Book 1 written by Terry Pratchett

In the beginning there was…a turtle. Somewhere on the frontier between thought and reality exists the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smel [...]

Published: 1983

Our rating: 8.1 | positive reader reviews

12+

Lords and Ladies

The Discworld Series: Book 14 written by Terry Pratchett

The fairies are back – but this time they don’t just want your teeth… It's Midsummer Night - no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there' [...]

Published: 1992

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Feet of Clay

The Discworld Series: Book 19 written by Terry Pratchett

For Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, life consists of troubling times, linked together by…well, more troubling times. Right now, it’s the latt [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 7.9 | positive reader reviews

15+

The Light Fantastic

The Discworld Series: Book 2 written by Terry Pratchett

A red star has appeared in the sky and the Discworld is heading right towards it. There is only one person who can save the world; but unfortunately this is the rather inep [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

Jingo

The Discworld Series: Book 20 written by Terry Pratchett

Throughout history, there's always been a perfectly good reason to start a war. Never more so if it is over a 'strategic' piece of old rock in the middle of now [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.8 | positive reader reviews

12+

The Fifth Elephant

The Discworld Series: Book 24 written by Terry Pratchett

They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. That its finest practitioners are subtle, sophisticated individuals for whom nuance and subtext are meat and drink. And that master [...]

Published: 1999

Our rating: 9.8 | positive reader reviews

12+

Night Watch

The Discworld Series: Book 28 written by Terry Pratchett

For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer at loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of [...]

Published: 2002

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

Mort

The Discworld Series: Book 3 written by Terry Pratchett

Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job. After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that romant [...]

Published: 1987

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Equal Rites

The Discworld Series: Book 3 written by Terry Pratchett

The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunatel [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

The Wee Free Men

The Discworld Series: Book 30 written by Terry Pratchett

Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching – a wise shepherd – might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it’s up to Tiffany to [...]

Published: 2003

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

Monstrous Regiment

The Discworld Series: Book 31 written by Terry Pratchett

Polly becomes Private Oliver Perks, who is on a quest to find her older brother, who's recently MIA in one of the innumerable wars the tiny nation of Borogravia has a h [...]

Published: 2003

Our rating: 9.2 | positive reader reviews

12+

A Hat Full of Sky

The Discworld Series: Book 32 written by Terry Pratchett

Something is coming after Tiffany . . .Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic. She expects spells and magic – not chores and ill-tempered [...]

Published: 2004

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

Going Postal

The Discworld Series: Book 33 written by Terry Pratchett

Moist von Lipwig is a con artist... ... and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet. It' [...]

Published: 2005

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

15+

Wintersmith

The Discworld Series: Book 35 written by Terry Pratchett

Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to w [...]

Published: 2006

Our rating: 9.5 | positive reader reviews

12+

Making Money

The Discworld Series: Book 36 written by Terry Pratchett

It’s an offer you can’t refuse. Who would not to wish to be the man in charge of Ankh-Morpork’s Royal Mint and the bank next door? It’s a job for li [...]

Published: 2007

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

15+

Unseen Academicals

The Discworld Series: Book 37 written by Terry Pratchett

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood [...]

Published: 2009

Our rating: 9.7 | positive reader reviews

12+

I Shall Wear Midnight

The Discworld Series: Book 38 written by Terry Pratchett

A man with no eyes. No eyes at all. Two tunnels in his head... It's not easy being a witch, and it's certainly not all whizzing about on broomsticks, but Tiffany Ac [...]

Published: 2010

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Snuff

The Discworld Series: Book 39 written by Terry Pratchett

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam [...]

Published: 2011

Our rating: 9.3 | positive reader reviews

12+

Sourcery

The Discworld Series: Book 4 written by Terry Pratchett

There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Raising Steam

The Discworld Series: Book 40 written by Terry Pratchett

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of [...]

Published: 2013

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

The Shepherds Crown

The Discworld Series: Book 41 written by Terry Pratchett

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 7.0 | positive reader reviews

12+

Guards! Guards!

The Discworld Series: Book 8 written by Terry Pratchett

Here there be dragons . . . and the denizens of Ankh-Morpork wish one huge firebreather would return from whence it came. Long believed extinct, a superb specimen of draco [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 7.7 | positive reader reviews

15+

More Terry Pratchett reviews

A Blink of the Screen

by Terry Pratchett

A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press,; to the origin [...]

Series:
Published: 2012

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

The Long Earth

by Terry Pratchett

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the m [...]

Series: Long Earth #1
Published: 0000

Score: 88

Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Long War

by Terry Pratchett

A generation after the events of The Long Earth, mankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by Stepping. Where Joshua and Lobsang once pioneered, now fleets of airs [...]

Series: Long Earth #2
Published: 0000

Score: 55

Our rating: 5.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Long Utopia

by Terry Pratchett

2045-2059. After the cataclysmic upheavals of Step Day and the Yellowstone eruption humanity is spreading further into the Long Earth, and society, on a battered Datum Eart [...]

Series: Long Earth #4
Published: 0000

Score: 70

Our rating: 7.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Nation

by Terry Pratchett

On the day the world ends... Mau is on his way home from the Boys' Island. Soon he will be a man. And then the wave comes - a huge wave, dragging black night behind it [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2008

Score: 105

Our rating: 9.7 | 8 positive reader reviews

15+

Good Omens

by Terry Pratchett

According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1990

Score: 100

Our rating: 9.4 | 6 positive reader reviews

15+

The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide

by Terry Pratchett

Greetings, adventurer! We lay before you this most comprehensive gazetteer encompassing all the streets of Ankh-Morpork, as well as information on its principal businesses, [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 96

Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

The World of Poo

by Terry Pratchett

From Snuff: 'Vimes' prompt arrival got a nod of approval from Sybil, who gingerly handed him a new book to read to Young Sam. Vimes looked at the cover. The ti [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

9+

Dodger

by Terry Pratchett

Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Carpet People

by Terry Pratchett

In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet... That's the old story everyone knows and loves. But now the Carpet is home to many diff [...]

Series: NA
Published: 0000

Score: 71

Our rating: 7.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

Books you may also enjoy

The Princess Bride

by William Goldman

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1973

Score: 98

Our rating: 9.5 | 3 positive reader reviews

12+

Son of a Liche

by J Zachary Pike

A doubly disgraced dwarven hero. A band of accident-prone adventurers. Giving redemption a second shot may have been a grave mistake…Still bruised and heartbr [...]

Series: The Dark Profit Saga #2
Published: 2018

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.2 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

The Screaming Staircase

by Jonathan Stroud

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in... For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A nu [...]

Series: Lockwood & Co #1
Published: 2013

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.1 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

100 Miles and Vampin

by C T Phipps

Peter Stone is a poor black vampire who has found undeath isn't all it was promised to be. There's no vast riches, innate cool, or super-sex appeal. No, instead, th [...]

Series: Straight Outta Fangton #2
Published: 2018

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+