Jingo: a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
Jingo (meaning: according to Dictionary.com, a person who loudly declares their patriotism, favouring aggressive foreign policy and warlikeness. Hmmm. Another unconsciously timely read) begins with fishermen from Ankh-Morpork quarreling with fishermen from Klatch, the psuedo-middle-eastern empire just across the sea from Ankh-Morpork, over who has the right to fish in a particular patch of sea. Moments later, the quarrel over fish is forgotten, as a city rises out of the sea beneath them, and a whole new quarrel also arises: who owns this new(?) land?
Soon people in Ankh-Morpork are jingoing right and left, and pissing Commander Vimes right off. He is particularly annoyed that people are turning on neighbours whose ancestors were from Klatch but who themselves have lived in the city for years or even generations. Klatch sends a spare prince as an ambassador, but he vanishes shortly after a failed assassination attempt, which angers Vimes again as it seems someone is trying to frame the Klatchians for the attempt. Worse, they are insulting Vimes’ intelligence by framing badly!
Ankh-Morpork doesn’t have a standing army any more, but the various nobles can put together companies of their own and when Lord Vetinari is displaced by a committee under martial law he reminds Vimes that he is Sir Samuel, a knight himself, and therefor able to put together his own company, which he does. Especially since it seems that Angua has been kidnapped and taken to Klatch.
Meanwhile, Vetinari has shanghaied Nobby and Sgt. Colon and, with Leonard of Quirm, heads off to do some investigations of his own . . .
This has for a long time been on my “least favourite Discworld” list, though I’d have been hard-put to say why it was there. Re-reading, happily, has moved it back to the middle of the pack. I enjoyed it, but it probably will never be one of my favourites. Still, middle of the pack Discworld is still better than a lot of other entire series ever attain. Recommended.
Fair Game: an Alpha and Omega novel by Patricia Briggs
A re-read. First written up here.