War has come to Discworld. The homes and businesses throughout the duchy of Borogravia limp along, doing the best they can without their men, sent to fight their age-old enemy. Polly has taken over the lion's share of reponsibility for the running of her family's humble inn, The Duchess. Her beloved brother Paul marched off to war almost a year ago, but it has been more than two months since his last letter home, and the news from the front is bad: the fightinghas reached the border, supplies are dwindling, and the brave Borogravians are losing precious ground. So the resourceful Polly cuts her hair and joins the army as a young man named Oliver. As Polly closely guards her secret, she notices that her fellow recruits seem to be guarding secrets of their own.
A novel that exploers the inanity of war, the ins and outs of sexual politcs, and why often the best man for the job is a woman, Monstrous Regiment is Pratchett in top form.
Is war woman's work after all? Mate gender politics with geopolitics and you get either a PC nightmare or something very funny. Fortunately, in Monstrous Regiment it's the latter. Pratchett takes full and unfairly hilarious advantage of the opportunity to skewer everything from military court martials to male swagger. ("At least women swung only their hips. Young men swung everything, from the shoulders down.") Jennifer Howard