A primeval fantasy novel, with elves, goblins, fairies, magic staves … and dwogres. A cross between ogres and dwarves, they are prolific and aggressive, in any case more than the rest. Through the generations, they have almost managed to colonise the whole planet, decimating half of the indigenous peoples and reducing the other half to poverty.
The story is told from the point of view of two fairies, sole survivors from a time when magic was in general use on the planet. They live among human beings, in a big stinking city called Scrougne (because Ankh Morpork has already been taken). Amongst their friends, a mixed race couple – a sylvan and a river undine – have produced a little child called Figuin, who suffers acutely from the racism and poverty he is subjected to.
This is when a banker appears on the scene… Cold, tough, immensely rich, and he’d like to be even richer. In order to set one half against the other, he decides to split the Scrougnian population, who will then buy arms from him. And for that, he needs a susceptible child for the purposes of indoctrination – that’ll be Figuin – to go and blow himself up in the middle of a fiesta, with his sapient pearwood staff.
Catherine Dufour, writing with the same uproarious vitality that made Snow White and the Missile Launchers such a success, takes up fantasy again. With the help of this genre, her intention is to portray the violence in our daily lives, and, in particular, terrorism and ensuing bereavement.