Date: 31 July, 2001 — $6.99 — Book
"Spear carriers" are those roles which, in any story, are the walk-on parts that usually get killed with barely a sentence, such as "The guards rushed Our Hero, who dispatched them handily." The Night Watch of Anhk-Morpork has, until this book, been featured only in sentences such as "The Night Watchman got almost to the end of the sentence before being mugged."
Pratchett decided to remedy this situation.
This book introduces many of the characters that take a central role in later stories, such as Vimes, a mere captain in this book and head of a Night Watch down to a bare two members— Seargeant Colon and Nobby Nobs (who bears documents witnessing that he is, in fact, human.) Things start to change when a six-foot-plus lad named Carrot joins the Watch, because he was raised as a dwarf and takes his duties very seriously... and he's possessed with a startling amount of charisma, which somehow encourages people to go along with him.
And then a dragon starts attacking the city. Not a swamp dragon, the little beagle-sized chemical factories that so often explode, but a true giant dragon, the type that handily defies physics. It's time for a hero, which is exactly what the people who brought the dragon have planned...
What more do you need? It's Pratchett!