The city of Ankh-Morpork is a fun place for fantasy sociologists. It is a city on the cusp of modernity, discreetly steered by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari, who is absolutely exquisite in the manner in which he does not interfere.
In The Truth, the rumor goes around that the dwarves have found a way to turn lead into gold. In fact, they do it the long way around, using lead movable type to generate golden revenue. Ankh-Morpork gets its first newspaper, and then its first tabloid.
In Guards! Guards!, a couple dragons show up (as they are so wont to do), and the recumbent City Watch grows a mission and starts investigating dragon-related crimes.
At the end of the day, Terry Pratchett books are a lot like good TV. A lot of it is laugh-old-loud funny, though the story flows in one ear and out the other. It’s all about the city, which I love. Ankh-Morpork en masse is endearingly human. When the newspaper offers a reward for a very important lost dog, the citizenry queue up at the newspaper office with all sorts of four-legged creatures and a few chickens and parrots to boot (sure it’s a terrier, listen to this bark!). When the tabloids publish woman-gives-birth-to-cobra stories, people say “Well They wouldn’t print it if it weren’t true.” When a dragon shows up, everyone’s first thought is “Where there’s a dragon there’s a hoard.”
Next, the street vendors think “Let’s sell dragon detectors.” It’s a piece of wood on a metal stick. When your wood spontaneously combusts, there’s a dragon nearby.