This book is simultaneously, a satire on the Hobbit, some of my favorite cop fiction, and some of my fantasy fiction. A strange combination I know, but somehow it works.
The dedication reads
They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard or the patrol. Whatever the name their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No one ever asks them if they wanted to.