I first encountered these books a few years ago, when my mum brought home 'A Difficulty with Dwarves' from Value Village, thinking it would be something I'd enjoy. Then, one night during a blackout, she started to read aloud from the book she was reading (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night) and I read her a bit from Dwarves and we both enjoyed it so much that it has started a long standing tradition of reading aloud. We have been through all the Harry Potter books, The Princess Diaries books, Richard Scrimger's novels and a few others and it's always fun. We found out that Dwarves is actually the forth novel in the series, so we went back and read the first trilogy (The Ballad of Ebenezem) and now we're back to rereading Dwarves before we continue on.
The story is told from the point of view of Wuntvor, a hapless apprentice to the Great Wizard in all the Western Kingdoms, Ebenezum. The first three books (A Malady of Magicks, a Multitude of Monsters and A Night in the Netherhells) covers Wuntvor and Ebenezum's journey from their small, sheltered home in the Western Woods, to Vushta, the city of a thousand forbidden delights. They are traveling to the wizards' academy in Vushta, in order to find a cure for Ebenezum's malady - he sneezes anytime he's around magic. This is a result of a fight with Guxx Unfufadoo - the dreaded rhyming demon. As they go along, they pick up a variety of companions including a witch, an overly enthusiastic brownie, a demon who can only tell the truth, a mercenary armed with Headbasher, the doomed warclub that one can never own, only rent, a unicorn, the seven other dwarves, Death and a tap dancing dragon. The books are hilarious and irreverent and extremely fun to read. I definitely recommend them, though I would warn that 'A Multitude of Monsters' drags a little, but A Night in the Netherhells picks it up again perfectly.