Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
Review by Jacqui Slaney
Despite my favourite characters in the Disc world novels being the Watch, especially Vimes their commander, I am also fond of the witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magret ( wants to be a Margaret, but held back by her mothers lack of spelling). They are in a few of the novels, but this one I think is one of the best.
This is the description:
THE FAIRIES ARE BACK - BUT THIS TIME THEY DON'T JUST WANT YOUR TEETH... Granny Weatherwax and her tiny coven are up against real elves. It is Midsummer Night. No times for dreaming...With full supporting cast of dwarfs, wizards, trolls, Morris dancers and one orang-utan. And lots of hey-nonny-nonny and blood all over the place.
This book continues from Witches Abroad and begins with the return of the witches to their home town of Lancre. Everything seems fine at first and then the crop circles start forming everywhere. They discover that some local girls have formed their own coven, one of whom actually tries to challenge Granny, and Magret discovers that her wedding is close and that royalty and famous people from all over including amongst others Ridcully the Arch chancellor of the Unseen University are actually coming.
All this may sound quite ordinary but then complications arise from the town being invaded by elves that are not as nice as they are portrayed in other stories. It is therefore up to the original witches, the Unseen University’s Librarian and the towns Morris dancers (trust me, you will never think of Morris Dancing the same) to save the day.
There is plenty of action in this story; one of the best parts involves Magret fight in the castles armoury and there is some quite effective use of tension-filled suspense and like Night Watch, there is a real dark feel to this tale. There is plenty of humour as well both dark and otherwise as you would expect in any Pratchett story. I really liked the return of Casanunda the dwarf and his attempted wooing of Nanny Ogg, some of whose scenes will really make you laugh.
Granny has always been shown as one of the most complex characters, and it is good that in this story that she is more developed. The reader gets to see her past and understand a little of what makes her tick and to see the connection between her and Ridcully.
You can probably tell from my enthusiasm that I really like this book and I do. From the start to the finish, there is one great scene after another. The Morris Dancers, Magret thinking she was a warrior queen, Granny’s face off with the Elf Queen and the speech from Simon- Nanny Ogg’s son and the sole member of Lancre’s standing army.
Do not worry if you have never read any other Disc World novel, you can read this book without knowing the rest of the series as the author gives a short synopsis of the witches at the start of the book just to give a new reader some understanding of who and what they are. I would recommend that you do try it, the writing is excellent and it will have you laughing at times.
10 out of 10