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Lords and Ladies: A Discworld Novel [Library Binding]

Terry Pratchett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 9 2008
Ever wonder what those magic circles of stones in the English countryside are for? They're to keep the elves out.

Elves are nasty (besides being brutish and short). They're

vicious. They love cruelty. Plus, to make things worse, elves have got It. Glamour. Style. Humans find elves absolutely irresistible. They actually think elves are cute!

So when an infestation of Faerie Trash invades the Kingdom of Lancre, upsetting the Royal Wedding Plans

(Not to mention the Annual Morris Dance), the ordinarypeople of Lancre are helpless. It's up to the witches, ledbyGranny Weatherwax, to deal with the viciouslittle bastards.

Which is alI right with Granny. She thinks elves are cute too. And that makes them even more fun to kill.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Pratchett (Small Gods) has won an ardent following with his tales of Discworld and his particular brand of comedic fantasy. This latest installment, however, is unlikely to widen his readership. It's circle time on the Discworld; portentous round depressions are showing up everywhere, even in bowls of porridge. Worlds are weaving closer to one another, with unpredictable results. Only the three wacky witches, formidable Granny Weatherwax, crusty Nanny Ogg and scatterbrained Magrat Garlick, can ensure that the worst does not happen: the return of the elves. Trouble is, almost everyone else in the kingdom of Lancre is eager to welcome the "lords and ladies" back. They've forgotten that elves are nasty creatures who live only to torture their prey?humans especially. It's a tempting premise, but underdeveloped by Pratchett, who relies too heavily on his trademark humor, veering into the silly and sophomoric, to fuel the early portions of this fantasy. Only in the last third of the novel does he strike a successful balance among action, imagination and comedy. There is much fun to the tale once the smiling, sadistic elves actually appear, befuddling the townfolk with their beauty and illusion. An earlier arrival would have done much to strengthen this uneven novel.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

When an invasion of elves from another world threatens the Kingdom of Lancre, only the intervention of Granny Weatherwax and her sister witches can keep the human populace from succumbing to the enemy's fatal spell. This latest addition to the whimsical "Discworld" series features a tireless flow of tongue-in-cheek humor, lowly puns, and broad, comic vision. Pratchett (Soul Music, LJ 11/15/94) demonstrates why he may be one of the genre's liveliest and most inventive humorists. A good selection for libraries in possession of previous titles in the series.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Screamingly funny July 19 2013
By Lorina Stephens TOP 500 REVIEWER
Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett, is an outright giggle-fest. Can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading -- certainly not a book conducive to inducing somnolence.

We returns to the witches of Discworld, Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and Magrat who is about to become Queen Magrat and finds herself in an identity crisis and bored to distraction. Boredom on Discworld, however, is never lasting ailment as proven by an attempting invasion by the Sidhe.

Full of screamingly funny romance, Pratchett's deft ability as a story-teller, with a touch of social consciousness thrown in. A great summer, or anytime, read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never quite what you expected Aug. 30 2005
Pratchett's Discworld continues in fine style. It combines his signature combination of incredible characters, groanable puns, wild adventure and maybe, just maybe a little serious reflection. I'm not sure that Pratchett would admit to that last, though.
And no, no one is quite what you expected. There's the king, elevated from his former role as jester (or was he?). The queen is shy, uncertain, and naive (or is she?). The witches' contest of power ends when one looks away (or does it?). The elves are wondrous and glamorous - or are they?
The serious side flirts with the many-worlds ideas from physics, serious science sure to warm the soul of any comedic writer. It also raises some symbols of a long-gone warrior queen, and leaves with some pointed observations on symbols being what you let them. Mostly, though, it's just more of Pratchett's laugh-out-loud history of a world that's even more ridiculous than our own - or is it?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A witche's tale... March 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Even though this might not be one of Pratchett's best books- it is still great to read. It was already mentioned that this is another story "borrowed" from Shakespeare, but I must say that this wasn't the main reason why I enjoyed this book.
Of course, the midsummer night dream turned into a story about Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax and "One happens to be queen soon" Magrat fighting evil elves who want to take over the ramtop- kingdom Lancre is somewhat funny. No doubt Terry could have made a lot more out of this material, but he makes up for it.
Nanny Ogg meets Casanunda again and the "romance" between the witch and the self- announced second best lover of the discworld will have you roar with laughter (unbelievable what Nanny can turn a candlelight dinner into..). Another highlight is surely Archchancellor Ridcully who has been invited to the royal wedding (remember Witches Abroad- Magrat and Verence finally made it to the point, and Verence is already ordering "special" books from Ankh Morpork : "Martial Arts? I'm sure I ordered.. uh, never mind.."). Returning to the ramtops Mustrum Ridcully finds his teenage-love (Granny Weatherwax!!) but he doesn't have a lot of time for romantic memories as the elves keep Granny busy.
After all, Lords and Ladies could have been more than it is, but it still will make you laugh.
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This is far from my favourite Pratchett fare. It pales in comparison to the other books of his I've read, especially in direct comparison to the other Witches' adventures. "Wyrd Sisters", which Terry proclaims in the Author's Note is prerequisite reading before delving here, was a more exciting adventure for Granny Weatherwax and her curious coven to undertake. "Lords and Ladies" feels like a derivative retread. And "Wyrd Sisters", which deconstructed "MacBeth", brought more insight into its Shakespearean source than this does for "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
Witness his treatment of the character of the Fool, so strong and vibrant in "Wyrd Sisters". He is little more than background material here, a bureaucratic imminent king, indifferent to his fiancee's perspective, and caught up in the ritual of his duty. I suppose something could be said for the themes brought out by his transformation from Fool to King, but it didn't interest me one bit. Except for one bit where it is discovered that the Fool, so accustomed to sleeping curled up in a ball outside the King's door, can't truly get used to his new status and thus now sleeps curled up in a ball on the other side of the door. It's a beautiful little moment.
One character who does make a strong impression is second-Witch-in-command Nanny Ogg. Her down home malapropisms and sunny (but implicitly precarious) demeanor make her a joy to read. Late in the book, she is teamed once again with Casamunda, the self-proclaimed second greatest lover in the world and incessant liar. Watch her skillfully fend off his advances; watch him quickly get back on the horse for another go. I'd love to see what Pratchett could do with these two over a whole book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elvish Suspense Dec 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is easily one of the best Discworld novels to date. While trolls and dwarves have been dealt with during the series, elves have been left out...until now. The novel follows the witches just as they are returning from their journey chronicled in Witches Abroad. Magrat is faced with the prospect of actually marrying the King of Lancre, nee the Foole. Meanwhile, Granny begins to question her sanity and to feel her own mortality. Without giving too much away, the novel builds suspense to a level not yet seen in the Discworld series. To further complicate matters, Granny also finds herself face to face with a person from her past...a name which will be very familiar to avid Pratchett readers.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Night's Entertainment.
This is one on my favorite Terry Pratchett novels , with loads of characters, a great plot, and one of the best narrations ever. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by Paarko Seitaar
3.0 out of 5 stars O.K. for the "fantasy as farce" genre
I am not a big fan of comical fantasy...I've always preferred the gritty Robert E. Howard style to the silly and anachronistic Piers Anthony school. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2001 by H. Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey nonny nonny!
This Pratchett book picks up on something that Shakespeare missed; if elves are GOOD, why were they so careless with the humans in Midsummer Night's Dream? Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is an excellent Discworld novel. Worth a look, if only for it's interesting take on elves, which is about as far from the Tolkein version as one can imagine. Read more
Published on June 17 2001 by Zack Handlen
5.0 out of 5 stars If you Hate elves... this is your book *grin*
If you are a Pratchett fan then I am wasting my time telling you what a genius Terry is... if you're not yet a Pratchett fan, you need to find your introduction book to the master... Read more
Published on May 3 2001 by Brian K. Eason
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey nonny, nonny- its funny!
The first Discworld book I read. I was on holiday in Italy, and so wreatchedly ill I had too stay in my tent. A fellow camper lent me "Lords and Ladies". Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2000 by Kelly EC
3.0 out of 5 stars Mid-Level Pratchett
I recently had an opportunity to chat with a number of other people who have read most of Pratchett's books. I found each reader had a definite dislike. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2000 by Rory Coker
4.0 out of 5 stars i needed this
I found this book to be very amusing. Quite a change from the ordinary end of the world type Sci-Fi. Very light hearted and with an interesting plot line. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2000 by Karen Gray
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