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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.
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? //wiredweird
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.
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. It at least broke up the (soon-to-be) monotony of watching Granny Weatherwax grouch her way through another typical adventure. The central conceit here is that elves, previously believed to be cute and cuddly creatures in popular mythology, are really evil. Terribly evil. Unspeakably evil. When elves are around "life was certainly more interesting... but usually it was shorter. And it was more colourful, if you liked the colour of blood". Okay? So? I don't think Terry does much with this notion. The elves he concocts are not frightening at all, at least in comparison to other Discworld villains. And the final confrontation feels like every other final confrontation Granny Weatherwax has been involved in. The lack of suspense was a surprising discovery. To me, this is Terry's first true misstep in the Discworld series. Although I thought little of the story, Terry's sense of humour remains intact. There are many fine examples to choose from, but here are a few of my favourites: .. a delicious footnote about the naming adventures of the Carter family, ends with Hope Carter becoming a depressive, while Bestiality Carter is generally kind to animals. .. a word that beings with 'M', that means "seein' the other person's point of view"? Empathy. .. More fun with Latin: "Il Porcupino Nil Sodomy Est" is, I think, a nod to true hardcore Internet Pratchett fans. .. the New York second (defined as the time between when the light turns green and the cab behind you honks) .. "Magrat says a broomstick is one of them sexual metaphor things" (although this is a phallusy) Terry amazes, yet again, with his verbal gymnastics. I just wish he'd tacked them on a worthwhile story. I guess one sub-par book in fourteen (so far) is not a bad ratio. Don't worry about skipping "Lords and Ladies" on your way through the Discworld catalog. You won't miss much.
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.
This is one on my favorite Terry Pratchett novels , with loads of characters, a great plot, and one of the best narrations ever. The story goes on like this: Elves, who are able to deceive humans about their looks, decided to take over the peaceful kingdom of Lancre. But the Elves face problems: The people of Lancre are not going to give in without a fight. Cause Granny Weatherwax is leading them. Technically. And to top it off, a group of wizards and a very Casanova-like dwarf happens to be there. And so all the ingredients for a total slaughter is there, ready for you. A great story, and I especially like the Wizards' coach journey towards Lancre. Bound to make you laugh. It WILL make you laugh.
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. But I must admit that Pratchett has a gift for working up endearing and memorable characters and putting them smack dab in the middle of totally off-the-wall and unbelievable settings and situations. The characters come across as very real persons (may remind you of folks you actually know...), and Pratchett conjures up the chummy atmosphere of a rural English town (Kingdom of Lancre=Medieval England) quite nicely with the humorous verbal exchanges of the principal players (Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are a hoot). This novel differs from most other works of its kind in one startling aspect...the elves are the bad guys. For all of you fantasy fans who are sick to death of tired re-hashings of Tolkien's faeries, this will no doubt be a refreshing curve ball. Pratchett presents them here as an extra-dimensional race of magical humanoids devoid of morality who utilize the inherent self-loathing of human beings to achieve their sadistic ends by clouding men's minds with glamour. The elves enter Disc World at Crop Circle time when the fabric between the dimensions of the Multiverse are weakest...in this story, the weakest spot in Lancre is located at the Dancers, a ring of standing stones that fell from space in ages past. The stones actually serve as a barrier for the Gentry, for they are composed of a sort of iron ore base that hampers the elves' powers of perception and action. So, the elves have to relye upon human BELIEF in them to weaken the space-time fabric even more so that they may achieve the power to act freely in Disc World. Of course, Granny is wise to what's up (she "knows what time it is", so to speak), so most of the action in the book centers around Granny and her chums trying to push back the elf invasion of their home dimension after a group of bumbling local craftsmen perform a version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Dancers (to celebrate Magrat's marriage to King Verence) and bring about an influx of the sadistic Gentry (after the area has already been weakened by the dancing and sabbats of a group of young witches who mistakenly believe that the stones were put up by Druids...). Oh, well, just read the book. I still don't know exactly what to think of this goofy novel, but at least it left me curious enough to want to check out some of the other Disc World books. Oh, as for the cryptic references to ancient Celtic Britain..."Herne the Hunted"=Cernunnos, "Queen Ynci"=Boudiccea, you may note more :).