Books,  Jane's Great Re-Read,  Review

Jane's Great Re-Read: Lords and Ladies By Terry Pratchett a Review

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Lords and Ladies is the fourth Granny Weatherwax and the witches book.
If Wyrd Sisters is Macbeth, Lords and Ladies is a Midsummer’s Night Dream. This picks up post Witches Abroad just when the trio have arrived back from Genua and sprints off into the distance. This book is about belief; it is about susperstition; it is about quantum and iron.
I love the way Magrat develops in this story. She arrives back to find that she is getting married to King Verence and that it all seems to be going on without her. Dresses have been made and people have been invited without anyone so much as consulting her. Her journey from youngest witch having choices made for her to the Magrat at the end of the novel is wonderful.
Granny Weatherwax is having to confront some uncomfortable truths. She is getting old, there are young headstrong girls who think that she is stuck in her ways, that she isn’t relevant and who would rather dance round some standing stones than listen to why that might not be a good idea. In addition she is remembering things that haven’t happened – not to her anyway.
Nanny Ogg the older I get the more respect I have for Nanny. She might seem Esme’s back up but there are a number of area of witchcraft at which she is more adept and she has her own strengths particularly with people and she is powerful and has her own way of dealing with things.
016a222f062abee3e6a9641de3e143b657d2715880Having been away for some eight months things have changed in Lancre. Not least the crop circles which signify the time when the walls between universes are thinner. Diamanda and Perdita (Agnes) and a bunch of other girls have been playing with the occult and generally messing with things and they have caught the attention of the Queen of the Elves and believe me these Elves are not good.

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.

This book is a roller-coaster a slow wind up and a hugely explosive second half. Add in Ridcully, the Bursar, Ponder Stibbons and the Librarian and Jason Ogg with his rude mechanicals and all in all you get tight plotting, made up warrior queens, unicorns and the morris dancing.
Coming back to this was a sheer joy. Having not read this book for at least fifteen years I had forgotten a lot of the plot but moments were as familiar as old friends. There is a rhythm to reading the Discworld novels. I love that how easily they can be devoured but where some novels you read quickly and they leave you. All of the Discworld novels give me something to mull over and take with me.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in Durrey. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her


  • Nelly!

    The great thing about Pratchett is the way the books operate on multiple levels – it’s a fun story, it’s a pastiche of midsummer nights dream, but the big theme I found whilst directing (other than the beauty and cleverness of the language – spending six months immersed in it only increased my awe for TPs writing and my certainty that he should be alongside Dickens) was that of the shallowness of the surface and the importance of what’s beneath – from glamour, to Magrat, I ATENT DEAD, the layers of Morris man / actor / farmer, Jason, Shawn, the naming of Beastiality Carter, Casanunda, Ynci and on and on, everything in the book is subtly (or not at times) driving that point home, but I at least didn’t understand until how connected everything was to that premise until I’d really studied it…

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