Lords and Ladies
Another brilliant addition to the discworld series, Lords and Ladies, the 14th book in the series, sees the witches, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick return from their adventure detailed in Witches Abroad.
Upon their return, Magrat is set to wed Verence, the King of Lancre, meanwhile the other witches have to deal with a door opening to the dimension of elves, allowing the creature to reek havoc on the disc.
Once again, the witches prove to be the most enjoyable characters in the Discworld series. Granny Weatherwax has some brilliant moments throughout this book, but it is perhaps Nanny Ogg who gets many of the best jokes, hints to her sexually promiscuous past leading to the books biggest laughs.
And of course, the supporting characters, the wizards, romantic Dwarf Cassanunda and Nanny Ogg’s sons, the Morris dancing Jason and the hopelessly overworked Shawn, are all vibrant and brilliantly funny.
Funny as this book was though, it was noticeably lighter on jokes than previous instalments in the series, allowing Pratchett to weave a far darker, more epic story.
I thought the previous book to feature the witches had hit the nail on the head when it came to the dramatic side of the Disc but in this book it improved yet again, the glimpses into Granny Weatherwax’s past helped round out the character a little more, suggesting that she was once a little softer (though perhaps not much) than the character we know and the running thread suggesting that the battle with the elves may well result in her death was a far darker, more human struggle than these books are known for.
The only complaint I had about the book was the length. I felt at times that it dragged on a little longer than necessary. It hardly mattered though as I raced happily through this book, barely pausing for breath.
Generally, the discworld series can be jumped into at any point, this book however, relies on the stories of the two previous Witch books, so I would recommend you read those before tackling this one (though, that said, the connections are fairly minimal, reading the two previous entries would be a bonus more than anything).
If you’ve read the previous books however, or indeed, any of the discworld series, you’ll find this one to be more of the same. Though when the writing’s as tight and the wit as sharp as this series, that’s not a bad thing.