As soon as I read one Discworld book, I think to myself, “all right, that was it, that was the best one, the rest will all be downhill from here”, because I’m a pessimist. At least I am okay with being proven wrong again and again. Pratchett has lampooned almost everything up to this point and this time, he picks on The Bard. Lords and Ladies riffs on A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
Lords and Ladies picks up where Witches Abroad ended. The witches have returned to find a few things have gotten out of hand in their absence. The King of Lancre has been planning his marriage to Magret, much to her surprise as she wasn’t aware they were engaged. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have their hands full with a ground of village girls taken with the idea that they’re witches, including dancing at the forbidden stones. The different realities of the world have found a thin spot at the dancing stones, where the Elves are awaiting their return to the world. Elves aren’t the fun creatures that fairy tales have made them into – rather, they delight in destruction and killing.
One of my favorite things about Pratchett’s writing is his ability to write female characters. Granny Weatherwax is one of my favorite literary characters. Pratchett can write a head-strong, stubborn female that not once will the word “bitch” be used to describe her. As for Magret, I had pretty much dismissed her early on; she’s the very definition of mousy. Which isn’t to say, she’s a poorly written character, but if she was a person, I would probably avoid her and talk about her behind her back. Pratchett was able to transform Magret in this book, putting her into a position to find her inner strength. It was just plain well done character development.
But seriously, the next will surely suck.