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Lords and Ladies Mass Market Paperback – August 23, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (August 23, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061056928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061056925
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on March 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of Pratchett's favorite comedic tools is inversion; in Lords and Ladies, he inverts the elves of Shakespeare and Tolkein. In Pratchett's hands, they are far from noble and dangerously evil.

For decades, the Elves have been kept out of the little kingdom of Lancre by a circle of stones called the Dancers, made of meteor iron. But while the Lancre witches, Esme Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick, have been away (as described in "Witches Abroad"), a few young gels have been playing at witchcraft, dancing up by the Dancers with their knickers off. That's always dangerous. It could let the Elves back in. Especially since it is Circle Time, when all those universes line up and the walls between them get thin.

Can Granny, Nanny and Magrat protect Lancre from the Lords and Ladies? They'll need help, not just from Hodgesaargh, master of the mews and Mr. Brooks, the Royal Beekeeper. It may take Wizards Archchancellor Ridcully (former suitor of Esme Weatherwax!), Ponder Stibbons, the Bursar and the Librarian; and the Lancre Morris Dancers, who, despite their vows, may have to do the Stick and Bucket Dance just one more time. It may even take Ynci, the half-mythical former queen of Lancre. After all, the wedding of King Verence and Magrat is supposed to happen.

What makes this and almost all of the Pratchett books extraordinary isn't just his lampooning of myth, comedic inversions, literary allusions, spoofs of physics and hysterical dialog; Pratchett give you something to think about. The power of myth, for example, and why glamour, good looks and style may be dangerous. A Pratchett novel makes you thoughtful.

The Witches series isn't my favorite, but among the Witches stories this is one of the best. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are among the best-developed of Pratchett's regular characters. They are fully realized here - warts and all.

A book to read and re-read with pleasure. Very highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kelly EC on October 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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". Its cheered me up no end!
I have since read the other witches novels, but I still think this one is the best. A great parody of midsummer nights dream with extra imagination. The Ogg family are brilliant, and the morris men and Wizards make a welcome appearence. I love the bit were Magrat fights off the elves in the castle. Those elves were such chilling villians- bring them back Terry!
"Before we go back to those dark old ways I'll see you nailed!" My favourite quote- those words certainly did slice the air. If you like the Disc this novel is essential. I would also recomend "Guards,Guards!", "The light Fantastic" and the one I reading at the moment-"Soul music"- which is turning out to be the best one I've read so far!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By clairepittman@hotmail.com on October 1, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read it when it came out. I loved it. I read it again later on. And recently I read it again and I still think it is my favourite Discworld book. The depiction of elves (a contentious issue from the other reviews) is in the older style as being selfish, manipulative and cruel rather than the Tolkien based depiction of fair, wise and gentle creatures. The elves here are like Rude Mechanicals on Mean-Speed. Actually, if you really want to get an appreciation of this book, (and half the jokes) read Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream first.
Of course, Granny, Nanny and Magrat are here again as well as Ridcully, the Bursar (who may never recover) and the Librarian, whose adventures outside the safety of Ankh-Morpork make for the sorest abdominals you have had in your life!
The book has sex (in the form of Casanunda and NANNY OGG), death (great gobs of it) and well, not rock'n'roll, but elvish singing... which might be worse. It has a new feminist icon, an insight into the geneology of words and a belly laugh a page.
PS. Go look up what a quark is, if you don't get the joke about up, down, sideways, etc...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The three witches, especially Granny Weatherwax, have always been my favorite denizens of the Discworld, and they do nothing to disappoint the reader over the course of Lords and Ladies. Add in a few of Unseen University's highest-ranking wizards, and you're guaranteed to have one wild time in the kingdom of Lancre. This novel wasn't quite as funny as Pratchett's earlier witch novels, but it shows Granny Weatherwax in a whole new light and makes for a very entertaining read all the way around.

Lords and Ladies opens with the three witches returning home to Lancre after their encounter with the Godmother in the novel Witches Abroad. They arrive just in the nick of time. A group of young girls have started doing some witching of their own; dancing around (with or without their drawers on) some of the ancient stones up in the hills isn't good for anybody, especially when the barriers between the worlds are rubbing close together and beings on the other side are just waiting to pounce on anyone capable of weakening the borders a wee bit more. The Elf Queen has set her sights on crossing over into reality, but there just isn't room in this reality for Granny Weatherwax and the Elf Queen. Granny knows what regular people forgot long ago - all that glamour and beauty that Elves project is just a mask. Elves are really nasty little buggers who care about human beings only insofar as they can torture them for their own amusement. Things are really nip and go here, as Granny Weatherwax isn't her old self these days - she can't even see the future anymore, and that doesn't bode well for anybody.

Of course, the citizens of Lancre are all distracted by the upcoming nuptials of King Verence and Magrat Garlick.
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