Lords And Ladies (Discworld Novel 14)
1 journaler for this copy...
This book directly adjoins to the end of Witches Abroad and once again has the trio of witches as protagonists.
The story: A group of otherwordly elves are planning to bring Lancre under their heel. Unfortunately for them, their investigation of the local witches (threat level: none) took place while the leading players were (in)conveniently abroad on their mission in Genua. Once they return it's up to the Lancre coven to save the date... er, day.
Although this book has a lot of fans, I'm not one of them. I've already explained why elsewhere, so I'll just copy my rant here, and be done with it:
The main reason is that I simply don't like elves, whom I find frightfully boring. Though I tend to avoid stories centered around them, I've met enough elves in fantasy literature and the occasional foray into gaming comics for the idea of evil elves to have lost its originality. (Drow, anyone?)
This doesn't really make sense because I'm mainly complaining about a label. All else being the same, I suspect I would have been fine with it if they had been any other fantasy race (kobolds, giants, selkies, ...) not covered to death elsewhere. In fact, the only fantasy species whose appearance I would have liked even less are orcs, whom I despise not for being evil but for being one-dimensionally, genetically evil. Which is exactly the other problem I have with this particular plot point. I actually feel that the original Tolkien elves (noble, wise, arrogant, unapproachable) are still more compelling that this twisted version of them.
In terms of Discworld villains, the elves have more depth than the things from the dungeon dimension (because they can disguise themselves and people actually believe them to be nice) but in my opinion they also are a lot less intriguing than the reality auditors who at least appear to have some kind of overarching agenda.
Add to that that I hate the way Granny treats Magrat (who's my favourite of the trio) and that as far as I can tell her manipulations are supposed to be okay because (Spoilers! Highlight to make visible) Magrat gets married in the end. The reason I am feeling this way is that after the revelation about the letter and Nanny's attempt to put Granny's scheming into a good light we don't get to look into Magrat's head again nor does she have anything else to say on the topic. At the time, she still believes that Granny is dead (and afterwards she's distracted by her impending wedding), and we don't know if she ever confronted her about it. Or Verence, for that matter.
It also doesn't help that I was ill a lot during the seven weeks we covered this book, which undoubtedly increased my annoyance with the parts I didn't like to begin with. (I would have expected to look forward to the distraction of each new section. Instead it felt more like some sort of tiresome duty.)
All that said, I really liked the sections covering Magrat's transformation as well as Nanny being amazing through-out the story. I also appreciated getting a deeper look into Granny's character (whom I still like) and I welcomed the return of Ridcully, Casanunda and Ponder.
Here's my current ranking:
1. Small Gods
2. Guards! Guards!
3. Reaper Man
4. Witches Abroad
5. Wyrd Sisters
-------- (imaginary line splitting favs from non-favs)
7. Moving Pictures
8. Lords and Ladies
Next up: Men at Arms