Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After the grand tour of the Discworld Nanny, Granny and Magrat return to Lancre to find the King Verence as is his right arranged the marriage service to Magrat. The mild hiccup is that despite Magrat worrying he might not have waited for her return she is independent enough to take exception to not being part of the process and makes a stand when it really isn't in her best interests. So it is a bad time for the appearance of crop circles and the weakening of the barrier between universes which allows the Elves to invade this realm and alas only the Witches amongst humans remember how brutal that race were, none of this fairy tale nursery rhyme nonsense, Elves kill and torture for sport.
Naturally the major incursion occurs on the day of the marriage when Lancre is full of visitors for the wedding and some of them turn out to be quite useful especially The Librarian, Casanunda (the world's second greatest lover) and Mustrum Ridcully the current Archchancellor of the Unseen University (who once had a thing with Granny). Together this ragtag band of "warriors" do battle with the Elves while Nanny and Casanunda visit the Elf King and Granny faces the Elf Queen who she rejected when she last came a calling. The tipping point however is Magrat who is inspired by the portrait and armour of Queen Ynci the Short-Tempered a former Queen of Lancre generates enough self confidence and self esteem to kick the ass of any Elf she comes across, this is her home and Verence is going to be her husband and no one, no one is going to stop that.
Lords And Ladies is one of the highlights of the earlier Discworld novels as we've seen that Terry has pretty much fine tuned the major characters of the Ramtops and Lancre in particular as well working his story within a multiverse which can make or break a novel. The Witches as usual are great in their own particular ways but the blending of new and recurring characters in this story is what works really well. There is drama and suspense and naturally humour both driven by characters and situations which provides the reader with everything they need or want from a Discworld novel.
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