Before I began to reread all the Discworld novels, I would have instantly said Lords and Ladies are my favorite. When I first read it, I read it one go, and I remember having vivid nightmares dreams about elves that night. Lords and Ladies have this surprisingly intense pressure throughout the book which is unlike to other Discworld novels. The book is amazing, but now after rereading it for the fourth time, I have to say that the messiness in the story structure is annoying. The jumping around, easy and convenient plot devices and the question who will be the one to save the day makes the book weaker than what I remembered. Still, I love the book. The atmosphere is right. The topic is good. The characters come to alive. And you get a glimpse of Granny Weatherwax’s pas, and the elves are nasty. What is not to like?
The book left me wondering about the concept of old and new ways. How people forget why things were done someway and repeat the past mistakes over and again, thinking they know better. And how the young generation always think what they do is the right way and the older folk are just too set in their ways. I can remember thinking that way when I was growing up, wondering why adults did something and seeing it as moronic or outdated. And now as I have grown older, I see myself follow those same footsteps laid before me. It’s a funny old world. I’m not saying the young shouldn’t rebel. They should. They should test boundaries as we need change and innovation coming from a new perspective. But they should also listen to those who came before and not to follow the same mistakes done before. Pratchett masterfully wrote all this into a neat humorous act, and it worked. Not to mention telling a story about women’s position and self-esteem. He understood people and how our world works.
Lords and Ladies is a great book, but be aware, if you read this in one sitting, you might experience strange dreams. Your own midsummer madness.