Lords and Ladies (Discworld Series #14)

Lords and Ladies (Discworld Series #14)

by Terry Pratchett

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062237392
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Series: Discworld Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 155,869
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt

Now read on ...

When does it start?

There are very few starts. Oh, some things seem to be beginnings. The curtain goes up, the first pawn moves, the first shot is fired*—but that's not the start. The play, the game, the war is just a little window on a ribbon of events that may extend back thousands of years. The point is, there's always something before. It's always a case of Now Read On.

Much human ingenuity has gone into finding the ultimate Before.

The current state of knowledge can be summarized thus: In the beginning, there was nothing, which exploded.

Other theories about the ultimate start involve gods creating the universe out of the ribs, entrails, and testicles of their father. There are quite a lot of these. They are interesting, not for what they tell you about cosmology, but for what they say about people. Hey, kids, which part do you think they made your town out of?

But this story starts on the Discworld, which travels through space on the back of four giant elephants which stand on the shell of an enormous turtle and is not made of any bits of anyone's bodies.

But when to begin?

Thousands of years ago? When a great hot cascade of stones came screaming out of the sky, gouged a hole out of Copperhead Mountain, and flattened the forest for ten miles around?

The dwarfs dug them up, because they were made of a kind of iron, and dwarfs, contrary to general opinion, love iron more than gold. It's just that although there's more iron than gold it's harder to sing songs about. Dwarfs love iron.

And that's what the stones contained. The love of iron. A love so strong that it drew all ironthings to itself. The three dwarfs who found the first of the rocks only got free by struggling out of their chain-mail trousers.

Many worlds are iron, at the core. But the Discworld is as coreless as a pancake.

On the Disc, if you enchant a needle it will point to the Hub, where the magical field is strongest. It's simple.

Elsewhere, on worlds designed with less imagination, the needle turns because of the love of iron.

At the time, the dwarfs and the humans had a very pressing need for the love of iron.

And now, spool time forward for thousands of years to a point fifty years or more before the ever-moving now, to a hillside and a young woman, running. Not running away from something, exactly, or precisely running toward anything, but running just fast enough to keep ahead of a young man although, of course, not so far ahead that he'll give up. Out from the trees and into the rushy valley where, on a slight rise in the ground, are the stones.

They're about man-height, and barely thicker than a fat man.

And somehow they don't seem worth it. If there's a stone circle you mustn't go near, the imagination suggests, then there should be big brooding trilithons and ancient attar stones screaming with the dark memory of blood-soaked sacrifice. Not these dull stubby lumps.

It will turn out that she was running a bit too fast this time, and in fact the young man in laughing pursuit will get lost and fed up and will eventually wander off back to the town alone. She does not, at this point, know this, but stands absentmindedly adjusting the flowers twined in her hair. It's been that kind of afternoon.

She knows about the stones. No one ever gets told about the stones. And no one is ever told not to go there, because those who refrain from talking about the stones also know how powerful is the attraction of prohibition. It's just that going to the stones is not ... what we do. Especially if we're nice girls.

But what we have here is not a nice girl, as generally understood. For one thing, she's not beautiful. There's a

certain set to the jaw and arch to the nose that might, with a following wind and in the right light, be called handsome by a good-natured liar. Also, there's a certain glint in her eye generally possessed by those people who have found that they are more intelligent than most people around them but who haven't yet teamed that one of the most intelligent things they can do is prevent said people ever finding this out. Along with the nose, this gives her a piercing expression which is extremely disconcerting. It's not a face you can talk to. Open your mouth and you're suddenly the focus of a penetrating stare which declares: what you're about to say had better be interesting.

Now the eight little stones on their little hill are being subjected to the same penetrating gaze.


And then she approaches, cautiously. It's not the caution of a rabbit about to run. It's closer to the way a hunter moves.

She puts her hands on her hips, such as they are.

There's a skylark in the hot summer sky. Apart from that, there's no sound. Down in the little valley, and higher in the hills, grasshoppers are sizzling and bees are buzzing and the grass is alive with micro-noise. But it's always quiet around the stones.

"I'm here," she says. "Show me."

A figure of a dark-haired woman in a red dress appears inside the circle. The circle is wide enough to throw a stone across, but somehow the figure manages to approach from a great distance.

Other people would have run away. But the girl doesn't, and the woman in the circle is immediately interested.

Customer Reviews

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Lords and Ladies (Discworld Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Captain_SmokeblowerTW More than 1 year ago
No Discworld situation requires more than three, but more probably if you put more in a coven only three survive. Fortunately, no one would suggest a fourth for Granny and Nanny, though Nanny has polished off many a fifth. This story is one of those proofs that all you need are three, well sort of. Terry Pratchett takes the tack that perhaps we're enamored by the beauty of elves, but in fact they only want to toy with us painfully and ultimately destroy us. There is no evidence his elves are like politicians, i.e. so cute you want to hug them, but you'd be better off hanging them. Oh wait, perhaps this book is the proof, or not. Read it and see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was very entertaining and lively, kept you moving at a brisk pace with no slow spots. It had a few surprising twists, including one I'de never seen in a fantasy book. I won't say any more or I'll give it away! Several humerous moments, as well as thrilling ones!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read 7 of Terry Pratchett's marvelous Discworld novels, and this is my favorite so far. Terry Pratchett has a real way with fantasy; he can mix passages of genius humor with messages of substance. This book is a particularly good example of how these novels can have you roaring with laughter one moment, and doing some real introspection the next. The man is amazing, the book is amazing. If you can, read it!
farnsworthk on LibraryThing 4 days ago
This time the witches take on the Fair Folk. Fun stuff.
HayMicheal on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Didn't realize I started near the end of the series. Still, it was a little odd and, well, cartoony.
SunnySD on LibraryThing 4 days ago
I'm not sure if this is Pratchett taking on Shakespeare, or Pratchett's take on Shakespeare, but either way this is a fantastic romp. As the kingdom of Lancre prepares for a wedding, worlds prepare to merge, bees rouse, and on the edges of the world, the Lords and Ladies wait for an opportunity. Granny, Nanny, Magrat, wizards, including the Librarian, and an Ogg-ish supporting cast... Shakespeare may never be the same.
JudithProctor on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Nice to see the Lancre morris men in full swing. Note that they dance (among others) 'Gathering Peascods' which is a Playford dance... (think Jane Austen/court dances)However, most of their repertoire is Cotswold, but with a flavour of North West here and there.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing 4 days ago
This one lost me from an early stage. I tend not to find the books with the witches to the fore quite as funny as the others. A wise observation made about garden hose, though, with which I completely concur.
keristars on LibraryThing 4 days ago
I very much wanted to love this book because I love Sir Terry Pratchett's style and I love the characters who feature in it - Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick. (Also, Jason Ogg, being my favorite of the Ogg clan.) Unfortunately, I just couldn't really enjoy Lords and Ladies.It is a funny book and filled with allusions - I haven't come across a Discworld book yet that isn't - but the whole thing seemed to drag. It's like Pratchett decided on a particular sequence of events for the finale, put all the focus on it, and then neglected to do anything with the rest of the book except what had to be done to get to the finale.But I loved the bits with Ponder Stibbons and King Verence and Jason Ogg and the Bursar and the Librarian, even if they tended to be scenes that were obviously created specifically to foreshadow future plotpoints, or give sense to a future plotpoint.I guess my feelings are pretty mixed about this book. I liked it, and I wanted to love it, but I mostly just think "meh." It's not one that I've a strong desire to go back and re-read, the way I love Witches Abroad or Pyramids or Guards! Guards! (for example).
sa54d on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is far darker than most of the rest of the Discworld books. I would also recommend (as the author does in his introduction) reading several of the earlier books that involve the Kingdom of Lancre, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Og. The story engages right away and Pratchett has a talent for suspenseful story-telling. Although a change of pace compared to most of the other Discworld books, it's a welcome change.
akfarrar on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Terry Pratchett's books seem to function like a satyr play at the end of a day of tragedies - they poke not too subtle fun at the themes and concerns which lie deep in the psyche.This may seem a bold claim, but there has to be some reason for popularity of the discworld books.In this one, "Lords and Ladies", Shakespeare's fairies from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' are combined with Tolkein's elves to create a sort of negative beautiful people - not too unlike some of the interpretations given to the darker side of the Shakespeare original. This has a logic behind it which, when you throw in the stable discworld characters, give it a harsh flavouring of socialism (or perhaps peasantism?) and let loose Mr Pratchett's wicked play on words, produces an energetic romp guaranteed to tickle not only the intellect but also the funny bone.You can enjoy the book without knowing the Shakespeare, but you'd miss a lot if you did.
reading_fox on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Another of my favourites, featuring the indominable Granny Weatherwax. the beginning is a bit odd and clunky, a few jokes particularly the Rude Mechanicals and Comic Artisans, but nothing particularly special. This book howevers really delivers in teh end third when Granny once again shows what it means to be human.The third witch Magrat, is about to be married. King Verence has not bothered to propose - King's don't have to - which has Magrat somewhat upset, but its all going ahead anyway. Until the Diskworld's arch nemisis the world of Elves drifts by again. Elves aren't nice, they are terrific - they beget terror. Watch out when words change their meaning!Granny's fight with the Queen, really shows the depth of thought that Terry puts into his characters, and the points he tries to make, about growing up and old. The value of experience and ultimately how powerful Self-Confidence is compared to any worldly power.A great finish, a great read, and ahradly any Midsummer's Nights references.
ardh on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Some of the Discworld books are among my favorite books of all time. L&L isn't one of them - it took me three tries to finish it. This and Last Continent convinced me to stick with the Ankh-Morpork books.
therounsevelle More than 1 year ago
I wrote a really great review for this novel and the boneheads lost it!!!!!!!!!!
mtsilence More than 1 year ago
Okay maybe not but how about another delightful romp in the land of Magic and Mayhem? This is one of those adventures.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and entertaining, Patchett, gives the reader a mental vacation we have been waiting for!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a literary genius!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Because only Terry Pratchett can write something like this and get away with it. He's an amazing author with a great sense of humor! And now that he's gone senile, the latest books are even better than before!
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