Publication year: 1992
Publication year of the Finnish translation: 2007
Finnish translator: Mika Kivimäki
Page count: 314
Finnish Publisher: Karisto
Lords and Ladies features many returning characters but it can be read without any prior knowledge about them. The three witches and the people of Lancre have been seen before in Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, and Witches Abroad. In fact, the book starts with the witches returning from Witches Abroad. Also, wizards from previous wizards books appear. And Death makes a brief cameo.
While the witches were away, a group of young women wanted to become the witches of the tiny kingdom of Lancre and they started doing what they thought they should do: painting their nails black and dancing nude in the middle of the forest. Unfortunately, they danced in the wrong place and unleashed an old danger which everyone had forgotten. The real witches, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick, are in a fight of their lives.
Magrat and Verence have been dating for a while, and when Magrat returns to Lance, Verence announces that they are going to get married. Magrat is a little taken aback and a bit sorry that there wasn’t a romantic proposal. Verence has been the king of Lancre for only a short time and he’s determined that everything will be done the Proper Way, for royalty. Apparently, that means that the king just decides everything and everyone else just have to accept it. It doesn’t help that Verence seems to be more interested in agriculture and pig raising than their wedding. However, the invitations have been sent and even the Unseen University is sending four representatives: the Archcancellor himself, the Librarian, Ponder Stibbons, and the Burser. On the way, they stumble upon the dwarf Casanunda, the second greatest lover in Discworld.
The wedding is going to take place in the Midsummer day and Verence has orderd a play just for the occasion. The local Morris dancers are busy trying to memorize it and practice it but aren’t doing too well.
The book features no less than three possible romances, lots of misunderstandings, and people not talking to each other even though just five minutes honest talk would probably clear up most of the misunderstandings. I generally don’t care for such misunderstandings but Pratchett manages to write them well, just for comedic effect but in-character, too.
As usual, underneath the comedy, Prachett discusses about serious issues. This time it’s the way that what people believe makes them almost blind to how things are; the nature of reality and thought/belief and how they affect each other.
Inspired by the Midsummer Night’s Dream and probably various glittering versions of elves.