Title: Lords and Ladies
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 384
Lords and Ladies is one of Pratchett’s earlier Discworld novels, and it’s an unfortunate sufferer of EPS – Early Pratchett Syndrome. By that, I mean that there’s nothing inherently wrong here – after all, Pratchett is like the Douglas Adams of the ages, and all of his work is worth reading eventually, but this is far from his best.
That said, it does have its merits, and one of its big strengths is the fact that Granny Weatherwax is there – a perennial favourite, even from the early days. It’s also a lot more Shakespearean than you’re likely to find in another Discworld novel, which is either a strength or a weakness, depending upon how you look at it.
For my part, I read this fairly early on, when I was first falling in love with the Discworld. It left an impression, but a fleeting one, and I haven’t re-read it since. This is one of the problems that you run up against when you attempt to review every book you’ve ever read – sometimes you come up against something like this, which I read and forgot about immediately afterwards. Sorry about that – sometimes, running a book review site has its problems.
But doesn’t that say something about Lords and Ladies? Even back then, when I first read it in my formative years, I didn’t go back to it – meanwhile, I read Feet of Clay a couple of dozen times, because I loved it. I just can’t bring myself to love this – if you think about books as the babies of the author who wrote them, this particular Pratchett baby is illegitimate, and the result of a one night stand.
Sure, it’s worth reading, if you’ve read the rest of the Discworld ouevre, but I’m certainly not in a hurry to recommend it – it was professional, and competent, and all of those other buzzwords that sound good but that point to mediocrity. It’s a bit like getting a B in a test – it’s good, but is it great? Possibly not great enough, when you consider Pratchett’s high standards.
I’m going to leave it up to you to decide whether to buy it or not – consider it, before purchasing.