The Lancre coven return home in time for Magrat Garlick’s wedding, which is a surprise to her, and to find certain “Lords and Ladies” wanting to crash the event. Terry Pratchett returns to Discworld as the witches face off with faeries trying to make their way back into reality as Magrat tries to figure out how to be a Queen after finding her career as witch not going well while Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg just continue on with their witchy ways.
Having found the previous two witches books (Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad) not particularly to my liking compared to other Discworld installments, I was a bit hesitant when starting this book however that changed as Pratchett’s story unfolded. Following not only the perspectives of the three witches but also Magrat’s betrothed King Verence, two of Nanny’s sons Jason and Shawn, and numerous wizards from the Unseen University. The use of magical quantum mechanics is better explained than “mirror magic” in Witches Abroad and feels like it is worked into the plot easier throughout the book. The main antagonist once against has a history with Granny, but this time the Faerie Queen and her minions just come off as more real than other antagonists the witches have faced. But the biggest thing that made this book better than the previous witches books was the character development of Magrat, who instead of seemingly remaining flat came into her own as the Fair Folk attached Lancre to be a real Queen.
The humor and engaging story of “Lords and Ladies” makes this one of the best Discworld books that I’ve read and major improvement over both Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. If future Witches books by Pratchett are up to the standards of “Lords and Ladies” then I can’t wait to read them.