This is the 14th and next Discworld book, following Small Gods in publication order but Witches Abroad in plot. I needed something I knew I would enjoy that was light and funny and available. Discworld books fit the bill for me.
Length: 400 pages
Setting: Lancre on Discworld, after the events of Witches Abroad
Summary: Short version: Elves try to invade Lancre but the witches stop them
Long version: Magrat, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax have returned from their vacation. The King was prepared and everything is all set for the wedding between him and Magrat. She’s not too sure about becoming a queen, but bows to tradition in all things. At the same time, activity has increased around the Dancers, a ring of standing stones. It seems that the world of the elves has grown close to ours. The Queen is ready to regain her rightful place ruling humanity (at least in the little kingdom of Lancre). It’s up to the witches to stop them, but Magrat’s off being almost the Queen, and Nanny and Granny are old. The elves invade on Midsummer’s Day, coincidentally the day of the wedding. Magrat finds inspiration in a barbarian Queen and the elves are sent back to their home.
Final thoughts: The witch stories continue to be my favorite Discworld books. Nanny and Granny have opposite personalities that now work well together. Nanny is all about living life to its fullest – she eats with gusto, is willing to take a tumble in the hay if the opportunity arises, and loves her grandchildren dearly. Granny Weatherwax tries to see the world as it actually is and not how we wish it would be. Then we see how wizards and witches view the same events. The wizards are the university folk, using big words to explain everything (unless you’re the orangutan librarian who just says “ook”). The witches are the old farm wives who have seen it all and have a down home solution to all your ills. Then there’s poor Magrat. As Greebo, the cat says, she’s basically a mouse in human form. But even a mouse can be convinced to attack. Magrat puts on some armor and can shoot an elf through the keyhole.
As always, Pratchett fills the book with humor and insight. Very enjoyable.
Title comes from: It’s a phrase that refers to the elves. If you say “elf” you might call them to you, so people came up with many oblique phrases to refer to them.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #24 for 2020
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