Book Review – Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett is the 14th novel in the Discworld series, and the fourth in the “Witches” subseries. Unlike most other Discworld novels, this book begins with a note from the author suggesting you read some of the previous “Witches” novels before starting this one. This novel begins right where the last one, Witches Abroad, left off, and also continues plot threads from Wyrd Sisters, the novel before that.

Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick have returned home to the small kingdom of Lancre after their journey abroad, only to find trouble afoot before they can even settle back in at home. Magrat finds that her potential husband-to-be Verence II, the former Fool made King, has fast-tracked a lot of their wedding arrangements without her input. Meanwhile, crop circles are appearing all across the kingdom; it seems somebody has been dancing around some stone circles, inviting the return of the elves. While remembered fondly in the minds of people, their return only spells trouble for everybody living on the Disc.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

The Book of Forgotten AuthorsThough I’ve been taking a little break from reading more intently, hence the absence of a post last week, I did end up starting a book anyway: The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler. Each entry for an author is usually no more than 3-4 pages long, which makes this a perfect book for reading in short bursts. A funny bit of happenstance while reading it, I’ve actually heard of one of the authors included so far, and I’ve read one of her books. Not all that forgotten, after all. So far, learning all these nuggets of literary history has been really enjoyable. A double-edged side effect is I’ve started adding books to my to-read shelf, so I’m likely going to come away from this with a laundry list of old books that will inflate my TBR pile and be difficult to find. Marvelous.


Recently Finished

Lords and LadiesJust before the end of 2019 I finished reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, the 14th Discworld novel. I should have a full review posted soon. In a few ways this book seemed to work toward tying up loose ends from Witches Abroad. There was a lot of emphasis in that novel on the youngest witch Magrat being a “wet hen,” but it didn’t do much to help her grow past that as a character. In this book she finds herself being suddenly swept up into her wedding with King Verence II (a loose end from two novels prior), which pushes her to stand up for herself and work toward carving out her own destiny. It’s always a delight to read more of the exploits of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg as well, the former having an appreciable amount of her personal history explored too.


Reading Next

The Year of the FloodIn terms of novels, I’m going to make myself finally read The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It’s been on yearly to-read lists for years now, and I’m fed up with my own procrastination with it. It’s been nearly a decade since I even read Oryx and Crake, for goodness sake. I also want to start reading some of the new graphic novels I got over the last month, starting with No Longer Human by Junji Ito, which I’m most excited to finally check out. It’s unique, in that it’s not an original work of the author’s, but a manga adaptation of a well-known Japanese novel. I only have a vague understanding of what it’s about, so I’m really eager to get started on it.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Top 5 Books I Read in 2019

The final year of the decade has come and gone. It’s strange how one of the most ordinary things in the world can feel so uncanny sometimes. The last five years were long, there is no doubt, but I can’t escape the sense that they were the fastest five years of my life. 2019 itself was weird for feeling both long and short, in its own right.

With the year over and done, that is also another load of books that I’ve finished reading. Every year I pick my top five favourites among them, in no particular order, and this year is no different. They needn’t have come out this year, I just need to have read them this year. Without further ado…Read More »

WWW Wednesday – December 25, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Lords and LadiesIt’s a Christmas Wednesday! I should probably take a day off, but how often will this come around? I’m barely 15% in to Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, though I’m loving it so far. With a preface from the author declaring it so, this is the first book in the series since The Light Fantastic that you would do well to have read the previous books in the sub-series beforehand. The witches have returned home after their exploits in Witches Abroad, and already it’s hit the fan. Circumstances are still fairly mysterious for me at the moment, but it seems to have something to do with elves, or fae folk, which haven’t been a common or even present thing in the series as far as I can recall.


Recently Finished

StardustI finished reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman last week, and with all said and done I must honestly say I was a little disappointed, though with some caveats. The writing and the characters are simply lovely, with plenty of evocative elements that kept me invested in this lengthy fairy tale. There are some good lessons to be had about being over zealously romantic too. That all being said, the story is almost bereft of conflict. A number of villainous elements are introduced, each of them interesting characters in their own respect, yet except for one scene they don’t really have a significant impact on the characters for the majority of their journey. Conveniences keep the characters out of harm’s way, and that made everything a little less compelling.


Reading Next

Lords and Ladies shall be my last book for the year, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

I hope everybody has a happy Holidays, and very merry Christmas Day.

Until the New Year, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

WWW Wednesday – December 18, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

StardustCurrently a good ways into reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Of course, this means that I came up short on my little challenge to myself from last week. Can’t say I’m too surprised, but it did motivate me, so it had its intended effect. 67% of the way through in a week’s time, with other books along the way, feels pretty good. That all being said, I’m actually surprised with how much I’m enjoying it, which is saying something since I had no misgivings about it. It’s a more whimsical, lighter read, while still brimming with Gaiman’s imagination. I’m most surprised with how naughty the book is. I don’t think it’s especially explicit, but there’s a lot more sex and risqué descriptions than what its YA-fairy-tale appearance suggested to me.


Recently Finished

Saturday night I finished reading Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I enjoyed it as a more character-focused novel (as the title suggests), but all the same I do wish the narrative through-line had built up to something a little more climactic. I should have a review up soon.

Marley's GhostI also read through Marley’s Ghost by Harvey Kurtzman et al, which actually has a much more complicated history than I realized. Kurtzman had the idea of adapting Dickens’ story as a comic book back in the 1950s, when the idea of a “graphic novel” was inconceivable. Kurtzman’s adaptation notes were expanded into a full graphic novel for publication in 2017 by Gideon Kendall, Josh O’Neill, and Shannon Wheeler. The result is really lovely. It’s an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, so most of us already know the story, but it appears to use writing lifted right from the original book. The art is also gorgeous. It made me realize why I love this story too: not just for its messages, but also the fact that it’s a ghost story. Hadn’t quite thought of it in such terms so consciously before.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesDespite the incoming holidays, and my usual brief interlude from reading, I am determined to read one more Discworld novel, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, before the decade is out. The trick with this is it will really bother me if I don’t get it finished before midnight on December 31st. With the holidays keeping me busy, this may be difficult. This will likely being my last book for the year, period, as well. I’ll save cracking open another graphic novel until 2020 (maybe). Let’s see if I can pull this off, friends.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

WWW Wednesday – December 4, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

ThrawnI’m making good progress on Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. I’m just about halfway through it now. I’m really enjoying Thrawn’s rising through the ranks, thanks in large part to the fact that the novel doesn’t go out of its way to frame the Empire as evil and menacing as per usual. They did enforce law and order throughout the galaxy, after all, and while their nasty side still shines through, Thrawn’s commendations are received for how he deals with pirates and organized crime, at least so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if rebel cells make their way into the story in some way, but I like this angle for a villain’s origin story. I prefer the idea of him being an admirably cunning, even honorable character, who doesn’t shy away from doing bad things if it suits a goal, rather than being just another overtly malicious figure.


Recently Finished

HellboyKrampusnachtLast night I read Hellboy: Krampusnacht by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes. I honestly feel a little guilty about counting this on my Goodreads Challenge for 2019, but even with its inclusion I’m not going to reach my goal, so I’m just going to let it sneak in. I feel this way because it’s only about a single comic book issue long. A volume is normally composed of at least 4-5 issues, if not more. It was a fun little Christmas story nonetheless, giving an interesting little twist on the Krampus figure, though a little formulaic for a Hellboy story at the same time. I’ve no regrets about reading it though, and discovered when I was done that they’ve released a Hellboy Winter Special issue every year since 2016, so I’m probably going to get those now too. Probably won’t count those though.


Reading Next

Lords and LadiesIt has occurred to me that I wanted to try to read more Discworld books this year than I did last year, but I cannot do that if commit to reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. There is a good chance, if I have the time for it, that my final book for the year will be Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett instead. I’ve only matched the number of books I finished last year. If I clear that one I can beat it. I will simply push Atwood’s book to January. My Gaiman backlog has been around longer, though, so I do still intend to read Stardust after Thrawn.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post, or what you’re reading, down below.

WWW Wednesday – September 18, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Doctor SleepLast night I started reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. I’m only about 40 pages in, which is a drop in the bucket for how long the book is, but I’m liking it so far. The first chapter dealt with the more direct aftermath of what took place at The Overlook and how Danny learns to deal with the ghosts that continue to haunt him. The following chapter introduced the antagonists of the story, who seem interestingly eccentric so far, though not particularly menacing yet. The book has been a little heavy handed with the abuses we hear about characters having suffered, though I haven’t found anything to be too egregious. I just hope this isn’t indicating a trend in the novel, unless of course it has something to say on the matter I haven’t caught on to yet.


Recently Finished

Late last week I finished reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, which you can check out my review for here. I’m quite happy with the way this story wrapped up. It’s an excellent novel and I’m pleased with how much it surprised me.

CoralineI’m pleased to report that, as I planned, I started and finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman over the weekend. I’ve seen the film before, so it didn’t have much to surprise me with, but it was nonetheless an excellent book for children and adults alike. I’ve got a special place in my heart for stories suitable for younger audiences that are nonetheless creepy as all get-out and this book is a quintessential example of such a book. There was such whimsy and fun mixed with very troubling situations and even darker implications. I especially liked how much of a firmer a grasp of Coraline’s perspective this gave over the film. I felt much more in the character’s head.


Reading Next

Little HeavenWith October creeping ever closer I have to keep pushing for spooky reads. Consulting my scrappy to-read list I think I will read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter as my next novel. I really enjoyed The Troop last year, so I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Plus, it’s Canadian! Goodness knows if I’ll actually be starting it soon though, since Doctor Sleep is by no means a short novel. I’ve got a collection of Lovecraft stories on my list as well, which is probably going to be quite the undertaking too. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

Small Gods

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett is the 13th novel in the comic fantasy Discworld series, and the second standalone novel belonging to a small, loosely connected group of novels that cover specific, lesser-known cultures of the Disc. This novel in question is set a century before the usual present day and focuses on the land of Omnia, a powerful and oppressive theocracy that worships and acknowledges only one god: The Great God Om. The time for the 8th prophet to be revealed is close at hand and Om has manifested himself in physical form on the Disc to seek out his new chosen one. The problem is, he has somehow manifested as a diminutive tortoise and nobody he speaks to can hear him. That is, until an eagle meaning to make a meal of him drops him into the Citadel in Omnia, where he lands in a garden. There he meets Brutha, a novice of the Citadel and the only person in the whole world who can hear him.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 11, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Small GodsI’m in the final stretch of Small Gods by Terry Pratchett; only about 75 pages left to go, give or take. I’m disappointed with myself for not having finished it up already, but my attention was a little divided (it ought to be more divided, to be honest), so I’ve still got a little bit of it left. In a rather surprising turn this standalone entry in the series is becoming one of my favourites. A lot of it has to do with the fact that, while it has still be humorous, it’s not funny in the same way the previous books have been. That’s at least how I feel about it, anyway. There’s an underlying sense of menace to the book, thanks to evils of dogmatism, that’s enriching the narrative. I’m not sure I’ve felt this anxious for a Discworld protagonist before.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week because I am an appalling failure…well, not really. I went to a cottage for a few days last week, then had to quickly readjust to my nocturnal schedule, so I’m giving myself a bit of a pass since I had to shift gears more than normal. Hopefully I can still pick things up though. There’s still only four months left of the year…


Reading Next

Doctor SleepThe time for decisions is now! Coraline by Neil Gaiman is up and coming, as I’ve said before, but I will also start Doctor Sleep by Stephen King soon. I want to get it done before the film comes out, and it’s time to get more in gear for the spookiest time of year. No I won’t pipe down about that until November. I’ve got a whole line-up of horror related fiction I want to read, and darn it I mean to get to them.

On the comic book front, I’m still going to start digging in to the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books I recently picked up. I’d like to start checking out The Immortal Hulk as well, which should also conveniently be Halloween appropriate.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – September 4, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Small GodsI’m a fair amount further into Small Gods by Terry Pratchett and much of the story has clicked into place for me since last week. I’m increasingly seeing how Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are cut from the same cloth, this book also dealing with gods and their dependence on human belief to sustain themselves. I really like how he’s tackling religion in this book, specifically rampant dogmatism. It’s lampooning a very clear parallel to a belief system in our world, without being irreverent to the idea of faith itself. So far it works more to show the ways institutions can become abusive and corrupt. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. The story feels like a departure from tried and true formulas he’s used before.


Recently Finished

A Song of CrowsOver the weekend I read the third volume in the Bloodborne comic book series: A Song of Crows by Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, and Brad Simpson. It’s the first to feature one of the characters from the game as a protagonist; Eileen the Crow. The team for this series did not disappoint, despite what one might expect from a comic book tie-in telling the backstory for a side character. The narrative was honestly—and I don’t say this lightly—a bit more 𝔀𝓮𝓲𝓻𝓭 than its predecessors. Not incomprehensible, but Kot and company once again captured the dreamlike/nightmarish nature of Yharnam perfectly. It was so unexpectedly bizarre and vague I feel I need to read it again before I review it. I’m totally here for the weird, mind, so I’m happy to give it a second look.


Reading Next

Black DossierI still have every intention of reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman soon, but on the comic book front I’ve recently gotten the next couple of volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that I needed. So, I’d like to start The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill soon. Technically it’s volume 2.5 and knowing what I do about where things go I’m curious as to how it will bridge volumes two and three. If it fills in a lot of the detail from that almanac I struggled through at the end of volume two I’m honestly not sure how I’ll feel about that.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.