Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Genre/Age Fantasy / Middle Grade to Adult
Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake …
And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you’re thirteen, but also just a little bit … cool.
If Tiffany doesn’t work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime …
Crackling with energy and humour, Wintersmith is the third title in a sequence about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men – the Nac Mac Feegles who are determined to help Tiffany, whether she wants it or not.
I love this series within a series and seemingly can’t seem to get enough of Tiffany, Roland, the Wee Free Men, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and the coven of young witches. The part of me that enjoys a gritty tale almost wants Tiffany to face a more prolonged and challenging battle with the Wintersmith. That same adult part also has to acknowledge that the whole Wintersmith storyline is just a vehicle for the author to weave a story that examines the human psyche, points out how we behave and compares it to how we ought to behave. He also provides lots of drama and laughs along the way.
A witch was just someone who knew a bit more than you did. That’s what the name meant. And some people didn’t like anyone who knew more than they did, so these days the wandering teachers and the travelling librarians steered clear of the place. The way things were going, if the people of Dogbend wanted to throw stones at anyone who knew more than them, they’d soon have to throw them at the pigs.
You can’t help but adore the Nac Mac Feegles, they have such a zest for life, and drinkin’, fightin’ and stealin’. I’m not sure how politically correct they are, borrowing as they do from “our friends in the north”, but they are crazy, loveable rogues. Miss Treason, with her joke skulls and crackpot stories, was also a welcome addition to the series. I think we would all love to grow old as disgracefully as she had!
Yes… perhaps Miss Treason didn’t just take the cake, a packet of biscuits with sprinkles on top, and a candle, but also the trifle, the sandwiches and a man who made amusing balloon animals afterwards.
Tiffany continues to grow a touch taller, a little older and a lot wiser, as she continues in her quest to learn to be a witch. It involves a lot of chores, a lot of cups of tea, a lot of gossiping and very little magick of the wizarding variety. She continues to walk to the beat of her own drum, though it’s dancing to the beat of another’s drum that leads to problems! Thankfully her mulish determination, undeniably strong work ethic and down-to-earth nature make her not only a great witch but also someone who won’t be bested by an elemental almost-god.
…the first time she’d had to go out to deal with someone who looked dead – a young man who’d been in a horrible sawmill accident – she’d done every single test, even though she’d had to go and find his head.
Despite having a LOT of books on my kindle, I’ll be jumping straight into the next book, I Shall Wear Midnight.
“I wasn’t going to describe it quite like that,” said Nanny Ogg.
“Yes, I suspects you weren’t!” said Granny. “I suspects you were going to use Language!”
Tiffany definitely heard the capital “L”, which entirely suggested that the language she was thinking of was not to be uttered in polite company.
Nanny stood up and tried to look haughty, which is hard to do when you have a face like a happy apple.
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Genre/Age Fantasy / Middle Grade to Adult
As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone – or something – is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches.
Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if she falls, the whole Chalk falls with her…
Oh my word, Tiffany Aching is all grown up! This book was simply excellent from start to finish, it had evil intent, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, a few new witches, Roland, the Nac Mac Feegles and Preston.
Wonderful foreshadowing, a great plot, excellent writing, loveable characters and fantastic world-building – this is pretty much the definition of a perfect book. I’ve just got The Shepperd’s Crown left now. Unlike most Discworld books it is one I’ve not read it before and it’s a little sad to think it was TP’s last book.
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
Genre/Age Fantasy, All Ages
A SHIVERING OF WORLDS
Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.
This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.
As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.
There will be a reckoning…
THE FINAL DISCWORLD NOVEL
The Shepherd’s Crown may not be the most polished of Pratchett’s books but it is (a) still spellbindingly fantastic and (b) a truly fitting end to the Discworld series. It also left Tiffany Aching at a very settled point in her life and with hopes for the future. I’m a romantic so would have liked to see those hopes tied up in a beautifully neat bow, but will have to content myself with knowing they eventually took place.
I loved how this subtly tied in with the rest of the series, from a devastated Mustrum Ridcully to the sludgy River Ankh. It also incorporated aspects from later books in the series, including the age of iron and steam. There were some sad and poignant farewells in this book. I like to believe, had he been granted more time, Pratchett would have written a longer one following the elven battles. Like Tiffany, I had found compassion and forgiveness for the character and was saddened by subsequent events. My poor little heart needed just a bit more sorrow expressed on the pages.
Of course, there was the typical silly, irreverent and at times very schoolboyish humour to stop the tone from being too maudlin. How did I not notice he was describing his own version of the Dad’s Army gang? Why do we find jokes about farting so funny? I definitely need to re-read the whole series of Discworld books.
2 thoughts on “#BookReview #LibraryReads #MiddleGrade #YA #Fantasy”
I am so glad to see your enjoying this series so much. You definitely make me want to drop everything and read it. Excellent reviews!
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Terry Pratchett never fails to entertain
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