- Hardcover: 244 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (2 Oct. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385612540
- ISBN-13: 978-0385612548
- Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.3 x 26.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 739,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Illustrated Wee Free Men (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008
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More About the Author
Sir Terry Pratchett died on 12th March 2015
Photography © David Bird
When you have an author as good as Terry Pratchett writing for children, you expect that the result will be a novel of great invention, assured comic timing and a generally all-round highly readable fantasy tour de force. Readers of The Wee Free Men will not be disappointed. After winning the prestigious Carnegie Medal award for his previous story of Discworld for younger readers, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Pratchett has followed up with another irresistibly entertaining adventure.
Miss Perspicacia Tick, a witch of some renown, is worried about a ripple in the walls of the universe--probably another world making contact. Which is not good. This errant activity is centred on some chalk country--where traditionally good witches simply do not grow well. Fortunately, Miss Tiffany Aching of Home Farm on The Chalk, nine years old, misunderstood and yearning for excitement, wants to be a witch and has just proved herself to be of great potential by whacking a big Green Monster from the river with a huge frying pan while using her annoying younger brother as bait. Miss Tick is impressed. So, after travelling to the chalky downs at once and dispensing some stop gap advice to Tiffany about holding the fort until she gets back with more help, Miss Tick is off.
Any hesitation Tiffany may have had about the seriousness of the situation expires when the Queen of the fairies kidnaps her younger brother. With the help of a talking frog, loaned by Miss Tick, and an army of thieving, warmongering, nippy, boozy wee free men called the Nac Mac Feegle (who used to work for the Queen but rebelled), Tiffany sets off rescue her kin.
There's humour at every turn, and the situations that follow are both wonderfully dramatic and preposterously unreal. Pratchett really is the master of his genre and it's difficult to imagine a more entertaining read. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
"Quite, quite brilliant" (Starburst)
"A clear example of a comic fantasy classic and, well . . . Crivens! It deserves t'sell a millyun copies" (Sunday Express)
"Plenty to laugh at here, not least Pratchett's ability to put a 90 degree spin on the familiar" (The Times)
"The overall effect is full of intrigue, humour and mystery. There is an immense variety not just in the pictures but in the juxtaposition of text with illustrations on different pages throughout the book, and a few beautifully appropriate fold-out sections add to the effect" (School Librarian)
"This is a brilliant inducement to revisit the story, and then to read on" (School Library Association)
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Top Customer Reviews
Young Tiffany Aching has lived her young life in the Chalk, where raising sheep is the normal form of living. But, when creatures out of fairy tales begin to appear, she realizes that something is very wrong. A group of tiny blue men, with bright red hair and kilts (the Nac Mac Feegle, the Wee Free Men) begin to take an interest in her, and Tiffany quickly learns that her very world is under attack by the Queen of the Elves. The Wee Free Men think that she is a witch, like her grandmother, and just maybe she will be one day, but she's not now. But, armed with her native intellect, her determination, and a wealth of memories of how her grandmother did things, Tiffany might just be enough.
This is another *great* Terry Pratchett book! I have been a fan of this author for a long time, and this book does not let you down. As is often the case in Discworld books, a couple of "regulars" put in an appearance (Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg), but the show is definitely stolen by the Nac Mac Feegle - they are great! (Rob Anybody, Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, he he!) But, even beyond that, the story is enthralling and the characters are quite interesting. If you are a fan of humorous fantasy, then you must read this novel by the king of them all, Terry Pratchett!
The Wee Free Men is based around Tiffany Aching, a brown haired, brown eyed nine year old who is too sensible for her own good; Rob Anybody, No’-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, Hamish and the rest of the blue and red kilted Nac Mac Feegle; Miss Perspicacia Tick, a witch who has learnt that her elbows are generally very reliable; the rather mean Queen of the Fairies (who also starred in ‘Lords and Ladies’, also by Terry Pratchett); and Wentworth, the eternally sticky, sweet-loving toddler who is in agony when he has too many sweets – he can never decide which to eat first.
This book is set in a part of the Discworld previously unknown. It is set partly on the Chalk, low-lying hills that I assume are quite near the Ramtops, but mainly in Fairyland. The atmosphere of the novel is quite mixed; those parts set in Fairyland quite sinister and forbidding (but not really scary) while other parts are rather humorous.
As this is a children’s book, Terry Pratchett does not go into the deeply philosophical theories that he usually explores (and makes fun of).Read more ›
Tiffany Aching, the heroine of the story, inquisitive and mature for her nine years, views herself as an apprentice witch. She has the tools: a cast-iron frying pan, a piece of string, an unusual book of recipes, and, above all, the memory of her very special granny. To rescue her brother, Tiffany has to enter a fairyland, full of strange and dangerous creatures, all controlled by an evil “Quin”. Fortunately, she has inherited “first sights and second thoughts” - a powerful combination for a budding witch. These are essential talents for her to distinguish between reality and dreams: “to see what is really there” and what is imagination created within a dream. “Follow your dream”, Miss Tick’s advice to Tiffany, builds up to a real challenge when Tiffany, after fighting wild animals and dream-creating dromes finally confronts the Queen. She has to peel off layer after layer of their dreams to escape from being taken over by them, then use her own dreaming power to find a way back to her own reality.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wasn't certain that I would like this - I love Terry Pratchett's books but thought that as it was written for children it would be too young for me. Read morePublished 3 days ago by cbr600ps
This was a book missing from my collection Brilliant intro to Tiffiny Aching a must readPublished 13 days ago by David Ruck
I absolutely love this book has to be my favourite disc world novelPublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have rarely laughed so much at a book,and have read and reread several times - oh what a gem we have lost in Mr Pratchett!Published 22 days ago by Sylvia Charlewood