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on 25 February 2014
Another gem. I can't wait to see where TP takes Tiffany next. Witching has never been more enjoyable. Who'll win in the end? Granny Weatherwax or our heroine? Or will Tiffany actually become the next Mistress Weatherwax (Aching)?
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on 22 June 2013
The usual overblown and delightful characters weave the magic around a twisting plot with humour and low cunning that is a pleasure to read. The heat is on as the BIG Chill sets: Boffo! Boffo! Boffo!
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2006
Let's be clear about this. If you're not already a Terry Pratchett fan, you're unlikely to be interested in this book. But if you've got as far as reading the reviews of it, you must at least have a smidgen of interest - so let's discuss why Wintersmith is such an excellent book.

The Nac Mac Feegle (a race of small, blue, vicious, kilt-wearing, boozing and ultimately hilarious men) were first introduced in the main Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum, but have since been expanded upon in the Tiffany Aching series, in The Wee Free Men and A Hatful of Sky. Nominally a series for younger readers, this series has been (up to now) every bit as enjoyable as the main books. Tiffany Aching, a junior witch, is the heroine again here, but the Feegles are the scene-stealers, reducing any reader to laughing out loud - you just can't help it.

In Wintersmith, in which Tiffany inadvertently attracts the attention of the title character (an elemental who creates winter, in short), Tiffany develops further as a character who could potentially feature in one of the main books. There is a welcome return for the unsurpassably funny Nanny Ogg, the formidable Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany's friend/beau Roland. All the ingredients are there for a fantastic read, and Pratchett doesn't disappoint. It's an easy read, difficult to put down, and I was quite sorry when it was all over because I could easily have carried on for another 500 pages.

So, anybody who disnae wanna fight Big Yan, buy this book wi' all its long werdy things, ye bigjobs scunners! (as Rob Anybody might say).
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on 30 September 2013
An interesting tale in which Terry Pratchett displays his marvellous imagination. A fantasy, of course, but I do enjoy Pratchett's sense of humour. The heroine, Tiffany Aching, 13 years old, is exceptionally mature for her age. But let it pass. The story is good.
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on 27 September 2006
I must start by explaining my circumstances with this book, when I finished A Hat Full of Sky in June, It was hard for me, not going mad for need of a sequel. The need for it was so strong at one point I nearly brought a proof copy, and I never buy proof copies. So I am sure you can understand why I was there on the day Wintersmith was released, and it was REALLY worth the wait. It was far, far better then I thought it could be.

I am sure you know the story from Amazon's handy synopsis so I will just tell you what I loved most about it. I loved the romance. I loved the descriptions. I love the sense of subtle menace and fear that managed to even make ME feel scared. It really doesn't read like most Terry Pratchett books, that although full of brilliance tend to get confusing. This although not confusing, was not straightforward either, you may need to read some parts twice to absorb them fully, but on the first read it is a wonderful exhilarating rush of beautiful writing.

All of the characters in this story are developed and explored more, you find out far more about Tiffany here, Tiffany the young woman, rather than Tiffany the rather solemn child. Not facts, just more about her as a person, her character. That's what I love about Tiffany, she feels like a living breathing person. Roland, looses the whining and complaining and grows a spine, and we see what may, just possibly, be a softer side to Esme Weatherwax. And of course there's the Wintersmith. The titular character, and boy is he a worthy subject for a novel, his story is very, very moving, by the time I got to the end I was close to tears. Although he could interpreted as the villain, he is such as sad, tragic character, that you just can't help but feel sorry for him.

I began this book on Monday, and finished on the school bus this morning, if I didn't have college I would of probably been unable to drag myself away from the book if someone shouted 'The apocalypse is coming!' I'd probably just stay there and die, it WAS that good.

So if I haven't hammered the point home, buy Wintersmith, you won't be sorry for doing so (and please ignore the fact that it is technically a children's book, it's wonderful that children can get access to gold like this but it can be off putting for adults who think 'children's fiction' is below them.)!

Please rate my review if you have the time!
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on 3 June 2014
I love the Discworld novels and this is no exception centred around a 13 yr old aspiring witch who is actually more capable than her friends. Includes all the witches you like from other novels like Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax and teaches you all about Boffo! The NM Feegles always get into the act and Tiffany has them and many others looking out for her. It is in true Pratchett style and is a re read for me and reminds me how much fun there is to have out of this world. The Tiffany Aching books are set in the Chalk hills of the Discworld and send a breath of fresh air through the story lines. If you like other Terry Pratchett Discworld novels you'll love this one too.
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on 8 October 2006
Terry Pratchett has been a bit hit amd miss for me of late, but I do always enjoy the Tiffany adventures. This is definitely one of his best efforts of recent times. It's better than A Hat Full Of Sky (which I did like) but not as enjoyable as some of his darker efforts. This is an easy read full of Pratchett's trademark wit. I preferred Thud in terms of story and tone, but for an easy read Wintersmith can't be faulted. It's not too heavy going and will probably go down as the wittiest fantasy read of 2006. There's nothing particularly straying away from the tried and tested formula, but if you know what you like about Pratchett, then you should already know if you're gonna like this.
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on 29 September 2006
Tiffany Aching, the young witch from "the chalk" is back for her third adventure, a continuing delight. After entering uninvited into the steps of the Dark Morris Dance, which marks the end of summer and beginning of winter, Tiffany starts becoming confusable with the Summer Lady herself. Side-effects of this include becoming the object of the puzzled affections of the Wintersmith, being showered with snowflakes made in her image, being afflicted with a serious case of "fertile feet", becoming the proud owner of a cornucopia determined to overflow, and being responsible for the fact that summer, quite possibly, will never come again.

This book is a nice development of the Tiffany Aching series, which continues to be fresh and funny. Some more minor characters (such as Annagramma, one of the other young witches with whom Tiffany comes into contact) and young Roland (the baron's son) get a fuller treatment here, whilst "the secret of Boffo" is well worth discovering. The Wee Free Men are still round and about, and very funny too, in the company of a semi-sentient blue cheese capable of running, hiding and trying to sing. The slight young-teen embarrasment of Tiffany about both her friendship with Roland and the attentions of the Wintersmith is realistically portrayed, and not overdone, and certainly shouldn't be a barrier to the enjoyment of the book for intelligent pre-teens.

Tiffany herself is still caring and selfless enough to be admirable, whilst also just a little too intelligent and analytical to be simply "nice". This is certainly a good thing, since neither selfish nor "nice" is going to save the day when she needs to prevent the infatuated spirit of winter from spending his life with her... and, incidentally, creating a world in which the seasons no longer change...

Exciting and funny enough for kids, with a clear enough plot and big enough print for adults; very enjoyable.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 5 January 2007
As a Pratchett fan, I don't think he can write a bad book as such. That is, if you like Pratchett's style, you're going to enjoy most of his works. This isn't the best of his books, for sure, but I still enjoyed it. The characters are good and there's the usual mixture of humour and wisdom, but it's let down by an uninspiring central storyline and a weak ending.

As this is the third in the series, I would recommend reading the earlier books ('The Wee Free Men' and 'A Hat Full of Sky') first, although they are not essential to appreciating this one (but are better). The book picks up the story of Tiffany Aching, 13 year old trainee witch. If that conjures up images of Harry Potter like antics, forget it - witching in Terry Pratchett's Discworld is more about dispensing justice to squabbling peasants, delivering babies, and escaping from duckings with pointy hat still intact, and Tiffany's training is very much an apprenticeship as opposed to the cosy public school like atmosphere of Hogwarts.

Tiffany is a likeable heroine, mostly because of her down to earth practicality, with just enough magical ability to be interesting. But the story is stolen, along with most of the items featured in it, by the Nac Mac Feegle - the tiny blue fighting men introduced in the first book of the series. There are also some good supporting characters; eccentric Miss Treason, Discworld stalwarts Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, and new witch Annagramma who thinks magic is more about spells than midwifery and gets a nasty shock...

So what's not so good? I suppose that after three outings, the characters and the concept seem just a little bit tired. They're still good, but they're not that original anymore. The story also suffers from its own structure. Starting with the big climax might make for an exciting beginning but it is also confusing and means the end feels like an anticlimax. I actually enjoyed the middle part of the book much more. The central storyline with the Wintersmith didn't really grab me, and I lost interest by the end. It felt rather like the story petered out, especially as the main drama had already taken place in chapter one.

This story is aimed primarily at children, and I think would be suitable for 12 year olds upwards, though it still will have plenty of appeal for adults too. I would recommend it to established Pratchett fans for the middle chapters, but if you're new to Pratchett start with some of his better works first.

On the whole, not bad but not great. If Pratchett wants to write a fourth he needs to inject some originality and find a stronger central storyline that can carry the entire length of the book.
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on 1 February 2007
The third in the Tiffany Aching & the Nac Mac Feegle series and so far the best of the three. Each has improved on the former and the characterisations are better formed as the main character, Tiffany, gets older. It's funny but as she grows and becomes more adult so do the tales and as a reader and consumer the journey becomes more and more enjoyable. I was not happy with the first in the series (Wee Free Men) I think mainly because to me it appeared that the story was looking for a good tale to tell. The idea was a good one - young witch , learning the ropes, assisted (if that's right) in her endeavors by the Nac Mac Feegle but the first one didn't do it for me and did not gel as a coherent as this one does. This is a great tale. Tiffany attracts the attention of the Wintersmith ( a Jack Frost / Lord of the Winter character). But it not Jack Frost as he's already made an appearance in The Hogfather and he doesn't seem a bit like the elemental Wintersmith - an altogether more malevolent being. As is usual in Pratchett's stories there are plenty of giggles and sniggers and I must admit that as I love the Lancre Witches it's great to see Mistress Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg make their appearance. For me they make the story work.
In conclusion; another gem from Mr Pratchett. While for me it doesn't reach the levels of Going Postal or Thud! (or the Hogfather) it's a must for fans and a very serious consideration for any discerning reader. Not a young kid's book but would be enjoyed by all ages - except perhaps the very young where it could frighten. As a parent of now adult kids I'd say from 10 onwards should be fine.
My score: 8.5 out of 10

Postscript: Have just read a couple of reader reviews and one minor complaint was the Feegles speech: As I'm a Geordie the language is very close to my home dialect and therefore nee bother ataall!
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