64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stitch This, Bigjobs !
First published in 2004 and set on the Discworld, "A Hat Full of Sky" is the sequel to "The Wee Free Men" and sees Tiffany Aching return as the book's heroine. Tiffany, now eleven years old, has been brought up on a farm in an area on the Chalk. She has six older sisters, one younger brother, wields a mean frying pan, is very good with cheese and has already impressed the...
Published on 15 April 2006 by Craobh Rua
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slight, but nonetheless well-constructed
Terry Pratchett returns to the story of Tiffany Aching and the Nac MacFeegle (previously mentioned in the Wee Free Men). The story is a comingof age style story, I think mainly designed with children in mind. Theonly old favourite Discworld character to reappear is Granny Weatherwax,who is probably Pratchett's best character (along with the Librarian, inmy opinion)...
Published on 26 April 2004
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dances with bees **,
Tiffany's clearly inherited some of her gran's Power, but is too young to understand or cope with it. Something else wants that Power. The hiver is a formless thing constantly seeking minds to inhabit. While not truly evil, its effect is deadly. It's inhabited Tyrannosaurs, sabre-toothed tigers and wizards. Yet it's still not sated. Tiffany's young, untested and vulnerable mind seems an ideal roost for the hiver. Thus, the story, told as only Pratchett can relate it, becomes a contest of wills - Tiffany's, the hiver, her mentor, Nac Mac Feegle and all.
So, is this just another simple fantasy about witchcraft and the eternal struggle between "good" and "evil" - a dark versus light dichotomy? Not in Pratchett's knowledgeable hands. The Feegle, Tiffany's staunch allies, are thieves and boozers, in strife with anything that moves. Miss Level, Tiffany's assigned trainer, leads a double life - and more than one of those. The Chalk Downs aren't just white rocky paddocks - they bear a history of life reaching millions of years in the past. Part of the Power is understanding that heritage, and perhaps putting it to use. And just why was the Uffington White Horse carved on a hillside so that can't be seen clearly until you're above it? And why is the carving in parts instead of a complete rendition? Um . . . and is it really a cat? Pratchett's ability to challenge the reader instead of merely being entertaining is unexcelled. This book is a prime example.
Tiffany's confrontation with the hiver reveals its hidden origins. They are as remote as Time itself. While the hiver enters but one mind at a time, it represents an aspect of all living things. Pratchett's resolution of the hiver's invasion of the young witch's mind is superbly crafted. But the story doesn't end with that denouement. Tiffany must attend on Granny Weatherwax, who initiated this situation. In this finale, Pratchett draws one of the most glorious passages of his career. Esme Weatherwax can Borrow - entering the minds of creatures more subtly than the hiver's occupation. Is it her in the swarm of bees Tiffany encounters? Or have they collectively responded to the presence of so powerful a witch? Whatever the cause, Tiffany and the swarm perform a dance - of victory? of acceptance? or just for the pleasure of it?
With his superb style - a recipe of mirth, pathos, philosophy and irony, Pratchett has again shared his genius with us. All of us. As many have noted, putting a "readers' age" restriction on this book is a flawed limitaton. Pratchett, in whatever he writes, is unaged and ageless. Adults and children alike will find entertainment and value here. The best approach, in this reviewer's opinion, is for adults to buy this book and read it aloud - to anybody. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
** with humble apologies and thanks to Michael Blake
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful witches!,
This review is from: A Hat Full of Sky (Paperback)I've often wondered, and now I know - Mr Pratchett knows real witches...although we largely call ourselves Pagans these days.
This book may be aimed at kids, it may be fantasy set in the made-up Discworld, and it may involve small blue kilt-wearing 'fairies' that like a fight and can't resist a dram, but as with every one of Pratchett's books, he has done his research before writing this latest parody of witches.
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as good as the wee free men,
Tiffany Aching is a young witch who has already defeated the Queen of Fairyland (in Pratchett, a grim grey place parasitical on reality)is now 11 and needs to learn some spells. She leaves her beloved farm, and the Nac Mac Feegle clan - tiny blue men of supernatural strength and speed who are not pixies but pictsies. Imagine a Scottish football crowd at its most drunken and heroic, and you'll get the picture. Luckily, they keep an eye on her, and when an ancient evil tries to steal her body and take her place, they mount a rescue mission - slightly delayed by brawls, booze and the inability to ride a broomstick.
What makes Pratchett brilliant is the way he mixes comic fantasy with a real playfulness and passion for language. I laughed and laughed. Perfect for 9+
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tiff's back !!!,
By A Customer
This review is from: A Hat Full of Sky (Paperback)Tiffany Aching returns and is about to start some proper training as a witch. Unfortunately she has been targeted by a Hiver, a nasty entity as old as the universe and unkillable. The Nac Mac Feegle become aware of the Hiver and eventually the small blue men are on their way to the rescue.
Tiffany begins her training unaware that the Hiver is after her. Eventually all the plot threads come together with great humour until the whole thing winds up in a very satisfactory manner.
Terry Pratchett has produced yet another wonderful book written with his usual wit. If you like that sort of thing then this would be right up your street.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud stories,
This review is from: A Hat Full of Sky: (Discworld Novel 32) (Discworld Novels) (Audio CD)These books are aimed at children, but are also a good light read for adults who like this sort of comedy fantasy approach. This is the second book about tiffany aching, and you really need to have read The Wee Free Men first to understand the in jokes, but its not essential to the books enjoyment, as the characters are easy to pick up. Tiffany is now much more at home dealing with the wee free men, who are 6' tall, blue, scottish berserkers with a love of alcohol and fighting as they head off on their next adventure.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Daughter loves this!!!!,
This review is from: A Hat Full of Sky (Paperback)I have never read any Terry Pratchett books myself but my better half rates them very highly. I bought this for my nine year old daughter and she loves it. She has been eager to get to bed just so she can read a little more and has even been taking it to school so she can read during wet play!!!
She has always been a keen reader but this is the first book that has ever had her hooked and looking forward to her next installment.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A right belter, aye?,
The monster in this book exemplifies Pratchett's belief that the real monsters are inside, not outside, and the way in which Tiffany deals with it is *very* mature stuff for a kids book, but somehow doesn't feel too "heavy" at the time. The incidental characters, such as Miss Level and Anagramma would be instantly recognisable to a child (basically, as the nice teacher and the bossy older girl) and the Nac Mac Feegle continue to be a delight, even if their accents do seem to have been steadily toned down since "Carpe Jugulum".
However, the real interest in this book for me was Granny Weatherwax. Like Vimes in "The Truth", we see an established character from the POV of someone who doesn't know them as well as we do, and the insight this provides is... intriguing.
Terry has said he has plans for a third Tiffany book, although not for a while yet. I can't wait.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not the best but still great,
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read!,
Full marks and a big thumbs up from me!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent,
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This review is from: A Hat Full of Sky (Paperback)The previous Pratchett book staring Tiffany Aching, `The Wee Free Men', was an absorbing and entertaining read but this second book in the series is simply another degree of excellence above its predecessor. In this book Tiffany is now eleven and is leaving home for the first time in order to learn what it means to be a witch. Travelling to the mountains she stays with the research witch Miss Level but a creature from the dawn of time is stalking her and will make life difficult once it catches her.
It has been a long time since I read an entire book in a single day but this one was just so absorbing and entertaining that I just could not put it down. The book is as intelligently written, bringing the characters and scenery to life as effectively if not better than any other Discworld book. The book is also as funny as anything else Terry Pratchett has produced in the last few years. The Nac Mac Feegle, while still important, have something of a reduced role in this book but they are still up to their old tricks and produce some of the most entertaining parts of the story.
If the previous book had a fault it was that it seemed to be somewhat isolated from the rest of the Discworld but thankfully that is put right here with appearances by such Discworld staples as wizards and Death, meaning that the book feels a part of the rest of the series. I cannot help but feel that Terry Pratchett was on top form once again for this book and I feel the final confrontation at the Witch Trials is one of the best sequences that he has ever put to paper. `A Hat Full of Sky' is a brilliant book and is not only my favourite Discworld book but has also stormed strait to the top of my list of all-time favourite books, I just worry that after this the next book in the series `Wintersmith' will not be able to live up to the same standards.
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A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett (Paperback - 5 May 2005)