The Illustrated Wee Free Men (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008
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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!
Once a lonely old lady with no teeth was wrongly accused of being a witch and of cooking and eating the Baron's son. The old lady was turned out of her house and left to die in the winter. Tiffany knew the old lady was innocent because she only had a small oven (so couldn't possibly cook a person in it) and unexpectedly decided to become a witch to prevent this sort of thing happening again.
Being the youngest of the girls in the family Tiffany spends a lot of time looking after Wentworth, her little brother. When Wentworth is taken by an evil Queen, Tiffany decides to get him back. Armed only with her wits and the Nac Mac Feegle, Tiffany enters Fairyland on a quest to rescue her brother.
Being "a story of Discworld" Fairyland is not a very nice place. It is full of nasty creatures and is very difficult to get out of.
With this book Terry gets the opportunity to develop the background and culture of the Nac Mac Feegle (the titular Wee Free Men) to whom we were introduced in Carpe Jugulum. We discover that the Nac Mac Feegle used to live in Fairyland but were thrown out for being too rowdy and that they have a hatred of lawyers.
Tiffany is a very strong character and acts much older than her age. I imagine that Granny Weatherwax was probably like Tiffany as a child. She is sensible, intelligent and always carries a piece of string in case it may come in handy.
The Wee Free Men follows a single storyline and therefore doesn't
have the complexity of some of the Discworld novels. This makes the book much easier to read.Read more ›
Seriously, this is a funny book and everyone should read it. It contains Pratchett's traditional blend of wit and humour, with an assortment of values and issues such as bravery, loyalty, and a desire to steal, fight, and steal.
So grab a packetof Jolly Sailor, pour yourself a glass of special sheep linament, and read this book! *****
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought to replace my lost copy. Absolutely excellent condition, as new, as described. Brilliant!.Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Would recommend, terry pratchett books suitable for the young and young at heart. Another introduction to a new character and yet again did not fail to delight.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
An enjoyable read but beware if you buy it on Kindle because some illustrated notices which are crucial to the plot become illegible on the Kindle. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
I love the thought of these amazing, amusing little creatures, has laugh out loud sections whilst also being an excellent reflection on life.Published 1 month ago by Janey Noble
I bought a paperback version of this book for my husband in 2003, because we are both big fans of the Discworld series. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah Burke
My son suggested these books for my grandson as he hated reading but after the first Terry Pratchett book he read he now loves to read them all another book he loved many thanksPublished 2 months ago by karen