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Wintersmith (Discworld Novels) Hardcover – 28 Sep 2006
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" Oodles of dry wit, imagination and shrewdly observed characters." - "Independent on Sunday"
The third tale in a gloriously inventive fantasy sequence of tales about Tiffany Aching - young witch - and the Nac Mac Feegle - the Wee Free Men.See all Product description
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It's a little slow to get started, and perhaps this is why one of the final chapters has been moved to the front as a sort of prologue - just to tease the reader and let them know there's something coming. The early chapters (and boy the chapters are long at the start) deal with updating us on Tiffany's life and situation since the last book, before we get into the meat of this one.
Once the opening has passed however we're back into the usual Pratchett flow of narritivium which is unputdownable, and I charged through this book in just three days-worth of train journeys, but then it is built for children so is probably shorter (and has a larger font) than the majority of the Discworlds.
After finishing this there's only one thing that concerns me: I've only got one more Discworld novel left before I've read them all.
This is a great book for older children (over 10) and adults alike, and has many laugh out loud moments. Both Boys and Girls will probably wish they had such protectors, despite their propensity for sheep stealing and sneaking around - mainly in search of alcohol, ut also to keep an eye on Tiffany.
In this book, the Wintersmith, a sort of winter god, catches sight of Tiffany and wants her for his own, even if that means permanent winter for the hills. How can Tiffany survive this, whilst still gaining respect from the village in her new role as witch, and how will she and the new Kelda get on?
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).
Terry's books are always hard to put down and I read Wintersmith in hardback at a single sitting, staying up till 3am, I seem to recall. A wonderful crossover novel for adults and children, that appeals to both.
With Terry now in uncertain health, I do hope this isn't the last we hear of Tiffany Aching. All good wishes to Terry and fingers crossed for more Tiffany jewels.
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