Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Wee Free Men

Pratchett, Terry.  The Wee Free Men.  NY: Harper Tempest Books, c2003.  375 pages.  First book in the five book sub-series of Discworld featuring Tiffany Aching.  Other titles are A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight and The Shepherd's Crown (final book published in 2015, finished shortly before he died in March of 2015.)

The Discworld novels (there are 41) take place on a fanstasy world with many similarities to planet Earth, but with magical influence and it's own system of physics.  It consists of a large disc resting on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle, as it slowly swims through space.  Many of the novels are standalone stories with the similarity of taking place on Discworld.  The Tiffany Aching novels are geared toward young adults and feature an unlikely heroine by the name of Tiffany Aching.  Tiffany begins as a shepherdess and cheese maker, at which she is very good.  When "someone" steals her little brother, Wentworth, Tiffany decides the practical thing to do is go and get him back, because even if she thinks Wentworth is a pest, no one is going to take anything that is hers.  She becomes aware of tiny blue men with red hair called the Nac Mac Feegle.  They drink and fight and steal, but they also adore Tiffany and together they join in a quest to get Wentworth back.

The Discworld novels have had great popularity, selling over 80 million copies.  If you love fantasy and you love series books, you should give these a try and Tiffany Aching is a good place to start.

Quotes I liked:
"She opened her eyes and then, somewhere inside, opened her eyes again.  She heard the grass growing, and the sound of worms below the turf.  She could feel the thousands of little lives around her, smell all the scents on the breeze, and see all the shades of the night.  The wheels of stars and years, of space and time, locked into place.  She knew exactly where she was, and what she was." (p342)

""The thing about witchcraft," said Mistress Weatherwax, "is that it's not like school at all.  First you get the test, and then afterward you spend years findin' out how you passed it.  It's a bit like life in that respect." ...."I see you opened your eyes," she said." (361)

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