Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'Wintersmith' by Terry Pratchett

ISBN: 0060890312
ISBN-13: 9780060890315
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Price: $16.99

The best part of a Terry Pratchett novel is the humor. Before you pick one up you have to prepare yourself to burst with laughter. You will laugh out loud in public places (if you read at work, on a plane, train, or automobile) and people will look at you like you have lobsters crawling out of your ears. And the best part? You won‘t be able to help yourself - it‘s Terry Pratchett.

In May 2003 The Wee Free Men hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere and the world came to know Tiffany Aching, another character in the long list of the fantastic Discworld cast. Tiffany is a young witch from the rolling Chalk Hills, where her family owns sheep. Everyone knew that chalk didn’t make a good witch - you need good firm rock for that, but Tiffany proved them all wrong. On June 1, 2004 A Hat Full of Sky brought us Tiffany’s second adventure in which she proves that she could hold her own against the things that go bump in the night, as well as grumpy old witches.

is the third, and hopefully not the last, of Tiffany Aching’s adventures. Tiffany is on the verge of becoming a teenager, as well as in the middle of learning to be a Witch. Not learning magic, no, because she has that in her already, but learning to control and choose things for herself. Learning not only to make the decision but to stand by it as well.

When the Morris Men gather to dance the Black Morris Dance all the witches go to watch. Through the quiet night they stand to bear witness to the dancers bringing in the winter. Tiffany has never been there before and even though she is told to be quiet and be still, she isn‘t. Her feet start to tap and suddenly she leaps into the middle of the dance.

By stepping into the dance Tiffany has come between Winter and Summer, and she has caught Winter’s eye. Winter follows Tiffany home, spinning roses made of ice and returning a lost keepsake but Tiffany knows that under all the sweet puppy love there is only Winter.

For those of you that have read The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky the Feegle’s are back again providing comic relief as well as large acts of small heroism. The tiny blue tattooed men aren’t going to leave Tiffany alone now that she’s 13. They know she still needs looked after even if she doesn’t and if that means reading her diary, well then so be it.

In the end Tiffany finds that there is power in a simple kiss and in the choices that you make. Again she proves herself to be a Witch to be reckoned with, someone with power and of power. Not to mention there are chickens, but I’ll let you find out about those for yourself.

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