Monday, October 02, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Thirteen-year-old Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch, but not just any witch. Tiffany comes from the Chalk and gained from her talents from her Gran. When she was 9, Tiffany went up against the Fairy Queen before she had any training. When she was 11, she had to battle an evil that steals bodies. And then there’s the little matter of the Nac Mac Feegles - the little blue pictsies who consider it their duty to keep watch over Tiffany and consider her to be their “big wee hag.”

Granny Weatherwax sent Tiffany out as apprentice to Miss Treason, one of the scariest witches around, and her training is going well until the night she joins the Dark Dance (the transition from summer to winter) and draws the attention of the Wintersmith.

Now it’s snowing miniature representations of Tiffany and the Wintersmith is in love for the first time. Can Tiffany fix things or will it be winter forever?

Some of Terry Pratchett's best books are the ones where he takes on fairy tales, perhaps because all of them feature Granny Weatherwax. These books have an imposed structure (the original tale which provides the outline) and theme within which Pratchett works his magic. Granny provides the necessary acerbity to counter the arch sweetness of fairy tales, although Pratchett's versions are much darker than the originals.

Wintersmith is closer to the earthy fairy tales of old, touching on Tiffany's burgeoning sexuality. Since Tiffany is no ordinary witch, it makes sense that her first sensual adventure would be with the embodiment of winter.

In Wintersmith, readers meet some of the other young witches-in-training - perhaps setting the stage for future books in the "Witches" series (Lords and Ladies, Witches Abroad)? Wintersmith is the 3rd Tiffany Aching adventure, following Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky.


ISBN10: 0060890312
ISBN13: 9780060890315

Trade Paperback
272 Pages
Publisher: HarperTempest
Publication Date: September 26, 2006


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3 comments:

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Kate S. said...

I loved The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky. I'm glad to hear that there's a new one in this series for me to read!

Janelle Martin said...

I loved the two earlier books as well and this, IMHO, is better than both of those.

You'll really enjoy it!