I Shall Wear Midnight

Overview

The fourth in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.

As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone—or something—is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if ...

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Overview

The fourth in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.

As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone—or something—is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if she falls, the whole Chalk falls with her. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The final adventure in Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series brings this subset of Discworld novels to a moving and highly satisfactory conclusion. Tiffany, now nearly 16 years old, is forced to do battle with the hate-filled ghost of a long dead witchfinder, the Cunning Man, who has become obsessed with the young witch and is gradually turning her own community against her. As ever, Tiffany is ably supported by her loyal, intensely fractious, and totally amoral companions, the Nac Mac Feegles, whose leader, Rob Anybody, believes, "After all, ye ken, what would be the point of lyin' when you had nae done anything wrong?" She must deal with the heavy workload of a professional witch (birthing babies, training apprentices, and the like), fight evil, and come to terms with her former boyfriend's impending marriage. Pratchett's trademark wordplay and humor are much in evidence, but he's also interested in weightier topics, including religious prejudice and the importance of living a balanced life. Tiffany Aching fans, who have been waiting for this novel since Wintersmith (2006), should be ecstatic. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Timothy Capehart
At eight years old, she whacked the Queen of Faerie with a frying pan and saved a future Baron. At eleven, she defeated the mind-destroying Hiver. At thirteen, she had to fend off the advances of the Wintersmith (an eldritch god-sort-of-spirity thing) and save the world (again). Now at very nearly sixteen, Tiffany Aching is considered the witch of the Chalk region, and she has the no-time-for-sleep schedule to prove it. But that's what being a witch IS: taking care of the people in your steading, all the rest is press-on warts and cackle-boxes. Tiffany is confused when those people start turning on her, and rumors, innuendo, and lies are accepted as truth. The Cunning Man, what's left of the evil spirit of an ancient witchfinder, has been awakened; and he's coming for Tiffany. As if that were not problem enough, the old Baron is dying and the baron-to-be (who all assumed would marry Tiffany) has a soppy fiancee...and a monstrous mother-in-law-to-be. Though the Nac Mac Feegles (Tiffany's small, blue, brogue-spewing protectors) mean to be helpful, they often just add to the chaos (often through bloodletting). Pratchett rounds off the Tiffany Aching adventures with what is likely the final volume (she is an adult now); though fans may be sad at that, there's nary a one who will be disappointed with this thrilling, humorous, moving and most wise tale that examines religious intolerance, memory, and loss without ever straying from Pratchett's trademark witty wordplay. Reviewer: Timothy Capehart
Library Journal
Pratchett's fourth—and final—book to feature young witch Tiffany Aching (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith) is a delight from start to finish. The trademark Pratchett humor is in full force along with the classic elements of a witch, a royal wedding, a royal funeral, a trip to the big city, and an ominous villain. Comic relief comes in the form of frequent appearance by the Nac Mac Feegle (who would not be out of place in a farcical miniproduction of Braveheart) and everyone's favorite randy old hag, Nanny Ogg. A character from early in the "Discworld" series makes a cameo appearance, and we meet a new character, the learned young man Preston. As usual, Pratchett makes wise and wry observations about human behavior, for example, "poison goes where poison's welcome" refers to the mob mentality.Verdict YA and adult readers who like strong heroines and classic tales will enjoy this volume, which is sure to be in demand by Discworld fans.—Amy Watts, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This is the final adventure of the young witch, Tiffany Aching, and her obnoxious, fawning, and yet lovable small blue companions, the Nac Mac Feegles. In many ways it's a coming-of-age novel, as Tiffany is now on her own. Known as "The Hag O'the Hills," she spends her time tending to the messy, menial, everyday things that no one else will take care of, such as fixing bones or easing the pain of a dying man. But as she tries to serve the people of the Chalk hills, she senses a growing distrust of her, and a loss of respect for witches in general. Along with the Nac Mac Feegles, she has to seek out the source of this growing fear. Tiffany discovers she may have been responsible for waking an evil force when she kissed the winter in Wintersmith (HarperTempest, 2006). The Cunning Man is in need of a host body and is searching for Tiffany. Pratchett combines gut-busting humor and amusing footnotes with a genuine poignancy as Tiffany tries to decide what her future should be. Fans of the author's "Discworld" (HarperCollins) books will enjoy the connections with the larger series, particularly the inclusion of Granny Weatherwax. Simply put, this fourth and final book in the series is an undisputed triumph.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062435293
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/15/2015
  • Series: Tiffany Aching Series, #4
  • Pages: 464
  • Age range: 13 years

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

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