- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
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. . . .
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. . . .
"Teen witch Tiffany is one of [Pratchett's] most formidable creations yet."
Ask Tiffany Aching, and she'll tell you: It's not easy being a witch, especially when you're only almost 16 years old.
It can't be easy being Terry Pratchett, either, an author known foremost, perhaps, for his screamingly funny Discworld novels, of which this is the latest. Beneath everything he writes, however, even as he has readers howling helplessly with laughter, is a fierce, palpable love for his fellow human beings, however flawed they may be. A love that causes Tiffany over and over to square her shoulders beneath her pointy black hat and do what's needful.
He throws a lot at Tiffany, who crashed spectacularly into her calling when she armed herself with a skillet and, at the age of nine, ventured into Faerieland (which is not nearly as nice as it sounds) to steal her brother back from its Queen (The Wee Free Men, 2003). Here he challenges her with the Cunning Man, a centuries-old disembodied hatred that seeks ignorance and uses it—"Poison goes where poison's welcome"—against witches.
Themes of memory and forgetting run throughout this tale. Books preserve all memories, even the ones better consigned to oblivion. The Cunning Man is resurrected when Letitia, Tiffany's erstwhile swain Roland's fiancée (Pratchett confronts her with this betrayal, too) summons him inadvertently when trying to work a spell against Tiffany. But one of the Cunning Man's MOs is wanton book burning, a calculated obliteration of memories.
Witches, arguably, embody the accumulated wisdom of their craft, while the Cunning Man is a collective memory of evil. He operates by playing on fear and causing the common folk to forget what their witches have done for them. Tiffany must remember everything she's gleaned from all the witches who have trained her to defeat him, and the key is a childhood memory the old Baron shares with her on his deathbed.
It's not all heavy stuff. Pratchett leavens Tiffany's passage into adulthood with generous portions of assistance from the Nac Mac Feegle, the six-inch-high blue men whose love of boozin', fightin' and stealin' is subordinate only to their devotion to Tiffany, their Hag o' the Hills. When they utterly destroy the King's Head while on an errand for Tiffany, they rebuild the pub—back-to-front, rendering it the King's...oh, crivens, never mind.
And even as he demands more and more of Tiffany—her beau engaged elsewhere, her old Baron gone, the people of the Chalk turned against her—he gives her an army of friends and someone who loves words as much as she does, someone who, like Tiffany and, one suspects, the author himself, knows that "forgiveness" sounds "like a silk handkerchief gently falling down."
A passionately wise, spectacularly hilarious and surpassingly humane outing from a master.
Posted January 28, 2011
For those familiar with the works of Pratchett, you will not be disappointed. For those new to Discworld, it will leave you wanting to know more of not only the backstories of the characters in this book, but other inhabitants that make Discworld a favorite escape from reality for millions of Terry Pratchett fans worldwide.
This is the first of his works that I have read on my Nook, so it took me a second to figure out how to access the footnotes that Pratchett utilizes in every book of his that I have read. You have to wake up your touch screen, then touch the circle on the right side to select the footnote. Once it is read, you touch the circle again to take you back to the page you were reading.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2010
I was able to receive a UK copy of this fro a friend and finished this today. WOW! I honestly cannot think of one part of this book that was a let down. The whole book flowed from begining to end. The action was very well paced, and I must say very dark for a Young Adult novel, but that is the good thigabout Terry's work. He knows that young adult are just that young adults. As he stated in Theif of Time, kittens and puppies grow up to be cats and dogs, so kids need to have more adult material to help change their minds, to hlp shape them into the adults that they will become. And a bit of a spolier here that is what this book is about. Changing the way people think, perfect topic for Young Adults, but no even for Young Adults for Adult Adults as well.
It seems that some characters might be coming to an end, but others are rising to take their place. It is nice to see old characters coming back into the series after so long away. I want to say more, but don't want to give away too much.
What is really sad is the cover art of the books since on the UK covers there is a HUGE HINT as to the ending of the book that s lost with the US covers. I think the artists in the US should be fired and just spend the money and get Kidby's cover art on th book. I think the money that they mae from Terry's work would give them more than enought for that, and they would make even more.
But as I said a GREAT book, and most definately worth a second, third, fourth, fifth..... reading. When this is released I wil buy i for my nook and I might wear out the screen reading it so much.
Also, when it is stated that this is the last Tiffany book I do not thin that we have seen the last of Tiffany. Just like this and othe novels (especially with this novel) characters keeping coming back for cameos. Plus is you look a Stephen King when he said that he would write no more Dark Tower novels, now there will be a 8th book in the works I do not thing an author can never say never! I hope so Tiffany is a hell of a character and not to write about her would be horrible.
Buy this book and enjoy many many times!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2010
Trained in witchcraft by experts like Nanny Ogg (unofficially in this case that is), Tiffany Aching has become the Witch of the Chalk. Being young and wanting fun with and without witchcraft, Tiffany understands her responsibility to perform the spells to help those in need although she gains no acclaim as she does her work diligently in secret. Adding to her discomfit is reactions of the normal are rarely what she expects them to be.
However while at a fair feeling like a fool tied to her broom; just like the little kids with balloons, Tiffany senses something is not right. Soon people begin to assault witches for no apparent reason beyond their normal fear of the witches. She and her miniscule belligerent intoxicated pals, the Wee Free Men, begin to search what is playing on the trepidations of people towards witches. Needing help, she journeys to Ankh Morpork to meet with Roland, the baron's heir and with a shopkeeper before returning to confront whatever evil is stalking the Chalk.
Targeting teens, the fourth Aching fantasy (see The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith) is a terrific entry that will have readers fully engrossed in the exciting story line. Yet the tale also ponders deep philosophical issues of esteem, fitting in (or not) and it's okay to be different and to a degree alone while making a strong case to speak up if you are domestic abuse victim. All that and more without decelerating and linked to the Discworld saga; fans of that great satirical series will also relish Tiffany's coming of age final test escapades
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2012
Posted December 27, 2011
As with most of Pratchet's work, you get glimpses into the truth of people in a wonderfully engaging way. A fitting conclusion for the intrepid and human yet witchy Tiffany Aching.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2011
Tiffany Aching refuses to wear midnight-the dark colors traditional for witches. And though she is growing older, she also refuses to give up the seemingly innocent ways of her people. But when evil looms, she is forced to don the mantle of her craft and stand against the darkness.
The fourth and final book of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series leads the young witch through physical and personal mine fields, accompanied by the loyal and obstinate Nac Mac Feegle-an army of tiny blue, rowdy, drunken pixies. Not yet 16 years old, Tiffany is now the official witch of the Chalk, her pastoral home region, and must uphold the duties expected of any adult witch. She understands the vagaries of her people, but lacks many of the experiences of her older sister witches.
Something wicked walks the world however. An evil spirit is turning the people against their witches, and it may be Tiffany's fault. When the beloved Baron dies, and Tiffany is blamed, her tenuous standing among the inhabitants grows even more strained. By the customs of her profession, and to prove her abilities to care for her land, Tiffany must stand alone to fight against the Cunning Man, an ancient Omnian witch-hunter returned from the dead. How she fares in this battle decides not only her place among the witches and her people, but also the fate of the world.
Like Douglas Adams and Tom Holt, Pratchett has long been known for his ability to intricately weave social and personal issues with laugh-out-loud humor in a style often unique to British authors. The 38 books of his DiscWorld series have touched upon seemingly every social issue, all while steeped firmly in an outlandish and hilarious fantasy world. And while his Young Adult Tiffany Aching series contains all of these, I Shall Wear Midnight seems especially poignant and insightful. Whereas the first book in the series, The Wee Free Men, introduced a nine-year-old Tiffany and her minuscule band of blue fighters, she was a more innocent, wide-eyed child, who slowly grew through the next two books. In Midnight, however, Tiffany experiences personal moments that all who have suffered the strains of such insecurities have felt. And it is up to her to find the strengths within to overcome the terror-to walk through the flames and accept the Midnight we all must wear, without being consumed by its darkness.
I Shall Wear Midnight is a masterfully fitting and strong end to this series within a series. While it may leave one longing for more adventures of Tiffany and her friends, its resolutions and inspirations confirm that, wherever her journeys may lead, Tiffany and the wee free men will clomp, shout, and muddle through just fine.
- Danny Evarts
This review originally appeared in Shroud Magazine Issue #10, Oct. 2010
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2010
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany Aching is a witch. A pointy hat witch with no warts but never-the-less she is a witch. She demonstrates to her peers and constituents that she is a competent witch.
Knowing the loyalty of the legions of Pratchett fans, I am suffering some trepidation in writing this post. I liked the book, I didn't love it! It seems like everything written by Pratchett is reviewed with many !!! exclamation points. I found the book entertaining. I enjoyed the wit and the characters. The homilies were well done and thought provoking. I thought it would be most appropriately characterized as a young adult book. I am aware that Pratchett's work is satirical.
It was a fun but unchallenging read. Some sound, basic psychology was used by Tiffany and her new beau (who will remain nameless until you read the book, because I hate spoilers). I thought it was good light weight summer book.
I recommend the book.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2013
Posted November 26, 2012
Posted September 23, 2012
I don't have any children, but I'll read anything by Terry Pratchett that I can get. Even though this series is for younger readers I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole collection. When I first started reading Wee Free Men I pictured my nieces reading the series too, but by the time I got to this book I had decided that some of the subjects and scenarios in this, the last book in the Tiffany Aching set, might only be suitable for my teenaged niece. This book is the most emotionally challenging and mature of the series, but it still has plenty of Discworld humor, and lots of characters from the main series, including the Lancre witches and the Ankh Morpork Watch. This is a must have for the Discworld fan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2012
I'm not going to say much because this book is too good to spoil and besides I'm tired from just waking up. An amazing conclusion. Glad to see Esk after almost thirty years. I say thirty years even though I'm sixteen, because that's how long ago equal rites was written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 30, 2011
Posted November 8, 2011
Posted February 4, 2011
I am glad to see that even with his illness Sir Terry Pratchett can still write a fun romp in the Tiffany Aching Series.
Tiffany is back and she has trouble, when she kissed winter in The Wintersmith she woke up something evil and it is now after her. The Feegles are back to in all their glory Crivens I love these little blue guys! It was also a bit bittersweet knowing this is the final Tiffany Aching story and you could feel that in the ending. I will miss this series!
This is and always will be one of my favorite fantasy series these can be read totally separate from the Discworld Series, however since Tiffany went to Ankh-Morpork there was some fun name dropping if you have read all those books.
If you haven't read the Tiffany Aching Series what are you waiting for? Go get it!
Posted December 30, 2010
I really do like this series. I started outreadingthis book because it was recomended to me, but after I finished I discovered that this is the fourth and final book in the Tiffany Aching Series. Make sure that you read the books in orderbecause once I went back and read the series in order I found mysef confused about this book. I understand the plotbut I'm nit sure what the character means when she says she will wear midnith...oh well. This book is great for fanstasy lovers and is very captivating. This series is actually part of a largerseries of about 35 books that have to di with magic. Tiffany Aching is not a character in those books. My understnding is the the other larher series is for adults while this series is for middle schoolers. Now back to this book... It gives a wholenew meanung to witchcraft. Instead if witches turning men into frogs, or having warts, this book tells how a witch only percorms magic to remove pain from a dying person or to create a fire and spread warmth throughout a person or room. My favorite of this series is the first book: the wee free men and the second is a hat full of sky andthe third is wintersmith nd finally the fourth is this book. Fewwwwwwwwww.......that was a long review even though the limit is a few thousand words, now that's a lot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2010
Although these books are best experienced as audiobooks read by Stephen Briggs, reading them is quite an experience, also. Start with the hillarious Wee Free Men.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2010
Tiffany is a well-realized character in an established and mature world. These stories add texture and depth.
In I Shall Wear Midnight, Pratchett looks again at the complex topics as well as the simple humor.
Posted October 30, 2010
I Also Recommend:
This was my first experience with Discworld, and thus also my first experience with Tiffany Aching, and it was overall a quite enjoyable experience. The book stood alone well, and while I could tell there were quite a few references to events in previous novels (both in the Tiffany Aching series and in the larger Discworld series) they didn't get in the way of the story being told and didn't seem to spoil anything if I decide to pick up the earlier novels. (At least, nothing more than the jackets would have spoiled for me anyway.)
It's very definitely aimed at young adults (say 10-12 and up), with its teenage protagonist dealing largely with the issue of learning to act as a thoughtful independent agent. The Discworld setting was there as backdrop, but largely irrelevant to the story at hand, and while there were comic moments, particularly with the Wee Free Men, this was not a laugh-out-loud sort of book. It was focused on several themes common (but nonetheless vital) to young adult novels: finding your place in the world, thinking before you act (especially if you are short on sleep), and most importantly not standing idly by while those around you suffer. It also sounds a stern warning not to get caught up in the madness of crowds. And, impressively, all of those themes were well served, because Pratchett makes sure that the reader sees that there are no Bad Guys, just people reacting (often without thinking) to the people and circumstances around them.
Tiffany is a good heroine, strong-minded and action-oriented, but with a knack for self-reflection and enough humility that she quickly owns to her own mistakes and errors of judgment. I particularly enjoyed the fact that, unlike most heroines, she was expected to stand on her own two feet, and there was no one waiting in the wings to save her if she fell. This was unfortunately undercut by a mild love story that, while not in any way objectionable, simply didn't feel like it belonged in the tale of such an independent character. However, what was lacking in that department was made up by two very strong central images (the title and the hare) that Pratchett wove throughout; they are what I will take away from the novel long after I've forgotten (though not totally forgiven) its little bit of soppiness.
So all in all, a solid, well-paced and well-written work of fantasy for younger readers.
Posted October 23, 2010
Posted October 21, 2010
This latest look at Tiffany and her "chalk" part of the disckworld includes a trip to the CITY and showes how her skills have grown.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.