The Washington Post
Wintersmith: The Third Tiffany Aching Adventure (Discworld Series #35)by Terry Pratchett
Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to winter — she does what no one has ever done before and leaps into the dance. Into the oldest story there ever is. And draws the attention of the wintersmith himself.
As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions? Even with the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Nac Mac Feegle — the fightin’, thievin’ pictsies who are prepared to lay down their lives for their “big wee hag.”
Wintersmith is the third title in an exuberant series crackling with energy and humour. It follows The Wee Free Men.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Washington Post
–Independent on Sunday
"Pratchett's one-liners, the comic dialogue of the Feegles, the satire about teenagers and the credulousness of the ordinary folk make for a characteristically entertaining mix."
--Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times
"Exuberant energy and humour."
Read an Excerpt
By Terry Pratchett
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
The Big Snow
When the storm came, it hit the hills like a hammer. No sky
should hold as much snow as this, and because no sky could,
the snow fell, fell in a wall of white.
There was a small hill of snow where there had been, a few
hours ago, a little cluster of thorn trees on an ancient
mound. This time last year there had been a few early
primroses; now there was just snow.
Part of the snow moved. A piece about the size of an apple
rose up, with smoke pouring out around it. A hand no larger
than a rabbit's paw waved the smoke away.
A very small but very angry blue face, with the lump of snow
still balanced on top of it, looked out at the sudden white
"Ach, crivens!" it grumbled. "Will ye no' look at this? 'Tis
the work o' the Wintersmith! Noo there's a scunner that willna
tak' 'no' fra' an answer!"
Other lumps of snow were pushed up. More heads peered out.
"Oh waily, waily, waily!" said one of them. "He's found the
big wee hag again!"
The first head turned toward this head, and said, "Daft
"Did I no' tell ye to lay off that waily business?"
"Aye, Rob, ye did that," said the head addressed as Daft
"So why did ye just do it?"
"Sorry, Rob. It kinda bursted out."
"It's so dispiritin'."
Rob Anybodysighed. "But I fear ye're right, Wullie. He's come
for the big wee hag, right enough. Who's watchin' over her
doon at the farm?"
"Wee Dangerous Spike, Rob."
Rob looked up at clouds so full of snow that they sagged in
"Okay," he said, and sighed again. "It's time fra' the Hero."
He ducked out of sight, the plug of snow dropping neatly back
into place, and slid down into the heart of the Feegle mound.
It was quite big inside. A human could just about stand up in
the middle, but would then bend double with coughing because
the middle was where there was a hole to let smoke out.
All around the inner wall were tiers of galleries, and every
one of them was packed with Feegles. Usually the place was
awash with noise, but now it was frighteningly quiet.
Rob Anybody walked across the floor to the fire, where his
wife, Jeannie, was waiting. She stood straight and proud, like
a kelda should, but close up it seemed to him that she had
been crying. He put his arm around her.
"All right, ye probably ken what's happenin'," he told the
blue-and-red audience looking down on him. "This is nae common
storm. The Wintersmith has found the big wee hag-noo then,
He waited until the shouting and sword rattling had died down,
then went on: "We canna fight the Wintersmith for her! That's
her road! We canna walk it for her! But the hag o' hags has
set us on another path! It's a dark one, and dangerous!"
A cheer went up. Feegles liked the idea of this, at least.
"Right!" said Rob, satisfied. "Ah'm awa' tae fetch the Hero!"
There was a lot of laughter at this, and Big Yan, the tallest
of the Feegles, shouted, "It's tae soon. We've only had time
tae gie him a couple o' heroing lessons! He's still nae more
than a big streak o' nothin'!"
"He'll be a Hero for the big wee hag and that's an end o' it,"
said Rob sharply. "Noo, off ye go, the whole boilin' o' ye!
Tae the chalk pit! Dig me a path tae the Underworld!"
It had to be the Wintersmith, Tiffany Aching told herself,
standing in front of her father in the freezing farmhouse. She
could feel it out there. This wasn't normal weather even for
midwinter, and this was springtime. It was a challenge. Or
perhaps it was just a game. It was hard to tell, with the
Only it can't be a game because the lambs are dying. I'm only
just thirteen, and my father, and a lot of other people older
than me, want me to do something. And I can't. The Wintersmith
has found me again. He is here now, and I'm too weak.
It would be easier if they were bullying me, but no, they're
begging. My father's face is gray with worry and he's begging.
My father is begging me.
Oh no, he's taking his hat off. He's taking off his hat to
speak to me!
They think magic comes free when I snap my fingers. But if I
can't do this for them, now, what good am I? I can't let them
see I'm afraid. Witches aren't allowed to be afraid.
And this is my fault. I: I started all this. I must finish it.
Mr. Aching cleared his throat.
"... And, er, if you could ... er, magic it away, uh, or
something? For us ...?"
Everything in the room was gray, because the light from the
windows was coming through snow. No one had wasted time
digging the horrible stuff away from the houses. Every person
who could hold a shovel was needed elsewhere, and still there
were not enough of them. As it was, most people had been up
all night, walking the flocks of yearlings, trying to keep the
new lambs safe ... in the dark, in the snow....
Her snow. It was a message to her. A challenge. A summons.
"All right," she said. "I'll see what I can do."
"Good girl," said her father, grinning with relief. No, not a
good girl, thought Tiffany. I brought this on us.
"You'll have to make a big fire, up by the sheds," she said
aloud. "I mean a big fire, do you understand? Make it out of
anything that will burn ...
Excerpted from Wintersmith
by Terry Pratchett
Copyright © 2006 by Terry Pratchett .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Terry Pratchett is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series, and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad, is soon to be adapted into an animated movie. He is the winner of the 2002 Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. After his first novel featuring Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men, he was made an Honorary Brownie!
- Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
- Date of Birth:
- April 28, 1948
- Place of Birth:
- Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
- Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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It was amazing!
This book is greatbut it was alittttttttttttttttttlllllleeeee Confusing :p
Read it for great laughs then read it again for deeper insights to human behavior and growing up as a young person. But if it wasn't for Terry Pratchetts way of making me laugh so hard that at it seems to make lifes troubles bareable. Laughter is good for the soul.
What a delight. This is a great story with lots of metaphors that symbolize the birth, coming-of-age, and life transitions not only for Tiffany, but the other young witches in training, as well as Roland the baron's son and the Feegles (in particular, Rob Anybody). In true Pratchett style and humor, the author manages to pull the reader in for remarkable entertainment and read about characters who are developed in even more detail than before. Granny and Nanny Ogg make strong appearances here (though Agnes is missing) and have you rolling with laughter with their sage advice.
I'm a long time fan of Terry Pratchett and even I can admit that some things he has written were better than others, but this book is one of the best. The characters are fantastic, the humor wonderful, and the setting is of course Disc World and how can you go wrong there? With this we see the continuing adventures of Tiffany Aching, the witch from the chalk. At nearly 13 she is finding out about love and life, and a few boys as well. One of whom is Winter. Plus there are chickens!(werk)
Thirteen year old Tiffany Aching is an apprentice witch learning to use her magic to perform spells. People don¿t want anything to do with witches until they actually need them. Tiffany is watched over by Feegles who are little blue men who live in mounds in the earth and will do anything for their HOG (Witch). Her mentor is Miss Treason who is a hundred and thirteen years old and has a lot of knowledge.------------- They arrive to see the winter dance performed and the rhythm of the music is so strong that Tiffany jumps right into the middle of the dance cutting out summer. Wintersmith takes notice of the witchling and creates snowflakes in her images, makes roses out of ice and showers her name in the snow. He wants to be human so they can be together always.. Tiffany with the help of the Feegles must rescue summer in time for her dance with Wintersmith to return the balance of nature.------------- Terry Pratchett well crafted plot will appeal to teens as well as adults. The heroine is astute beyond her years and acts as a herb woman, a wise woman and witch depending on what the occasion calls for. Wintersmith is an interesting character who learns what it is to be human though he never will be one and his infatuation with Tiffany gives him a glimpse into a world he will never be a part of but he enlists no sympathy because he is an elemental who has a higher purpose to perform.----------- Harriet Klausner
Nac Mac Feegle! Wee Free Men! Nae King! Nae Quin! Nae Laird! Nae Master! We willna be fooled again!
terry pratchett is now officially one of my favorites! i love his style, it's fast paced, easy and fun to read, and tickles my brain!
"Come on in. How's your feet?" Ok, already, stop laughing! That what my housemate kept saying as I giggled and snorted through this, the first Terry Pratchett book I have ever read. Tiffany Aching, the almost 13 year old witch-in-training has stumbled into the Morris Dance that sends Wintersmith away and brings forth the Summer Lady. However, somehow, Tiffany git drawn into the dance and messed it all up. And now, its time for her to take on the elementals, the Ferryman who crosses the River for 2 pennies, the giants that hide in our innermost fears, and the promise of spring as she tries to undo what a newbie witch doesn't quite understand....yet. Wintersmith is enamored with Tiffany, and he keeps trying to make her love him. Bur he's not a him...he's an elemental who catches things ...kinda incompletely. He thinks, after hearing an old children's song, that he can be human if he does what it says....but he never hears the whole story.... With nods to Persephone, Greek myths, some very bad puns, and some side-splitting wee feegles, Pratchett weaves a deliciously funny story that anyone can love
Be prepared for the awesomeness of Terry Pratchett's works in Wintersmith; useful insight, laugh-out-loud humor, a bit of romance, and excellent combine to his book worth 5 stars :)
A favorite that ill always go back to
Usually wonderful read from Sir Terry Pratchett. Of course, ' to dree my weird,' (being Scots by descent), I am always delighted by (and quite proud of) the doings of the McFeegles!