Thursday, March 13, 2008

The little blue men are back!

Tiffany Aching, the irrepressible heroine of Terry Pratchett's delightful novel The Wee Free Men, is back in this sequel. She and Miss Tick, the first witch Tiffany ever met, have decided that she must learn more about being a witch, and so Tiffany is leaving her home and family - and her beloved Chalk countryside - to be apprenticed to Miss Level, a rather unusual witch up in the hills.

Tiffany doesn't know it, but there is...something...that is after her, something as old as time that is attracted to her power and energy. Tiffany blithely continues on her way, not realizing that it is biding its time, waiting for just the right moment to take over her body and her mind.

Luckily the wee free men are aware of the situation, and they are determined - somehow - to help Tiffany before it's too late. There are laugh-0ut-loud moments in the novel, as well as edge-of-the-seat tension, action and adventure. Tiffany has a long way to go in her journey to become the witch her Granny Aching was, but she has the gift of knowing what's important, a good heart, and steely determination. (Luckily for her, because the thing that is after her is known to be unkillable and unstoppable.)

I listened to this book in audio format, and it was an extremely enjoyable experience. Stephen Briggs did a wonderful job, particularly with the voices and accents of the Mac Nac Feegle. He had me giggling as I listened (which, because I was listening to it on my iPod, had people slowly backing away from me - and the more I tried not to laugh out loud, the harder it was not to!). I am happy that Tiffany's adventures continue in a subsequent book in the series, Wintersmith, and I'm looking forward to reading all about them.

This is my second book read for the Mythopoeic Challenge. And I'm glad I did!

The Tiffany Aching series (part of the larger Discworld series):
  1. The Wee Free Men
  2. A Hat Full of Sky
  3. Wintersmith

A Hat Full of Sky: The Continuing Adventures of Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett; read by Stephen Briggs (HarperChildren's Audio, 2004)

Also reviewed at:
Adventures in Reading


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one :) Actually listening to the Nac Mac Feegle's accents must be quite the experience!

    I know what you mean about getting odd looks for giggling to's bad enough when I read Terry Pratchett's books in public!

  2. I am looking forward to reading this series this year. I hardly ever use my iPod, I really should try audiobooks. Do you download them from the internet or download them from a cd?

  3. Nymeth - it really was a treat. And that scene where the Nac Mac Feegles get onto the coach - I thought my knees were going to give out, I was laughing so hard! I still laugh when I think about that. Too, too funny. :-D

    Rhinoa - I know you will enjoy them when you get to them. I'll look forward to your reviews! I usually download them from the CD, which takes a little time, but I usually do it while I'm working at the computer, so it's not a big deal. You should try it - it's truly addictive. Folding laundry, ironing, walking the dog, cleaning up the kitchen - it's way more fun when a good book is on in the background!

  4. Darla, have you read The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents? Somewhere I heard that it was a lead in to The Wee Free Men? Like you, I listened to WFM and Hatful of Sky. Loved the accents. Wasn't it funny when Tiffany was trying to teach one of them to write?

  5. Oh, Tiffany Aching has become my favourite Pratchett character. I love love love the Nac Mac Feegle! Is there a Scottish accent for our loveable little blue men?

    I recommended the series to a colleague of mine. I tell her the Nac Mac Feegle are like Smurfs -- but psychotic and drunk.

  6. Booklogged - Yes, I read it when it first came out, and I enjoyed it - but I honestly can't remember how it connects with Tiffany. I guess I'll have to reread it at some point (such a sacrifice). :-) I loved it when Rob Anybody was trying to read the note that Tiffany left - it was hysterical!

    Yes, Dark Orpheus, it's a wonderful Scottish accent, with a nicely rolled R for the "Crivens!" exclamations. I love it - drunk, psychotic smurfs! :-D

  7. I have a beautiful hardback copy of this on my tbr pile but I haven't read The Wee Free Men yet. Do you think it necessary to read that first? You've whetted my appetite for some Pratchett.

  8. Cath - I'm glad I read The Wee Free Men first. I'm a total stickler for reading things in order (for myself, at any rate), but even if I weren't, I'd still advise reading these in order. Much is explained in the first novel that helps events in the second one make more sense. Hope that helps!

  9. I'm the same, Darla, I just have to read books in the right order. Anyway, I borrowed The Wee Free Men from my daughter this afternoon so am all set now for the Easter holidays. :-)

  10. Oh, Cath - I can't wait to hear what you think! :-)


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