Tuesday, June 24, 2008

May I have this dance?

Tiffany is now thirteen years old, and she is apprentice to Miss Treason, a very old witch who has scared off every other young witch ever sent to learn from her. But Tiffany (who listens to her second - and third - thoughts) sees beyond Miss Treason's exterior and realizes she can learn many worthwhile things from the elderly witch. Tiffany stays on, and she makes herself useful, and she learns a great deal indeed.

Miss Treason takes Tiffany with her to watch the darkMorris dance, the dance that welcomes in Winter. Tiffany loves to dance, and as she watches the dancers, she realizes there's an empty spot among the dancers, a spot that should be filled. Before she knows it, she's in the midst of the dance - but without realizing it, Tiffany has made a huge mistake and stumbled into the midst of a very old story. The Wintersmith, instead of dancing with the Summer Lady, dances with Tiffany and falls in love with her (as much as a noncorporeal season can).

He makes it snow little Tiffany-shaped snowflakes. He makes ice flowers for her - it's really kind of sweet. But the real Summer Lady is a bit annoyed with Tiffany's interference, and the Wintersmith wants Tiffany to be his bride - so winter can remain as a permanent season. And it's not as though Tiffany doesn't have other issues to contend with. Miss Treason announces that she (Miss Treason) is going to die in a few days, and Tiffany must plan the funeral before she does (what fun is having funeral if you can't attend it, too?). Events spin out of control, but luckily the Nac Mac Feegle are around to take care of their "big wee hag," and a hilarious romp ensues.

I enjoyed Stephen Briggs' reading of A Hat Full of Sky so very much - particularly the way he does the Feegles - that I had to give this one a listen as well (and I plan on going back and listening to the first one, which I'd originally read, because it is just so much fun). He brings all the characters to life, and his storytelling style, combined with Pratchett's sheer comedic genius, had me annoying everyone around me as I continually burst out laughing, listening to it on my iPod. Although I almost cried at the end of the book because I was so sad to say goodbye to Tiffany and all the characters from the trilogy that I've come to love to spend time with. These are definitely among the best books I've read in the past few years.

Books in the Tiffany Aching trilogy:
1. The Wee Free Men
2. A Hat Full of Sky
3. Wintersmith

Wintersmith (#3 in the Tiffany Aching trilogy) by Terry Pratchett; narrated by Stephen Briggs (HarperChildren's Audio, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
Adventures in Reading
The Scrawl


  1. AnonymousJune 24, 2008

    I don't think I could ever get enough of Pratchett and I am waiting in great anticipation for his latest young adult book Nation to come out this fall.

    P.S. I linked your Tiffany Aching reviews with mine.

  2. "These are definitely among the best books I've read in the past few years."

    Same here :)

    And like bookchronicle, I am ridiculously excited for Nation!

  3. Bookchronicle - Me, too! And thanks for the link. I have linked my three to yours, too. :-)

    Nymeth - I knew you'd agree! I'm excited about Nation, too - and happily there are others I haven't read yet to tide me over in the meantime. I just put a hold on Going Postal at my library because Stephen Briggs reads it, and I am now addicted to the Pratchett/Briggs combo. Do I need to read something else first, though? I don't want another Johnny and the Dead experience!

  4. There's nothing you need to read first, no. Going Postal is the first Moist von Lipwig book. The second is Making Money, which I'm reading now and loving. I hope you enjoy it :)

  5. Thanks, Nymeth - good to know! If you get a chance to listen to a Briggs/Pratchett audiobook, I'd love to know what you think!

  6. AnonymousJune 25, 2008

    I recently read the first two and am looking forward to reading this next month. I am enjoying the series a lot more than many of the adult Discworld novels if I am honest...

  7. I enjoyed this series more than most of the adult books of any kind that I've read recently! I know you'll love Wintersmith. Yay, Tiffany!

  8. Excellent review. So glad you enjoyed the third TA book. I was sad to finish too but you never know, if we're lucky there may be more. Thanks for the link - I'll link back to you too.

  9. Thanks, Cath. I really did enjoy it! I would love, love, love it if he manages to write another (although I feel a bit greedy, but I can't help it!).

  10. AnonymousJuly 19, 2008

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Wee Free Men and am now listening to the second book Hat Full of Sky. I absolutely LOVE Stephen Briggs' reading. He really does bring the characters to life. I find myself saying Crivens a lot!!

    cat lady

  11. Hey, Cat Lady! Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad that you're enjoying the audio version of these books. They are so much fun, aren't they!?


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