"Why?" said Tiffany.
"There's no one to stop them."
There was silence for a moment.
Then Tiffany said, "There's me."
Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle - aka the Wee Free Men - a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. (adapted from Goodreads)
The Wee Free Men is my first experience with Terry Pratchett and the famous, and seemingly endless, Discworld series. The Tiffany Aching books are a sort of series within a series--four books (#30, #32, #35, and #38) within Discworld.
This was such a lovely, magical, funny, wonderful book. I started reading it at night while I was getting Greyson settled down to the sleep and I quickly got settled on the Chalk with characters like Granny Aching, Tiffany's tough-as-nails grandmother who keeps peace on the Chalk. The Wee Free Men clan were quite funny and a wonderful band of sidekicks as Tiffany traverses a dreamy, sometimes nightmarish, landscape.
This book is apparently meant for a young audience (middle-grade to YA maybe?), but I certainly enjoyed it for its adventure and the old-world feeling of magic. It's one of those books you'll probably like if you're into Harry Potter or Neil Gaiman.
When I posted on Facebook that I'd read this book, a good friend of mine from college and a now-colleague wrote, "Wonderful book. Outstanding. The Tiffany Aching series should be required reading for every 16-year old female in the US."
And I'm inclined to agree. Part of what makes this book (and the rest of the series, apparently) so great, is that Tiffany is remarkably ordinary. While she's a witch-to-be, most of what being a witch requires is a sense of responsibility, a keen eye for detail, and a determination to do what needs to be done. It's a stunning lesson in responsibility and integrity. Without being too preachy. Tiffany is industrious and resourceful and awesome.
There was a great deal of humor in this book, but there were also moments that gave me goosebumps with their truth and heart. Such a nice mix, all in one shortish volume.
I'm very much looking forward to the next books in the Tiffany Aching series within Discworld:
- A Hat Full of Sky (#32)
- Wintersmith (#35)
- I Shall Wear Midnight
If you're looking for a quick, fun read that still feels significant, pick this one up.
Pub. Date: May 2004
Source: Gifted to me