The fourth in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.
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. . . .
The final adventure in Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series brings this subset of Discworld novels to a moving and highly satisfactory conclusion. Tiffany, now nearly 16 years old, is forced to do battle with the hate-filled ghost of a long dead witchfinder, the Cunning Man, who has become obsessed with the young witch and is gradually turning her own community against her. As ever, Tiffany is ably supported by her loyal, intensely fractious, and totally amoral companions, the Nac Mac Feegles, whose leader, Rob Anybody, believes, "After all, ye ken, what would be the point of lyin' when you had nae done anything wrong?" She must deal with the heavy workload of a professional witch (birthing babies, training apprentices, and the like), fight evil, and come to terms with her former boyfriend's impending marriage. Pratchett's trademark wordplay and humor are much in evidence, but he's also interested in weightier topics, including religious prejudice and the importance of living a balanced life. Tiffany Aching fans, who have been waiting for this novel since Wintersmith (2006), should be ecstatic. Ages 12 up.
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I Shall Wear Midnight review
Another gem from Pratchett! Tiffany shines as a young woman, a witch on the Chalk who is just starting to understand what it means to be an adult. Endearing and masterfully written, with Pratchett's quirky sense of humor enhancing every chapter.
Good not great
It may be helpful to reread the previous Tiffany Aching books before reading this one. It felt like continuation of a story, told mostly to tell a story and let a beloved world grow a little more. It did not have the humor I've grown to expect from the discworld, although all the books concerning witches tend to be a bit more somber. Worth a read for those already hooked on the discworld, but not a book to hook new fans with.
Slow but fun read
This review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.
Winner of the 2011 Andre Norton Award
Tiffany Aching is a young witch now taking up her responsibilities after years of studying with senior witches. The witchcraft she performs in her hometown of Chalk isn’t flashy—merely the work of caring for the needy.
Someone or something is igniting fear. There are dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Adding to the complications, the elderly Barron she was taking care of has died upon giving her some money as a gift. To those who don’t like witches to begin with, it seems sinister. The Barron’s son is about to get married, and his mother-in-law is one of those suspicious of witches. Tiffany stands between good and evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
This is my first time reading the late Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld series. This is the fourth of five books about Tiffany Aching, a young witch who has apparently graduated to her full responsibilities for the little town of Chalk. She deals mostly with ordinary problems, caring for the sick and elderly. She tries to keep the Wee Free Men (also called the fightin’ Nac Mac Feegles) from causing too much trouble when they try to help her.
Jealousy awakens the Cunning Man, a spirit of a witch hunter. Now witches are falling under suspicion for the surrounding ills, and people blame Tiffany for the death of the old Barron whom she was caring for. Chilling drama combines with delightful humor as fast as one can say, “Something wicked this way comes.” While a bit slow, it was a fun book to read.