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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett #WYA wrap-up

Yesterday I told you about the #WednesdayYA book club, and invited you to read April's pick, The Raven Boys, with us; today I'm sharing with you a glimpse of the madness that will be in store for you if you do.
I give to you: the #WednesdayYA live show of March's book, The Wee Free Men!

I normally post these the day after the show, but I realized when I was reading this that it was actually a really good fit for Fairy Tale Fortnight, so I saved it to share with you now. I should warn you, it's a long one, since it's the entire live show, and if you're not used to Liz and I... well, things on Twitter used to get kinda riotous, but now that we're live on-air, there's really no containing us. I can only imagine what it'll be like this coming month, given how many people have ENTHUSIASTICALLY said they'd be joining us.
Oh, boy.

Check it out below, and a few, more concise thoughts below that, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

So. You either made it through that (doubtful), or you've decided to skip down and see what I had to say (probable). Or your computer is frozen, and you're just stuck on this screen (possible). Either way, the concise version of this is:

I liked this, but not as much as I was hoping to, but I can't quite pin down why. I like Pratchett's style of whimsy, and didn't find it to be too much (and there's a really fine line when it comes to whimsy...), and I really liked Tiffany and the Feegles (love them!). Perhaps it's as Liz said, and there was just a bit too much going on, or too much looseness in the telling of it, but it left me with the impression that I would have liked this more as a kid than I did as an adult (which is fine, and honestly, it's nitpicking, because I did like it. I just liked-it-but...)

There were some things I loved, though, beyond Tiffany and the Feegles, like how it became an unexpected coming-to-terms story for Tiffany, via her grandmother.
And how it addresses getting older and the way older women especially are, and have historically been, treated (ie not good).
And how there was a really good sense of place.
And how witches are so no-nonsense, and completely lacking in sentimentality, and oh my god, you guys, I might be a witch. *feels for invisible hat*

There were things I think will stay with me, and I certainly intend to read more of both the Tiffany Aching cycle and the Discworld series. Are any of you Pratchett fans? Give me your Discworld recs in the comments!

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
"Another world is colliding with this one," said the toad. "All the monsters are coming back."
"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. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds - black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors - before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone....

In a riveting narrative that is equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breathtaking tale certain to leave fans, new and old, enthralled.

Want more fairy tales? Return to the main schedules
by clicking here for The Book Rat or here for A Backwards Story



    Um, in actual Disc/Tiffany, I thought the fourth Tiffany wasn't nearly as good as the other three. I like the Watch and Wizard cycles of the Disc, and Reaper Man, part of the Death cycle.

  2. Hi Misty!
    Thank you for reviewing Terry! I always love talking about Prattchett!
    Alas, I confess, this is not one of my favourites. I think it is the lack of better known characters that keeps it from finding its way to the top of my fave Terry Pratchett books. It is still very fun and charming though, of course.
    It is usually best to read any series in chronological order, however, with discworld, a little leeway is granted. As Barker and Jones Staff mentioned in the above comment, I suggest starting the Terry Pratchett journey with the Watch in 'Guards, Guards!", but I also think Granny Weatherwax is a good character to start with. 'Equal Rites', 'Wyrd Sisters', 'Lords and Ladies', 'Carpe Jugulum' and 'Maskerade' are among my top picks.
    Your pal,


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