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{Free Reading} WintersmithAuthor Terry Pratchett –

Tiffany Aching Is A Trainee Witch Now Working For The Seriously Scary Miss Treason But When Tiffany Witnesses The Dark Dance The Crossover From Summer To Winter She Does What No One Has Ever Done Before And Leaps Into The Dance Into The Oldest Story There Ever Is And Draws The Attention Of The Wintersmith HimselfAs Tiffany Shaped Snowflakes Hammer Down On The Land, Can Tiffany Deal With The Consequences Of Her Actions Even With The Help Of Granny Weatherwax And The Nac Mac Feegle The Fightin , Thievin Pictsies Who Are Prepared To Lay Down Their Lives For Their Big Wee Hag Wintersmith Is The Third Title In An Exuberant Series Crackling With Energy And Humour It Follows The Wee Free Men And Hat Full Of Sky

10 thoughts on “Wintersmith

  1. says:

    I physically twitch in the presence of cheap irony You know the sort of lazy humor, like saying it s weird that a cop hates donuts, or acting surprised that a jock is smart The sort of glib, lazy attempts at humor and cleverness that usually make it on to bumper stickers just makes me cringe It s the same school of humor as people who put, My other car is a broomstick on their bumpers.When Terry Pratchett started the witch series in the Discworld universe I considered that as close as the witty, funny man would ever get to that sort of humor Turning the fairytale villain into the shamans of the mountain towns had that vibe of lazy irony I m looking squarely at you, Wicked the Musical , but being Pratchett, he made a good story out of it just the same.The reason the witch books never grabbed me had a lot to do with the main characters They were very interesting but poor entry point for the reader One main witch, Granny Weatherwax, is probably one of my favorite characters in Discworld, but she s smart, brutal, and rather unknowable, making her a poor protagonist in many ways Nanny Ogg isn t much better, though her character is amusing.Through the earlier books Pratchett tried than one third witch because that how it works, Macbeth style , but he never seemed satisfied enough with the dynamic to keep using it.The fact that three Tiffany Aching stories have already been written indicate something that s clearly working for him, and I personally think it s some of his best writing to date.Tiffany is a pretty astute choice in protagonist She s bright, inquisitive, and annoyed when people don t give her the information she s asking for I imagine this is highly relatable to many of Pratchett s fans, myself included What really impresses me is how the stakes keep getting raised over the books In Wintersmith Tiffany makes a mistake that draws the attention of the elemental who controls winter The beauty in this is that it s not the sort of plot motivating accidents and serendipity guiding series like Harry Potter, where characters are essentially powerless and shuttled through circumstances beyond their control This entire story comes about because Tiffany screws up and must deal with the consequences.The atmosphere in this story is some of Pratchett s best, with a depiction of the mountain towns so vivid you can almost feel the cold and the rustling of wind through leaves Having a antagonist who freezes everything to the point of collapse works quite well with this, giving the book a truly powerful sense of dread.What I like best about the Aching books as a whole is that they re a seldom talked about discussion of responsibility The witches are essentially the last line of defense when things go wrong for these people, they re the justice in a cruel world, so for them saying, it s not fair, is unnacceptable Having control means fighting for fairness and losing the ability to whine about it.Few young adult books address themes as deep and meaningful as this, and almost none with such humor and warmth Though, come to think of it, most books in general don t, making it a truly rare accomplishment.

  2. says:

    Tiffany Aching is nearly thirteen years old and enduring her toughest apprenticeship yet Miss Treason lives in a lonely cottage on the forested mountainside she s blind and deaf and 113 years old, and borrows the eyes and ears of the creatures around her to see and hear better than those who rely on their own senses She decorates her house with gruesome, stereotypical witch memorabilia to intimidate her visitors Most girls don t last a day serving Miss Treason Tiffany has been there over a month.Tiffany has been her sensible self all this time, but she is also a teenager now, and inevitably even she will have moments when good sense eludes her One of these is fateful.Miss Treason takes her young apprentice to watch the Dark Morris dancers on the mountain This troupe of men dance a jig on each equinox to welcome the coming summer or winter The superstitious believe that the cycle of the year is disrupted should anything unplanned occur during this ritual The music gets into Tiffany s blood and she leaps among the dancers She leaves her body, flying into deep space, and only returns to her corporeal form when she hears two voices ask her Who are you one of them hostile, the other intrigued.She has collided with the Summer Lady and the Wintersmith She and the goddess have to an extent merged, and now the god of snow and ice is obsessed with her.As the lovesick Wintersmith scatters unseasonable snow across the land and wonders why this strange human girl flees his advances, Tiffany struggles to reconcile her sense of duty, which commands her to drive him away and save the farms, with her newly awakened curiosity about this awkward, clueless creature who is blizzard and boy in one But Tiffany is not alone She has allies in the senior witches, particularly Granny Weatherwax, Miss Tick, and Nanny Ogg She has her friend Roland, back on the Chalk, who writes content free letters that are just an excuse to communicate with her She has the ferocious Feegles who will charge into Hell itself for her and promptly get kicked out for boozing up the place and or singing And she has Horace the cheese Don t mess with Horace.Content Advisory Violence The Feegles attack things The Wintersmith unleashes snowstorms and brings about the deaths of humans or animals who can t find shelter, but it must be understood that he doesn t do this maliciously details later Some of the casualties are lambs, whom Tiffany and the other Chalk dwellers bring inside and try to revive No gore or suffering shown Sex The Feegles try to help Tiffany deal with the Wintersmith by getting her a romance novel from the travelling library She figures out that gathering nuts is a euphemism and dismisses the book as a silly, inaccurate image of pastoral life Her brain tells her to hate the Wintersmith and show him no mercy, but her heart and hormones inform her that being ardently pursued by a handsome elemental who can make her bouquets of ice roses is pretty cool.Nanny Ogg says that, as a young lass, she convinced a young man not to commit suicide because he had a cute butt Language Nothing but crivens from the Feegles Substance Abuse The Feegles are pretty sloshed for most of the book, as per usual Death warns them not to stay too long in the Underworld because I quote WE RE STILL PICKING UP ALL THE BOTTLES FROM LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE Nightmare Fuel Roland and the Feegles confront some scary critters in the Underworld, including a demon with hundreds of fangs that keeps looking at itself in a shard of glass and whimpering I see you, Snow Queen reference.The Wintersmith can be scary by accident The first time he physically manifests, he doesn t know what he s doing and can only make his eyes and hand visible to Tiffany Even once he gets the hang of a human body, something s a bit off He can sing all the parts of an opera including the orchestra at once, and if he doesn t concentrate on his body his limbs might fall off Potty Humor The Wintersmith struggles with the concept of eating He ingests some sausages at an inn, and then asks the innkeeper s daughter Now what do I do with them She replies, That s not my place to say, sir ConclusionsThe adventures of Tiffany Aching and her wee free friends continue to delight Pratchett added detail and depth to his concept of witches This book showcases a milestone for Tiffany and expands the world of the stories, bringing in gods and goddesses and seasonal change There s a lot of classical influence here, particularly from the myths of Hades and Persephone, and Orpheus and Eurydice This book forms an interesting contrast with Alison Croggon s The Riddle , second in the Pellinore series, which I recently reviewed In both, a powerful young woman undergoes a chastely rendered sexual awakening with the help of a wintry sorcerer male spirit who feels possessive of her She can t stay with him she flees his ice palace because it s the right thing to do and yet part of her feels terrible for having to do it.Arkan from The Riddle is ostensibly much closer to being human than the Wintersmith is, but he really seems as cruel and rapacious as a glacier Yet Croggon seemed to attribute emotion and humanity to him than he was capable of feeling.This novel, much as I love it, has the opposite problem The Wintersmith, while he isn t human and can t quite grasp what it is to be one, should get an A for effort He s an innocent menace, causing damage and destruction without realizing or understanding it And Pratchett actually gives the poor creature less sympathy than he deserves I felt only fleeting pity for Arkan after Maerad fled from him, but I wanted to give the Wintersmith a hug So did Tiffany, but she had to obey the story she was trapped in both the in universe myth and the book containing it From Pratchett s perspective, human and divine, natural and supernatural, cannot mix without bringing disaster There is no hope of anyone bridging the two worlds The Wintersmith makes an adorable, earnest effort to become like Tiffany and wed her, but ultimately, according to the book, he is a different substance from her and ne er the twain shall meet.This bothers me I m not saying that the story should necessarily have ended differently, but it certainly could have The idea of a god becoming close to human to marry a mortal, and the mortal against her will at first taking on and attributes of a goddess to level with him, would have been fascinating Tiffany could have represented a leap in Discworld theology, from abstract and capricious deities with no particular regard for lesser life forms to compassionate gods who loved and cared for humans because they were human, or had been Ah well What else is fanfiction for The mythology and symbolism have made this my favorite installment in one of my favorite series Recommended.

  3. says:

    A very original Discworld story, this one the third in the Tiffany Aching sub series.First published in 2006 and the 35th in the Discworld bibliography, Terry Pratchett describes Tiffany as a young witch still in training but coming into herself and setting her sights on the kind of witch she will be and not always in serviceable black As in others in this sub series, the juxtaposition between Tiffany and the other witches particularly Granny Weatherwax makes this fun Old Miss Treason who refers to Granny as the girl Weatherwax gives them all a run for their money as Pratchett has crafted a gem of a witch character in her Waily, waily, waily And the Nac Mac Feegles Sir Terry s Wee Free Men are again on riotous display and their antics make up the lions share of pings on the Pratchett smile O meter.This time around Tiffany has an encounter with the Wintersmith, a kind of spirit of winter or an elemental This kind of story would go one very predictable way in many made for TV movies, but of course Pratchett gives this one a life of it s own and the reader will be pleasantly surprised by his treatment.While this one seems to me to be on the YA scale of reading than the earlier two Tiffany Aching books, this is still another excellent Discworld adventure.

  4. says:

    13 March 2015 To one of my dads in spirit We remember you.And then one day a traveling teacher talked about how some wizards had once, using very skillful magic, worked out exactly what a human being was made of It was mostly water, but there were iron and brimstone and soot and a pinch of just about everything else, even a tiny amount of gold, but all cooked up together somehow.It made as much sense to Tiffany as anything else did But she was certain of this If you took all that stuff and put it in a big bowl, it wouldn t turn into a human no matter how much you shouted at it.You couldn t make a picture by pouring a lot of paint into a bucket If you were human, you knew that.The Wintersmith wasn t The Wintersmith didn t The words went around and around her mind as the borrowed broom plunged onward At one point Dr Bustle turned up, with his reedy, self satisfied voice, and gave her a lecture on the Lesser Elements and how, indeed, humans were made up of nearly all of them but also contained a lot of narrativium, the basic element of stories, which you could detect only by watching the way all the others behaved Wintersmith finally brought it home what sets Terry Pratchett apart from most other contemporary novelists I know It s compassion and connectedness It s his characters reaching to one another, setting their judgments aside and staring at the others, into the others, hard and long until they see This may be one definition of a witch, in fact Take for example Tiffany, swallowing her pride and pretending she s learning from Annagramma not the other way round because that s the only way Annagramma can accept anyone s help To imagine the extent of Tiffany s achievement, bear in mind she is thirteen At the very threshold when learning usually gets whacked by pride and goes into hiding, until much, much later Or take Tiffany s observations about common folks, which can be unflattering at times wizened, she muses at one point, isn t the same as wise it might just mean you ve been stupid for a very long time yet do not prevent her from getting to know people better and caring for them, in ways that make sense to them Or take this glimpse into Annagramma s heart, which is the pithiest description of the human condition one especially irritating aspect thereof I ve read in a long time view spoiler I stumbled upon this particular passage at a time when I really wanted to slap a friend of mine who seemed to behave just like Annagramma It gave me pause it gave me shame for allowing myself to forget what we are beneath the surfaces ultimately, it gave me the strength to carry on, smiling instead of slapping hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Our kelda is havin dreams Dreams o the future Dreams o the hills all froze an everyone deid an the big wee hag wearin a crown o ice My goodness Aye, an there wuz She saw a green tree growin in a land o ice She saw a ring o iron She saw a man with a nail in his heart She saw a plague o chickens an a cheese that walks like a man Crivens I can t give anything less than five stars for a story about the big wee hag , Tiffany Aching She is one of the best characters created by Sir Terry Pratchett in his Discworld universe, and in this episode she wins our hearts all over again What s it all about, then Life, death, love, danger and everything in between.After winning her pointy hat in a previous episode, Tiffany is still living among the mountain witches, as an apprentice to one of the most difficult old hags, Miss Treason Tiffany relies on her best abilities to carry her along her chosen path, and makes a pretty good job at learning the ways of witches First Sight, her natural curiosity, helps her notice what goes on around her Second Thoughts, her born skepticism, helps her make sense of the information gathered But her greatest asset is her access to Third Thoughts, call it intuition or common sense, which keeps her grounded, self aware and strong in moments of crisis Still, Tiffany is yet a teenage girl and a moment of impulsive behaviour lands her in a sea of trouble The Morris men came to the village sometime in May You could never be sure when, because they had to call at a lot of villages along the Chalk, and every village had a pub, which slowed them down.They carried sticks with bells on them, to stop them from creeping up on people The image I used is from a Romanian dance tradition very similar to the Morris men, called calusarii In the novel, the dance is performed to usher in summer Few people know that there is a mirror like dance performed at the end of autumn When she is invited to witness the second dance, Tiffany accidentally joins in the dance and comes to the attention of the Wintersmith You danced into a story, girl, one that tells itself to the world every year It s the Story about ice and fire, Summer and Winter You ve made it wrong You ve got to stay to the end and make sure it turns out right Miss Weatherwax is a harsh tutor, she has no need for weaklings If you ve made a mistake, it is your responsibility to make things right Especially is you are dealing with a godlike avatar of winter, who can visit all sorts of cataclysms on the world when he is displeased But the big wee hag is not one to shirk away from her duties when the going gets tough.Tiffany is also fortunate in her friends The Nac Mac Feegle may not be anybody s idea of guardian angels, but they are devoted to their fair young mistress and utterly fearless Their speech might be confusing from time to time, and their morals on the loose side of law, they are fond of drinking stealing and brawling, but when their kelda informs Rob Anybody and his gang that the big wee hag is in trouble, they jump right into the fray.The little blue people Rob Anybody, Slightly Mad Angus, Big Yan, Daft Wullie, Awf ly Wee Billy and the new recruit to the feegle gang Horace view spoiler the blue cheese menace hide spoiler

  6. says:

    The third book involving Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegles the one where Tiffany dances with the Wintersmith and gets herself into the middle of the ancient romance of summer and winter.I love the witches, and I love the Feegles, and I love Tiffany, and it s always a pleasure to spend time with them And yay for Roland growing up And I loved the subplot involving Miss Treason and the slight improvement in Annagramma.Having said that, I had serious problems with this book The most critical problem I have is that I didn t understand Tiffany getting involved in the dance in the first place It was wildly out of character for her to do something like that, five minutes after someone has told her not to, without asking any questions I couldn t see why she would want to it wasn t well supported I didn t believe it And of course all the action of the book depends on that one act.The second problem is the way he s pulled the climax out of the book and used it as a prologue When I encountered it for the first time, it was confusing and pointless it didn t really increase suspense, because I couldn t tell what was going on And then when I began to approach its right place in the book, it messed up the pacing once Tiffany went back to the Chalk, I figured she would be fighting the big storm any minute, and so when she sat down to make a watercolor painting, I went, What Doesn t she have something urgent to do The Summer Lady hardly made an appearance until the last two chapters, which seemed odd and he never explained how she came to be imprisoned in the underworld in the first place, which made her rescue seem a little less a part of the story.The eight year old has read it, and she thinks it s hilarious 2007 Locus poll 1 YA SFF

  7. says:

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma which reading list to follow it up with Variety is the spice of life, so I ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously This book falls into my LOCUS Y A list.I think I ll always have a soft spot for imaginative young adult speculative fiction and as the good people at Locus did such a grand job with picking their Sci Fi winners, I ll trust them to single out some special y a books too.I remember reading The Wee Free Men the first in this Tiff Aching series and not feeling terribly impressed, but I don t actually remember much about the book I find suspicious, as I generally have a better memory for fiction than reality I don t know if I had other things on my mind, or read it when I wasn t sleeping well, or if I was just drunk but the book didn t stick So I m going to order a new copy to re read soon.But whether that initial unimpressed feeling was deserved or not, it put me off picking up Wintersmith My wife owned a copy which I d been eyeing up ever since our bookcases merged But it s the third in the series surely I should read book two A Hat Full of Sky first But it s a Locus Young Adult Award winner, and I needed something light between installments the two halves of Blackout All Clear , so I grabbed it on the way to work and found myself thoroughly enjoying it I don t know why I was surprised, I love Pratchett s writing I was clearly just being a cynical douche about his y a works Tiff s encounters with the Wintersmith are vivid and magical, beautifully visually examples of Sir Terry s imagination at work But the real gems of the book for me are the minor strands that fill out Tiff s world within the Wintersmith framing device The Nac Mac Feegles are great characters with an infinite supply of comedy dialogue and perspectives quote below Roland s mission to awaken the Summer Lady in the underworld contained my favourite moment in the book when he battles the wraiths with his imaginary sword The interactions between the teenage witches are great, as are Tiff s reflections on Miss Treason s Boffo And the cameos from Ogg and Weatherwax are a touch of class for us long standing witches fans A quick quote that made me giggle When a bull coo meets a lady coo he disna have tae say, My hert goes bang bang bang when I see your wee face, cuz it s kinda built intae their heads People have it difficult Romancin is verra important ye ken Basically it s a way the boy can get close to the girl wi oot her attackin him and scratchin his eyes oot It s a worthy addition to the Discworld canon and it s encouraged me to re read The Wee Free Men , and also grab a copy of Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight , but Wintersmith doesn t quite measure up to the inspirational awesomeness of my favourites.After this I read All Clear

  8. says:

    First read 13th June, 2013 3 stars.Second read 30th July, 2018 3 stars.Tiffany s third outing in the Discworld series sees her a couple of years older and learning her witchcraft from another old witch, this time one who appears to be a bit witch y than any of the others She wears black, has a predominantly black house full of cobwebs and strikes fear in to the hearts of those she helps.Whilst Tiffany may be older, she s also now a teenager, which brings with it all sorts of complications, not in the least doing what she wants instead of what she s been told Or, specifically, what she s been told not to do And she should not dance in the Dark Morris.But she does anyway, and thus the Wintersmith the small god of sorts is now in love with her It s bad enough been a teenager and a witch, but now she s got little snowflake Tiffanys falling all around her Teenage embarrassment doesn t go far enough.Reading through the Tiffany Aching series, it s clear to see that what puts me off to some extent is the amount of the book taken up by the Nac Mac Feegles I do like them they re fun, rather novel, a nice take on faries and, well, fun But their involvement always lessens my enjoyment Their speech gets tiring after a couple of paragraphs and they re very one dimensional Whilst that is on purpose, and Rob Anybody may be changing slightly with the influence of his new wife, it still grates on me I prefer it when they re only there once a chapter at most.Dismissing that little annoyance or several thousand little annoyances , Wintersmith is a great book to see the difference between the older witch generations and the younger, up and coming jingling with much occult jewellery witches who are probably five seconds away from calling themselves wiccans.We view the world through Tiffany s eyes and this is a good way of seeing the other witches Tiffany isn t perfect which is wonderful and such a breath of fresh air Usually, any character with great power will probably be portrayed either in first person perfection I am so great, look at what I m doing with my powers lalalala or in third person perfection with her lovely mixed coloured eyes, perfect complexion, beauty, ridiculously wonderful hair and probably a perfectly pair of pert buttocks to boot Here we have Tiffany, who is a little normal and kind of boring to look at in terms of what other books like to talk about, but she has so much power it s almost written in the books that she ll be better than Granny Weatherwax ever was, is or will be.The Tiffany and Granny stand offs make this book These books show of Granny than any of the other books do Even though they re about Tiffany of course, Tiffany could not do anything ever without Granny The two are inexorably linked, and it makes one wonder if the one is going to turn in to the other at some pointIt s a different kind of peril to the previous books It s not Tiffany in danger so much as everyone else she knows and loves And, unlike the previous books as well, it is all Tiffany s fault Okay, so she s a teenager and has that weird teenage self belief, but it is still completely her fault The trick in this one is, can she admit that and fix her own mistakes It has the usual Discworld jovial outlook, seriousness and endearing humour But, as said before, these books were written for younger readers and that means the Discworld edge has been taken off slightly That s a shame, but they re still wonderful and Tiffany is one of the best characters that has ever been invented.

  9. says:

    Another case of feeling whatever I could write in praise of this would be insufficient, so I ll just be brief in my Pratchett worship This is yet another fantastic Tiffany adventure, deceptively simple in some ways, very complicated and profound in others The Wintersmith is both frightening and something to feel a bit sorry for What it really takes to be a witch is the same thing it takes to be a responsible human being of any type it s just the various embellishments that change people s perceptions Tiffany is such a wonderful character She is very much the product of decent, hardworking people, and she has an excellent moral compass and a formidable mind But she s human and has her moments of frustration and resentment She s an old soul but still enough of a young girl to appreciate roses made of ice and a dress made of aurora borealis made just for her Her interactions with Granny Weatherwax back in fine form , Nanny Ogg, and Miss Treason are great There s a poignancy to the story because of the truths of existence within it, but there are Feegles along for laughs, too Rob Anybody and the other Feegles are delightful every time I see them I love the way Pratchett renders their accents I also enjoyed Roland s part in the story he shares Tiffany s innate sense of what s right The book left me with a smile on my face and a sigh in my heart If you re not reading Terry Pratchett, you re missing out.I just have one complaint about the cover of this book and of the others in this mini series Feegles are not purple they re blue

  10. says:

    A lighthearted and fun entry in the Discworld series providing several hours of entertaining listening However, I didn t engage with it in quite the same way as some of the others, and while I loved the narrator s voice, I did not enjoy the unnecessary and odd choice of interval music that played at the beginning and end of each disc.