The Wee Free Men

by Terry Pratchett
ages: 12+
First sentence: “Some things start before other things.”

 Yes, I’m here in Cincinnati, enjoying the lull in the reunion (there’s an awesome uncle who make a great playmate, and the rest of us thoroughly enjoy the downtime… though they do come away really wound up)… it’s been fun being with family.
And I managed to get a bit of reading done in the cracks. In fact, it was kind of hard to get it read because I’d leave it lying around, and I’d come back and find it had been snatched up by one family member or another. Which is a testament to how fun this little novel is.
Tiffany is a nine year old girl, the daughter of sheepherder, who isn’t really noticed by much of anything, especially now that Granny Aching has died. That is, until the day when she saw a monster come out of the river. She hit the monster with a frying pan, and the path of her life was changed: she was a witch. That, and her younger brother was stolen by the Queen of Faeries. Tiffany, being the sort of girl she is, decides not to wait for help, and tackles the problem head-on… with the help of the Nac Mac Feegle, the Wee Free men.
But this book isn’t about plot, really. It’s a wonderful example of character- and world-building. The characters — from Tiffany down to the Nac Mac Feegle — are fully drawn and exciting and interesting and engaging. Which makes the book thoroughly entertaining.
I’m going to have to leave it at that… this has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would, mostly because conversation around me is more interesting than the review I’m writing. Needless to say, I’m going to read the next two in the Tiffany Aching series. Terry Pratchett is definately an author — and Discworld a world — worth checking out.

9 thoughts on “The Wee Free Men

  1. I haven’t read any Pratchett (yet), but a friend and former prof of mine LOVED this book and recommends it all the time. I can’t wait to try it!


  2. I love this series, it’s my favourite of Pratchett’s. Tiffany is a great character and I am listening to A Hat Full of Sky in the car when I go on long drives.


  3. But whoever did that cover obviously wasn’t paying attention to proper Feegle ‘Ship steelin’. It’s one Nac Mac Feegle under each hoof and lift.


  4. Andi and Staci — you’re as bad as I am. 🙂 Get off your butt and read at least this trilogy. This one is thoroughly charming, and I’m enjoying The Hat Full of Sky, too (though I’m only a couple of chapters in…).

    Rhinoa — that one is my husband’s, daughter’s, mom’s and sister-in-law’s favorite, too. It sounds fabulous.

    Stu — Crivens — you’re totally right. Someone messed that up… 🙂


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