Terry Pratchett – I Shall Wear Midnight
Read By: Stephen Briggs
Length: 9h 47m (367 pages)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Started: 02 February 2011
Finished: 06 February 2011
Where did it come from? Bought it from iTunes.
Why do I have it? Ach, crivens! How can ye even ask a girl that?
What’s a witch to do
when even her closest friends
no longer trust her?
Summary: Tiffany Aching was once a sheep farmer’s daughter with a knack for making cheese, and is now The Witch for all the people of The Chalk, and the Hag of the Hills for her ever-present companions, the six-inch-tall rowdy Nac Mac Feegles. Tiffany’s gotten used to what being The Witch means in practical terms – she’s young, but she’s certainly adept at all of the things it falls upon The Witch to do – but she’s still not quite accustomed to what being The Witch means in personal terms. People she’s known her whole life – even her family! – are treating her differently now, and not always for the better. But their thoughts are not always their own, for it turns out that when Tiffany kissed the Winter, she accidentally woke up an old and twisted power… one with a special dislike of witches.
Review: I don’t know what more I can say in praise of the Tiffany Aching series that I haven’t already said at least twice. They’re brilliant! They’re imaginative and entertaining! They’re bust-a-gut funny in places and heart-wrenching in others! They have the most sensible attitude about life that I’ve ever encountered in fiction! These are the books that converted me into a full-fledged Pratchett-o-phile, and I’m terribly sad that there aren’t going to be more of them.
I Shall Wear Midnight is a worthy addition to the series, and is tied with A Hat Full of Sky for my favorite – although they’re all really, really good. As the series has progressed, the focus has shifted from heavily magical to more about regular life – not coincidentally, at the same time that Tiffany is learning how much of what people call magic is made up of regular life. On the one hand, this is somewhat unfortunate, since it means the Nac Mac Feegles get less and less screen time as the series wears on, but Tiffany herself is such an appealing and relatable narrator that it’s easy to forgive the shift. I loved watching her deal with growing up, and coming in to her own, and having to navigate not only magical problems but also interpersonal ones.
Any quibbles? There were a few details that were added in to the story but not utilized to their full potential, and I did think that the ending felt a little too rushed, and somehow too easy – it would have been more compelling if Tiffany were actually a little less sure of herself and a little more in danger. But regardless, I enjoyed listening to every second of this book (Stephen Briggs did a wonderful job with the narration, as always), and am now really sorely tempted to go back to The Wee Free Men and start over. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Everyone. Certainly everyone who’s read the first three books, although Pratchett does a pretty good job summing up what’s come before. But I’d recommend the series as a whole to adults and young adults alike who like their heroines intelligent, down-to-earth, and competent; their fairy folk six inches tall, blue, and with a thick Scottish burr; and their stories entertaining, smart, hilarious, and heartfelt.
First Line: Why was it, Tiffany Aching wondered, that people liked noise so much?
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