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Wintersmith: (Discworld Novel 35) [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 4 2009 Discworld Novels (Book 35)
Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made one little mistake ...And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs, says it with avalanches and showers her with snowflakes - which is tough when you're 13, but also just a little bit ...cool. And just because the Wintersmith wants to marry you is no excuse for neglecting your chores. So Tiffany must look after Miss Treason, who's 113 and has far too many eyes, learn the secret of Boffo, catch Horace the cheese, stop the gods from seeing her in the bath - 'Crivens!' Oh, yes, and be helped by the Nac Mac Feegles - whether she wants it or not. But if Tiffany doesn't work it all out, there will never be another springtime ...

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Wintersmith: (Discworld Novel 35) + I Shall Wear Midnight + A Hat Full of Sky
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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–Winter must die, and Summer must sink into the ground; it is all part of the Story, and Tiffany Aching has danced into the middle of it. On the last day of autumn, Tiffany travels to the woods to witness the Black Morris, the traditional dance of the gods heralding the arrival of winter. In a moment of heedless excitement, her rollicking feet draw her to the music, and she crashes headlong into the Wintersmith. He is fascinated by the girl and proceeds to court her in his own fashion–all the snowflakes are made in her image and giant Tiffany-shaped icebergs appear in the sea. Meanwhile, Tiffany begins to show characteristics of the goddess Summer–the touch of her bare feet makes things grow. All the attention from the Wintersmith would be quite flattering were it not for the deadly winter that threatens the shepherds of the Chalk. As the situation is very dangerous and death is certain, the Nac Mac Feegles (along with an especially lively cheese named Horace) are directly in the fray protecting their big wee hag along with Annagramma, Granny Weatherwax, Miss Tick, and other favorites from past adventures. All are skillfully characterized; even the Wintersmith elicits sympathy as he joyfully buries the world in snow in his attempt to win Tiffany. Replete with dry and intelligent humor, this latest in the series is sure to delight.–Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Here's the third Discworld story for younger readers in a series that began with The Wee Free Men (2003) and continued in A Hat Full of Sky (2004). Despite a stern warning from Miss Treason, the eccentric witch from whom 13-year-old Tiffany Aching is learning her craft, the girl has gone and danced with the wrong men. Having inserted herself into a dark reverse Morris dance in which summer and winter achieve their seasonal balance, Tiffany has attracted the amorous attentions of the Wintersmith. To express his ardor, he brings his chilly powers to bear, replete with Tiffany-shaped snowflakes burying the world in the rising drifts of his infatuation. While Granny Weatherwax, Miss Perspicacia Tick, and sundry veteran witches work with Tiffany to restrain the Wintersmith's zeal, the Wee Free Men set off to fetch a Hero to assist Tiffany, along the way adopting a cantankerous blue cheese. Add an assortment of junior witches-in-training, and yet another rollicking, clever, and quite charming adventure is brought to readers, who will find themselves delighted again--or for the first time--by Pratchett's exuberant storytelling. Holly Koelling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, the weather outside is frightful Sept. 28 2006
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
but the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"

And snow it does in Terry Pratchett's delightfully funny and thoughtful latest book, Wintersmith. I have to admit that I ordered Wintersmith because it was by Terry Pratchett. I did not notice that it is targeted as a Discworld book for younger readers. Adult fans of Discworld or of the genre generally should ignore this fact and step up and read Wintersmith. It is fun and should appeal to "children of all ages!"

The plot is summarized quite nicely in the book description and I won't waste anyone's time repeating that summary. What isn't summarized is Pratchett's way with words and with characterizations. Here we have Tiffany Aching. Not only is she a 13-year girl entering her angst-filled teen years with a lot to learn about becoming an adult, but she is also learning how to become a witch. The witches in Macbeth sum this situation up nicely when they chanted: "double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble." Pratchett has a keen ear for Tiffany and me manages to convey these pangs of adolescence with an empathy that would be too sweet if it wasn't interspersed with humor and a nod and a wink. Pratchett knows how to keep the cauldron bubbling and those bubbles contain some of Pratchett's famous set-pieces.

The Wee Free Men (the miniature version of Cohen the Barbarian multiplied by a factor of five hundred) provide some of those `fun' moments. Two examples bear repeating. At one point early on Daft Wullie goes on (with more than a wee bit of Scottish brogue) about the problem of being married and having to deal with "the Pursin' o' the Lips", the "Foldin' o' the Arms", and "not tae mention the Tappin' o' the Feets".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Gradually, I'm gaining an appreciation of the magic and charm of Terry Pratchett's writing. For some reason, I managed to get through high school, university and a fair chunk of my adult life being a fantasy fan, without dipping my toe into the Discworld universe. And though this oversight was corrected by reading Wee Free Men, I must confess to being intimidated by Pratchett's considerable body of work. It's almost too much of a good thing, really; where do I start?

Tiffany Aching has, thus far, been the most successful in leading me into Pratchett's Discworld realm (I've also read The Amazing Maurice and His Incredible Rodents). From Wee Free Men, I was enchanted by this eight-year-old girl who took on the Queen of the Faeries armed only with an iron frying pan in order to save her baby brother and the baron's son, Roland. Tiffany was helped along by the Nac Mac Feegles -- the Wee Free Men of the story -- who are basically a bunch of belligerent, boozing, battling, dumb-and-brave-as-posts Scottish smurfs.

The Nac Mac Feegle take on the task of looking after young Tiffany (the "big wee hag" as they call her) with a fierce loyalty, but it's Tiffany that carries Wee Free Men. She's a fascinating character, carrying all of the vulnerability of her youth but totally unwilling (or possibly unable) to let that burden her. The Nac Mac Feegle are hilarious with their phonetic Scottish dialogue and their too-dumb-to-be-afraid ways, but it's Tiffany who carries all of the doubts, who overcomes all of the adversities she knows should crush her, and who makes all of the interesting decisions as we watch her grow up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magavenatio Obtusis Jan. 22 2007
Format:Hardcover
First published in 2006, "Wintersmith" is set on the Discworld and is Terry Pratchett's third book to feature Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men. Tiffany was raised on an area called the Chalk, where her grandmother was a very influential figure and a revered shepherdess. Tiffany idolised her Granny Aching and, having long suspected she was also a witch, is now following in her footsteps.

Tiffany is currently being trained by Miss Eumenides Treason, a rather frightening 113 year-old witch : so far, she's lasted an impressive three months at the cottage, where most other students only lasted a single night. The house is full of cobwebs, despite its lack of obvious spiders, and everything in black. (Tiffany even has to make her cheeses black. One of them, Horace, is a rather lively cheese - he's a bit like a dairy-related version of Rincewind's luggage. He has his own personality and can move about by himself). Miss Treason's favourite candle-holders are skulls, while legend has it there's a pile of gold in her cellar guarded by a demon.

Tiffany has seen the 'standard' Morris Dance at home : the dancers danced, summer came and she never gave it too much more thought. The Dark Morris, however, is its mirror image : it's not so widely known and when it's danced, the winter arrives. Miss Treason, who has never missed it, says it also has to be witnessed. However, Tiffany is given strict instructions not to talk, to look only at the dancers and - most importantly - NOT to move until the dance has finished. Unfortunately, the beat gets into Tiffany's feet and she can't stop herself joining the dance. Before you can say Tiffany-shaped-snowflakes, the Wintersmith (the elemental in charge of winter) has fallen in love with a certain young witch who danced the Dark Morris with him.
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