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Wintersmith [Mass Market Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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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.

Review

“Oodles of dry wit, imagination and shrewdly observed characters.”
Independent on Sunday

"Pratchett's one-liners, the comic dialogue of the Feegles, the satire about teenagers and the credulousness of the ordinary folk make for a characteristically entertaining mix."
--Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times

"Exuberant energy and humour."
--Children's Bookseller


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series, and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad, is soon to be adapted into an animated movie. He is the winner of the 2002 Carnegie Medal for The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. After his first novel featuring Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men, he was made an Honorary Brownie!


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It had to be the wintersmith, Tiffany Aching told herself, standing in front of her father in the freezing farmhouse. She could feel it out there. This wasn't normal weather even for midwinter, and this was springtime. It was a challenge. Or perhaps it was just a game. It was hard to tell, with the wintersmith.

Only it can't be a game because the lambs are dying. I'm only just thirteen, and my father, and a lot of other people older than me, want me to do something. And I can't. The wintersmith has found me again. He is here now, and I'm too weak.

It would be easier if they were bullying me, but no, they're begging. My father's face is grey with worry and he's begging. My father is begging me.

Oh no, he's taking his hat off. He's taking off his hat to speak to speak to me!

They think magic comes free, when I snap my fingers. But if I can't do this for them, now, what good am I? I can't let them see I'm afraid. Witches aren't allowed to be afraid.

And this is my fault. I: I started all this. I must finish it.

Mr Aching cleared his throat.

'. . . And, er, if you could . . . er, magic it away, uh, or something? For us . . . ?'

Everything in the room was grey, because the light from the windows was coming through snow. No one had wasted time digging the horrible stuff away from the houses. Every person who could hold a shovel was needed elsewhere, and still there were not enough of them. As it was, most people had been up all night, walking the flocks of yearlings, trying to keep the new lambs safe . . . in the dark, in the snow . . .

Her snow. It was a message to her. A challenge. A summons.

'All right,' she said. 'I'll see what I can do.'

'Good girl,' said her father, grinning with relief. No, not a good girl, thought Tiffany. I brought this on us.

'You'll have to make a big fire, up by the sheds,' she said aloud. 'I mean a big fire, do you understand? Make it out of anything that will burn and you must keep it going. It'll keep trying to go out, but you must keep it going. Keep piling on the fuel, whatever happens. The fire must not go out!'

She made sure that the 'not!' was loud and frightening. She didn't want people's minds to wander. She put on the heavy brown woollen cloak that Miss Treason had made for her and grabbed the black pointy hat that hung on the back of the farmhouse door. There was a sort of communal grunt from the people who'd crowded into the kitchen, and some of them backed away. We want a witch now, we need a witch now, but - we'll back away now, too.

That was the magic of the pointy hat. It was what Miss Treason called 'boffo'.

Tiffany Aching stepped out into the narrow corridor that had been cut through the snow-filled farmyard where the drifts were more than twice the height of a man. At least the deep snow kept off the worst of the wind, which was made of knives.

A track had been cleared all the way to the paddock, but it had been heavy-going. When there is fifteen feet of snow everywhere, how can you clear it? Where can you clear it to?

She waited by the cart sheds while the men hacked and scraped at the snow banks. They were tired to the bone by now; they'd been digging for hours.

The important thing was-

But there were lots of important things. It was important to look calm and confident, it was important to keep your mind clear, it was important not to show how pants-wettingly scared you were . . .

She held out a hand, caught a snowflake and took a good look at it. It wasn't one of the normal ones, oh no. It was one of his special snowflakes. That was nasty. He was taunting her. Now, she could hate him. She'd never hated him before. But he was killing the lambs.

She shivered, and pulled the cloak around her.

'This I choose to do,' she croaked, her breath leaving little clouds in the air. She cleared her throat and started again. 'This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.'

It wasn't a spell, except in her own head, but if you couldn't make spells work in your own head you couldn't make them work at all.

Tiffany wrapped her cloak around her against the clawing wind and watched dully as the men brought straw and wood. The fire started slowly, as if frightened to show enthusiasm.

She'd done this before, hadn't she? Dozens of times. The trick was not that hard when you got the feel of it, but she'd done it with time to get her mind right and, anyway, she'd never done it with anything more than a kitchen fire to warm her freezing feet. In theory it should be just as easy with a big fire and a field of snow, right?

Right?


From the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile

The God of Winter has fallen in love with 13-year-old apprentice witch Tiffany Aching. She enlists the support of the Wee Free Men--her toughest, craziest, and smallest friends--to bend the rules of the rites of spring and protect her world from being eternally frozen. In this energetic mix of boisterous fantasy, wonderful humor, and uncommon common sense, longtime Discworld series narrator Stephen Briggs gives a virtuoso performance, delivering every line and every character voice with just the right glee, tension, and clarity. Briggs saves his best efforts for the wee Scottish-accented "Pictsies," who are laugh-out-loud funny and endearing all at once. Tiffany Aching insists that witches don't believe in magic, but certainly Briggs and Pratchett must. Terry Pratchett's third Tiffany Aching novel is highly recommended. B.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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