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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crivens ! We Willna' Be Fooled Again !,,
Tiffany Aching, the book's heroine, is nine years old and lives on a farm in the Chalk. She has six older sisters, one younger brother (the permanently sticky Wentworth) and is very good with cheese. Throughout the book, it's clear she idolised her Granny Aching, who died when Tiffany was seven. Granny was a shepherdess, an expert on sheep, very fond of Jolly Sailor tobacco and - Tiffany suspects - a witch. Remembering how Granny always said it was important to speak up for those who have no voice, Tiffany has decided she wants to be a witch as well.
As it turns out, Tiffany is the witch Miss Tick's elbow sensed and has the gifts of First Sight and Second Thoughts. Miss Tick is also correct about two worlds colliding - Fairyland, ruled by the Queen, is running into the Discworld. Fairyland is where dreams come true, which isn't quite as pleasant as you might think - nightmares, after all, also count as dreams. Worse yet, after having "rescued" Wentworth from Jenny Green-Teeth, thanks to an expertly delivered frying-pan to the face, Wentworth is kidnapped by the Queen. Tiffany feels it's up to herto rescue him and bring him home.
The stars of the book, however, are the Wee Free Men. Also known as the Nac Mac Feegle, they were thrown out of Fairyland for being drunk, disorderly and rebelloius. A Pictsie race, they are covered in tattoos, have blue skin and red hair and wear little other than kilts and swords. Extremely strong and fast, they enjoy stealing, fighting and drinking - Granny Aching's Special Sheep Linament is a particular favourite. They don't like telling anyone their names, think writing is magical and are frightened only of lawyers. Luckily for Tiffany, they join her raid on Fairyland. Rob Anybody Feegle, the Big Man O' The Clan, is especially brave, while Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock is notable for his willingness to use poetry in tight situations. The Toad (Miss Tick's familiar) - who is reasonably sure he was once human - also offers Tiffany a great deal of advice on her travels. His current condition is the result of having crossed a Fairy Godmother.
"The Wee Free Men", a "Story of Discworld" rather than a "Discworld Novel", won the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2004. If you've enjoyed anything from the ordinary Discworld series, you'll certainly enjoy this !
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We'll nae be fooled agin!",
A nine-year-old girl on a quest is vulnerable. Tiffany, however, doesn't lack allies and support. The first is inexplicable, the second is indefinable. Her allies are a horde of small, blue-tattooed warriors - the Pictsies, the Nac Mac Feegle. Their traditions run to brawling, sheep-stealing and taking a "wee nip" when opportunity presents itself. They're expressive - in Pratchett's hands that means hilarious bits of dialogue, reasoning, philosophy and common sense. Above all, is their insistence on freedom. They've known a monarch, and they detest her. They also fear the power of the written word and lawyers. They're not alone in that.
Tiffany's support is in the memory of her gran. Granny Aching lived alone on the Chalk. She was quiet, but powerful. As a shepherdess, she knew the ways of sheep and nature. She could confront powerful people, achieving success with minimal effort. No curse can match the potency of a quietly spoken expression: "There'll be a reckoning". Granny's at the edge of much of Tiffany's thinking. She instills in Tiffany a sense of value: "Speak out for those with no voice". Is her memory enough to give Tiffany strength against the Pictsies' arch enemy, the "Quin"?
As usual, Pratchett delivers more than he promises. This is sold as a "children's book", but memories of The Who's great song will be running through adults' heads as they read the Nac Mac Feegle's fervent chant. Like any Pratchett book, The Wee, Free Men contains many strata of ideas beckoning your further inquiry. The first time you read this book, it will be for the adventure, the novelty and the fun. The second time will be to delve more deeply into Pictsish. See how deftly Pratchett confronts us with "real world" issues seeking resolution. Pratchett is almost unique in his incorporating science in his stories, and is unmatched in this ability. His depiction of the origins of chalk is a wondrous read. Not limited to physical science, he probes cogent human questions. Buy this for your children, but when they've put it aside for the first time [and they will return to it later], steal away with it to a quiet corner. You'll discover both a place to escape and a rigorous reality confronting you. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multi-layered fairy story. Good stuff.,
Tiffany sets off on an adventure in a dream world--a world where your dreams can hurt you, and where other being's dreams can hurt you even more. The Queen is the mistress of dreams--and nightmares. In her kingdom, and increasingly in the mundane world that Tiffany comes from, nightmare monsters are loose. Even the wee free men cannot stand against them.
Author Terry Pratchett starts with a simple fairy tale--the poor shepherd girl facing the evil Queen, and dresses it with multiple layers of meaning. At the simplest level, WEE FREE MEN is an adventure that twists many of the established rules of the fairy tale (the witches are the goodguys, the beautiful Queen is evil, and the baron's son is purely incompetent). Dig deeper and every detail had weight. The Wee Men are funny with their Scottish accents and willingness to fight, but they are also a bit sad and more especially, a good example for all of us. Like us, they've been fooled before. Unlike most of us, they are willing to fight to prevent it from happening again.
Tiffany, armed with her frying pan and with instructions to open her eyes, then open them again, is unusually clever for a nine-year-old, but then she is the hero. With the example of her grandmother behind her, there is little that Tiffany cannot do if she can keep her mind on it--and keep from being swept up in other people's dreams.
I might be making WEE GREEN MEN sound like some sort of philosophy text and nothing could be farther from the truth. It's filled with Pratchett humor and insights, an exciting adventure, and emotional complexities. One small word of warning--although the Nac Mac Feegle (the wee men) appear in Discworld stories, Tiffany's world resembles our own a lot more than it does the Discworld of Ankh Morpork and the Great God Om.
5.0 out of 5 stars the wee free men,
This review is from: The Wee Free Men (Mass Market Paperback)this was a very good book and a very good and smart purchase on my part. i liked it alot and i would recommend it. good shipping and customer service as well
5.0 out of 5 stars Wee Free Men,
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it yea wee scunner!,
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be glad you listened to it!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wee Free Men (Audio CD)My three kids, husband and I loved it. The narration was superb and the story a fun trip. We laughed throughout the CD and have recommended it to anyone who stood still. Because I like a story to unfold as I read or listen to it, I will only say that the heroine is a young girl and the Wee Free Men are the heros and they make a great team. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved it!,
Not long after, Wentworth is kidnapped by the Queen of FairyLand. Following the advice of Miss Tick, a witch she met at the village fair, and her talking toad, and with the help of the Nac Mac Feegles, the blue-skinned little pictsies with the strong Scottish accent, she arms herself with a frying pan and her Granny's book on Diseases of the Sheep, and sets off in searched of her brother.
Beside being extremely funny and packed with action, The Wee Free Men is also a really sweet book, full of Tiffany's fond memories of Granny Aching, who was a famous shepherd of the Chalk, and a kind of witch in her own way. It's a story both for adults and children, telling you to look at the World around you, and teaching you, in a light way, the respect of Nature or other moral values. This might well be my favourite Discworld book, I absolutely loved it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos For Tiffany Aching,
Right from the start Tiffany shows her promise as she manages to befriend the nastiest elves around and even gets them to help with her chores. But then Tiffany's brother goes missing so she and the Mac Nac Feegle (the six-inch, blue tattooed Pictsies of Scottish relation) set off to hunt him down and steal him back.
The story is fast moving, well told and an absolute must for fans of Granny Weatherwax. This is the first book of Tiffany and the Mac Nac Feegle and I hope there will be plenty more. The Scottish allusions and brogues are done to a T. The "logic" of Pratchett's Diskworld and magic system never waver. Very well done.
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