Friday, March 18, 2011

The last Tiffany adventure?

I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett

If this is the last book in Tiffany Aching series - well, I just hope it's not.  But if it is, Terry Pratchett has taken it to a wonderful end.  Of all his "series" that I've read (the Guards books, the DEATH books, the witches books), this is the strongest and best.  Each book builds on the last, and each sets the bar higher.  If I had to choose just one TP book, it would probably being Going Postal - but it might be one of the Tiffany books.

In this book, Tiffany is finally back on the Chalk, as the witch of her own village, her own people.  She is 16, on her own, with people's lives in her hands, including the Baron's, who is dying.  Suddenly there are hints of witch fever, talk of curses and evil spells, from people who have known Tiffany all her life but who now see her as different, and maybe dangerous.  The Cunning Man is abroad.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Tiffany story without the Nac Mac Feegle there to protect their Hag o'the Hills, and in the end their kelda and their hill.  Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg make their appearance late in the story, but they leave Tiffany to find her own solutions (they're just there as insurance), though she does get help from the legendary woman wizard Eskarina Smith. Tiffany even gets to travel to Ankh-Morpok, where she meets not just Mrs. Proust of Boffo fame, but also Carrot, Vimes, and Angua [apparently I missed her promotion to Captain]. I'm sure the Patrician was fully briefed on the affair of the King's Head; sadly he was absent from the story, though Death has a walk-on role. Which did make me wonder, what would Tiffany and Susan Sto Helit make of each other?

It was interesting to see connections with Lark Rise to Candleford, of all things, as in the "rough music" and the fair that opens the book.  It's explained partly by the author note at the end, where TP talks about growing up in a Lark Rise-ish cottage.

I hear there is a new Vimes book coming this year. I'm so thankful that Terry Pratchett is well enough to continue writing, and writing so well.

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Thank you for taking the time to read, and to comment. I always enjoy hearing different points of view about the books I am reading, even if we disagree!