Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (Tiffany Aching Trilogy, Book 1)

Yay for another buddy review! This time with Stephanie from Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic. While I have read a couple Pratchett's in the past (this is my third this year, actually) we are still really Pratchett newbies. It is fun to begin to discover his backlog and to do it with someone else!

A wonderful new novel from the Carnegie Medal winner. A riotous, wise, and gripping junior Discworld novel.

Up on the chalk downs known as The Wold, witches are banned — ever since the Baron’s son vanished in the woods. Anyway, as all witches know, chalk is no good for magic.

Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching — a wise shepherd — might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it’s up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening. There’s a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new “hag”. These are the Nac Mac Feegles, the pictsies, who like nothing better than thievin’, fightin’ and drinkin’. When Tiffany’s young brother goes missing, Tiffany and the Wee Free Men must join forces to save him from the Queen of the Fairies.
What was your impression of Granny Aching? She wasn't quite the warm, cuddly grandma we are used to. Did you like her character?
No, warm and cuddly are not words that I would use to describe Granny Aching, but she was a fantastic character! Tiffany thought that her grandmother was a witch, but who can really say for sure. All we do know is that she was not like the other women in the novel. She was very independant and a woman who the entire village feared and respected. She knew her sheep, though. That was her occupation. With her chewing tobacco and big clunky shoes, she was a force to be reckoned with. Even now that she is deceased she lives on, which is great. I really enjoyed her, actually. She is probably a character that will stick with me for a long time because she was so vibrant and alive, which is funny because she is supposed to be dead in the book. Who said grandmothers had to be warm and cuddly. Her personality seemed to work for her because her grand-daughter has never forgot her.

Who was your favorite of the minor characters? Why? (The secondary characters here seemed to add so much to the story)
There is a probably with library books. You don't have them nearby to check characters names. After some searching around the internet, though, I found who I was thinking of. His name is
No'-As-Big-As-Medium-Sized-Jock-But-Bigger-than-Wee-Jock Jock. Everytime this guy would talk, Pratchett would include his entire name. It made me smile every single time! It is no wonder that I couldn't remember the correct wording of it, though. Even if I had read it several times, it is not exactly something that will stick in your memory. He is one of the Nac Mac Feegle's, who I think really made the book. They were funny and you never knew what they were going to be up to next. It made for very entertaining reading!

What is your favorite scene? Why? Will you continue on with this trilogy and series? There were so many great scenes in this book, I must say. From the very beginning when Tiffany meets a monster in the pond to the very end; the book sticks with you overall. I actually think one of my favourite scenes is when Tiffany hits the monster she meets in the pond over the head with a frying pan. She was very practical about it. Another scene that was great is when we meet Miss Tick for the first time. She is not exactly your stereotypical witch, and for the first little bit you think she is talking to herself. She is a bit scatter-brained and she is late to the big adventure, but I look forward to seeing more of her in the rest of the trilogy. Then, there are the scenes with the Nac Mac Feegles. There is so much good stuff when they enter the scene that it is hard to pick one favourite. They are funny when they try to steal a sheep, when they get into fights, when they drink, and I really enjoyed any mention of the one that flies around on a bird from place to place. He made some interesting landings! It was especially great what he does when Tiffany suggests a safer method for a landing. Overall, you could almost say the book is just one great scene. It never really drags and it is genuinely entertaining all the way through.


  1. I must admit you've hit the nail on teh mark with this one, this doesn't drag and it lows are not all that low.

    Great review.

  2. It's the funniest of the three (I loved the Nac Mac Feegle, especially what's-his-name, too), but I like Hat Full of Sky, best. Hope you like the rest!

  3. I loved this!! I brought home this trilogy from my school library to read over the summer. After reading your post I really feel like I should get to it!!!

  4. So glad you liked the first Wee Free Men book. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did and you'll be pleased to hear the books get better and better.

  5. Gosh, this was my first Terry Pratchett and I think I came away with a winner. How I loved those Nac Mac Feegles!! They made me laugh at every turn and I felt that I was channeling an early Scottie from Star Trek! I'm glad that you enjoyed it too. At Melissa's suggestion after I finished I bought Hat Full of Sky and want to get to that one soon. What fun to find another great author!

  6. Yeah!! Sorry I didn't get my post up this morning (it's up now, but a little later than I planned). I was actually incredibly busy at work last night, and I just didn't have the time. I was going to do it when I got home...but too tired!!

    I think it's funny that you and I had one of the same favorite scenes!

  7. I really, really should read the Pratchett books in my TBR. One day.

  8. What a great post. I listened to this and absolutely loved the Scottish brogue of the Wee Free Men. I'd find myself laughing out loud as I was driving around. Now I want to reread it. You and Stephanie posted such fun reviews and brought so much of the book back to life for me.

  9. Anonymous7:41 AM

    I'm really glad you enjoyed this book and I hope you carry on reading them. This is my favourite Pratchett series, I much prefer it to the adult Discworld books.

  10. Yay, I'm so glad you read this! It is one of my favorite books of all time. In fact, I'm going to introduce my girls to the audio version tomorrow, as we're taking a long drive to visit some friends. I'm excited to revisit Tiffany and her friends. :-)


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