Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 320
Number in Series : #1 Tiffany Aching Series
Reason for Reading : Young Adult Challenge, First in a Series Challenge, Once Upon a Time II Challenge

In this the first book in the Tiffany Aching series, we are introduced to nine year old Tiffany who wants to be a witch. It is set on the Discworld. Witches have been outlawed in the Chalk where she lives since her grandmother, Granny Aching died and the Baron's son went missing. An elderly lady was blamed for having killed him by pushing her into her oven which Tiffany is highly doubtful of considering it is tiny (yes she measured it). She was very close to Granny Aching who was a shepherd with two sheep dogs, Thunder and Lightening. She died in her own home and it was Tiffany who discovered her body.

Not too long after her death Tiffany is down by the river with her sticky and whiney younger brother Wentworth. She hears voices and two strange tiny blue creatures sail past warning her about something in the water. A monster appears and Tiffany manages to save her brother. She ponders the events of the day and uses her brother as bait so she can beat the monster (Jennie Green-Teeth) with a frying pan. This seems to confirm to the creatures that she is "the hag" and they set about doing odd jobs for her.

The creatures turn out to be the Nac Mac Feegle (the Wee Free Men), notorious drunks, thieves and liars who claim no master. When the Queen of the Fairies kidnaps her brother she joins forces with the Feegles to go into fairy land and rescue him. Cue a journey into something quite different to the usual tales of the fairies, where lots of adventures are had. Tiffany recieves guidance from a witch (Miss Tick) and her toad familiar and at the end some of the other witches from the Discworld make a welcome appearence.

I am a little hit and miss with the adult Discworld books and I was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed this from the outset. Tiffany made for a great central character and I love the headology/witchcraft lessons she learns along her journey. The Nac Mac Feegle were a lot of fun and I look forward to reading the next in the series and seeing what else will befall Tiffany as she learns the ropes of being a witch.

Other Reviews: Miss Erin

4 comments:

Dark Orpheus said...

I have similar problems with the adult discworld novels a few years back. Some of them left like Pratchett was feeling the weight of having to produce so many books in one year.

But the Tiffany Aching series is great - her character is mature and definitely on her way to becoming a great witch. Having Granny Weatherwax around also helped. Later in the series Tiffany gives Granny Weatherwax a white kitten. Wait for it - it's really sweet.

I also love the portrayal of Tiffany's grandmother in those flashback - it's wonderful - she feels so alive.

Nymeth said...

yay, you loved it! This book is one my top 3 Discworlds (then again, I might have said that of more than 3 books :P)

Like Dark Orpheus, I am a big fan of Granny Aching. And Tiffany is just great. I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the series. This one is my favourite, but the others are great too. The episode with the kitten Dark Orpheus mentions is so sweet and touching.

Cath said...

I've read all three in the Tiffany Aching series, for The Once Upon a Time challenge, and have enjoyed them all. Like Nymeth, they're now three of my favourite Pratchett books. I love Granny Aching too. Odd how a character who is dead and who you never actually meet can be such a presence in a book. Good story telling, imo.

Darla D said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I really love Tiffany - and Granny Aching, too, of course. If you can get your hands on the audio version of A Hat Full of Sky, give it a listen - it is delightful!

And thanks for the link!