Imagine being able to witness a dance marking the change of the seasons—from summer to winter—all at once becoming mesmerized by the enchanting melody and rhythms of the dance… feeling its call, beckoning you to join the elemental spirits in their festivities. The pull is uncontrollable; but the result is utter chaos. Poor Tiffany finds herself in the midst of this chaotic entanglement, and has caught the unwanted attentions of the Wintersmith, who’s completely enthralled by this human girl who’s dared to dance with him. Yet the consequences of Tiffany’s choice are more widespread than personal—as it also affects the change of the seasons, with winter taking a commanding lead over the land.
Pratchett’s tale is a very loose retelling of “The Snow Queen” and “Orpheus and Eurydice” interlaced with little comic bits, care of the Nac Mac Feegles, the witches and even Roland, our story’s “hero.” ;) What I really enjoyed about the story is that there really isn’t a true villain. Even though first appearances seems to portray the antagonist as the Wintersmith, that’s not an entirely correct assumption. Like its other two predecessors, this book is also about discovery and learning… taking responsibility for yourself as well as others—a take home message for each of the main players in this tale.
I can’t end my review without a brief word about the Feegles, who basically steal the show—and considering their hobbies and main interests, that’s a description they’d probably love. In this installment, they have so many hallmark moments from discussions about heroes, writing and books, to love, romance and where babies come from—which Daft Wullie notes, “wuz verra interestin’, although a bit far-fetched tae my mind.” ;) Daft Wullie has definitely become one of my favorites. In the story, he also affectionately adopted Horace into the Feegle clan—a walking mumbling Lancre blue cheese with blue veins that resemble the blue tattoos of the Feegles. It’s so crazy and wacky, but when Horace is next seen sporting the clan’s kilt, with Daft Wullie attempting to wrap his arm around Horace in a friendly embrace—I wanted to squeeze them too. I also particularly love the final scene with Rob Anybody’s little sons staring up at their father “in silent astonishment” waiting for their father to read to them… that earnest excitement in their anticipation evokes such a great image.
Some other hallmark moments also belong to Granny Weatherwax’s kitten, which she’s aptly named You. Love that name!