I’ll always remember that German friend of mine for his good taste in books and introducing me to the works of Peter Høeg and Terry Pratchett. :)
I haven’t read one of Terry Pratchett’s books in quite a while, and in preparation for my Goodreads giveaway win—Pratchett’s latest novel and 4th book in the Tiffany Aching series—I wanted to read the three earlier books to the series. After reading The Wee Free Men
, I must say that I’d completely forgotten how much fun these books are!
What I really like about this series, is that you don’t need to read all of the books in order. Each book offers something different, and even though characters from previous books make guest appearances, it’s OK. You don’t need their back-story to understand what’s going on. This first book in the Tiffany Aching series is like that.
Yes, the story’s been done before: a younger brother stolen; the older sister, who doesn’t quite like her brother, goes out to rescue him. But Pratchett tweaks the story just enough to make it seem new and entertaining. What attracted me to his earlier novels was the wit, that’s both acerbic and silly at the same time. Imagine a combination of the best bits of Blackadder
and Monty Python’s Flying Circus
—that’s Pratchett’s writing. Those pictsies—the Wee Free Men—with their kilts, Scottish brogue, and love of treasure and drink are up to all kinds of mischief in their antics. Whenever they come onto the scene, you know it’s going to be entertaining and funny. And the little toad in Tiffany’s apron pocket is so cute I want to squeeze him! ;-)
However, the book’s not all fun and games and levity. There are serious aspects as well. Children, like nine-year old Tiffany, are forced to grow old before their time by facing certain truths about life and by learning how to recognize and see how things really are. That’s one of the aspects that I really like about Pratchett’s take on magic and witchcraft. It’s not all about potions and spells. The magic is knowing and understanding your surroundings, and learning how to use that knowledge to your advantage.
Good stuff! On to book 2 or book 32 in the Discworld series.