In his Author’s Note to the reader, Terry Pratchett states that he just “had to write this book. In fact, other projects had to go on hold to let it past.” I can definitely understand that, since A Hat Full Sky
is bursting with energy, fun and excitement. As a sequel, it’s just as good as the first book.
What I like about Pratchett’s fantasy world is that it greatly resembles normal, everyday life. Pratchett takes the common, normal aspects of life and offers an inversion of it, allowing the reader to view it from a different, novel perspective that highlights the “magical” elements, which otherwise could be easily overlooked. Again, magic is not just waving a magic wand or wearing a cape or witch’s hat, it comes from within… taking responsibility for your own actions and considering the wellbeing of others, by helping and guarding them. Hidden under all of this is also the idea that first appearances and perceptions may indeed be deceiving.
What’s even better is the presence of those little pictsies, the Nac Mac Feegle. They remind me of when little kids are caught doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, and deny doing it, even though their hands are still moving, doing what they’re not supposed to do. ;) These pictsies have an innocently dopey cuteness about them, but they’re always up to some kind of mischief. My favorite part in the whole book is the bath scene, when they hesitantly give in to Miss Level’s insistence that they get clean: “ 'Ye canna ask a man tae take a bath again this soon, mistress! There’ll be nothin’ left o’ us!' […] 'This is no’ as bad as I thought!' 'Aye, very pleasin’.' […] There followed a lot more splashing, and water started to seep under the door.” I truly do love the Feegles, though I probably wouldn’t want to meet one. Pratchett describes them aptly: “…they’re extremely brave, and they’re extremely small, and extremely strong, and there’s hundreds and hundreds of them, and they just are automatically funny. You can’t help but love them, at a distance.” :-)