How foolish of me it was to not have read more Terry Pratchett books over the years. This second book about Tiffany, a young witch in training, is every bit as good as the first, “The Wee Free Men.” I have some catching up to do!
Tiffany came into a partnership of sorts with a group of tiny Picties in the first book, showing she had powerful magic when she really needed it, but now is ready to leave her small friends and her home in the chalk hills behind and begin studying witchcraft for real with an older practitioner. While the girl heads off to get started with that, she accidentally unleashes a very powerful magic force into her world, one that will follow Tiffany and try to take over her body and soul. Meanwhile, the group of other young witches she finds herself among is not welcoming to the new girl, and her teacher turns out to be more of a local herb doctor than anything, rather disappointing. The Wee Free Men have been asked to leave Tiffany alone, but their leader is troubled, and aware of the dark power on her trail. If he doesn’t act, it could be the end for his friend.
That synopsis sounds pretty dark, but Pratchett’s work is full of humor and wisdom, wise cracks and smart ideas. I have decided he’s a new favorite fantasy writer, and I’ll be looking for the other two books about Tiffany, and more. This is great fun! Highly recommended.
That does it. Several years ago I had a friend who praised Pratchett’s work to the rooftops, yet I haven’t checked his work out for myself. This shall be remedied…
The virtue of discovering you like Terry Pratchett’s books is that there are so many of them to enjoy. You may find useful this handy guide to Pratchett’s Discworld Books: http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg
My personal favorite Terry Pratchett book is “Feet of Clay” but I’ve got a thing for Golems. All 40+ of his books come highly recommended, though the two non-Tiffany books that came out in 2012 aren’t the best examples of his work.
Terry’s also a very nice and interesting person. When he was knighted a few years back, he decided a knight should have a sword. So he went out and dug up some iron ore, and helped smelt and forge it into a sword, tossing in a meteorite for magic. I first met him when I was in the Boston area helping out a local college sf club. He was doing a signing in the area, and I invited him to attend a meeting of the club that night if he had no plans and was interested. He attended, gave a funny impromptu talk, and we took him out for ice cream after (although when I asked, I could tell his author’s escort was quite nervous about it, no doubt imagining the next day’s headlines of “Visiting Author Found Dead In Charles River, Crazed Fan Suspected”. He assured her his fans were all very nice people).