Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: YA Fantasy
Synopsis: Tiffany Aching lives in the Chalk, Discworld where people don’t really hold with witches, but they are good with sheep. Tiffany is a no nonsense kind of girl who works in the dairy on the family farm as well as looking after her brother Wentworth. One day Wentworth is kidnapped by the Faerie Queen and it is up to Tiffany to save him. To help her she has the witch Miss Tick and the Nac Mac Feegles.
My Thoughts: Oh this book was just right for me when I read it. Just perfect. I was having some issues at work (things are looking better now but it was super frustrating before the school break) and the humour and warmth in this book was just what I needed. The Nac Mac Feegles were HILARIOUS. For me having lived in Scotland really helped understanding the Feegles because I could really hear them speak. I also already knew some of the Scots words that were used such as “bleather”.
Tiffany is also a very engaging and likeable heroine. And she is a heroine aimed at a slightly younger than me audience for which Pratchett gets a whole load of bonus points (you know if he hadn’t already been a writer hero of mine ). Actually the whole book focuses on the power of women in society. The fact that women are powerful and knowledgeable (this becomes even more of a theme in the next book in the series). What is even more wonderful is that although Tiffany is smart and funny she is also flawed. She doesn’t much like her little brother (at the beginning of the book she uses him for bait for a monster). She can be a bit of a know it all (not Hermione style but still). And she is unsure and insecure at times. Like most children.
This book touches upon several somewhat sensitive topics, the loss of a loved one and the need to deal with that as well as being who you really are and why everyone is important. The first topic is presented very sensitively through Tiffany’s thoughts about her grandmother and her death. I have since read the next book in the series as well (review forthcoming) and I could really see how this book started setting up Tiffany’s growing realisation about what makes us who we are. She has to start understanding that the outside isn’t necessarily what is important. It is what we do with who we are that is important.
This is definitely a book that I will be giving to my niece and honorary niece when they get older. Tiffany is someone I want them to look up to.