The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching #1)Hot
"Why?" said Tiffany.
"There's no one to stop them."
There was silence for a moment.
Then Tiffany said, "There's me."
Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle - aka the Wee Free Men - a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds - black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors - before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone....
In a riveting narrative that is equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breathtaking tale certain to leave fans, new and old, enthralled.
Every one of his books, this one included, shows a great sense of humor and a sense of the absurd. As Mr. Pratchett began writing as an antidote to "bad" fantasy (see his website), he can't help but poke fun at some of the worst out there. In this book, he thumbs his nose at traditional fairy tales.
You know the ones...where the princes are all handsome, the princesses swoon (and are invariably blonde) and witches are all evil. Things are never that cut and dried in real life or in The Wee Free Men.
Tiffany (an unlikely name for a witch), lives on The Chalk and is 9 years old. She just happens to be around when the very fabric of the world is in danger from an invasion by the Queen of the Fairyworld. Since there's no one else to take care of the problem, Tiffany does.
Well, she also fights on because the Queen stole her baby brother. She's not all that fond of him, since he's always sticky and a pain, but nevertheless, it just isn't right for the Queen to think she can just go around stealing babies.
The Wee Free Men (a.k.a. The Nac Mac Feegle) help her out, as does a cursed toad. Here's where the funniest scenes in the book play out. I challenge anyone to keep a grin off their face while reading about the exploits and derring-do of the Wee Free Men.
I have just one caution about this book. The heroine is only 9. Typically, kids and teens like to read books about characters that are a few years older than them, so some older kids may not feel that this book is for them. However, Tiffany doesn't feel like a 9 year old and this book is perfectly appropriate for anyone that age or older (though there are a few scenes that younger readers will simply pass over as funny, when they actually have some, ahem, deeper meaning).
Any fan of Pratchett's will also enjoy this book. Shoot, anyone with a sense of humor should enjoy this book. I personally love Tiffany's matter-of-fact attitude about everything from birthing sheep to wacking Jenny Green Teeth in the head with a frying pan.
Tiffany Aching is a wonderful, unique protagonist, and her titular sidekicks are a hoot. Only Terry Pratchett could take a fantasy novel about an old-beyond-her-years nine-year old, add a group of six-inch-tall Scottish hooligans, and turn it into a thought-provoking exploration of the living nature of stories.
Tiffany's brother's been kidnapped and she's determined to save him. She's sure she'll be able to- after all she's a witch!
And then of course, there's the Wee Free Men, who want her to lead them and become their Queen..
This book is great and funny. It's greatly funny!If you want to be entertained be sure to pick up this book!
The Wee Free men is the first in a series of Discworld Books for children. That doesn't mean that any of the usual Terry Pratchett humour is lacking, nor is it patronising. It's just slightly more suitable for a younger audience. Which makes it a perfect introduction to the Discworld, where nine year old girls can take on the Queen of Faeries* armed only with a saucepan, a talking frog, Granny Achings Magic Book titled Diseases of Sheep and some Nac Mac Feegles**. Nac Mac Feegles are little blue men (and the occasional woman- the Kilda) who like fighting, drinking, pillaging, but don't like reading or writing due to their fear of Lawyers.
This book really is genuinely funny, with many moments that will make you laugh out loud, so be careful where you read it. If you always thought that fairytales were really rather boring and a bit stupid (who said that the old lady living in the cottage in the wood peacefully minding her own business could only be an evil cackling witch anyway?) then this is the book for you. In fact, even if you rather like fairytales, and think that it is quite obvious why the old lady in the wood is the evil old witch, then you should still give it a try, it might just make you think. It'll certainly make you laugh, which is more than most fairytales manage.
As for why the nine year old Tiffany (our brave and courageous heroine) decides to take on the Queen of the Faeries with only a saucepan, a sheep disease book and some Nac Mac Feegles, you'll just have to read it and find out.
*Pronouced Fairys, but that doesn't mean there isn't a difference
**Alternatively known as The Wee Free Men, just so you don't get confused.
I listened to the audio version of this book and just loved it! I've always loved Terry Pratchet's books and this is no different. His sense of humor is appealing even though the asides can be a bit distracting (I'll be reading and then realize that I missed one and have to go back.)
The really cool part of this questing book is the realistic way that the heroine is portrayed. She does what has to get done to move on and rescue her brother (a brother that is spoiled-rotten and that she admits that she dislikes but he is after-all her's.)