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Hardcover Wintersmith (Discworld) Book

ISBN: 0060890320

ISBN13: 9780060890322

Wintersmith (Discworld)

(Part of the Discworld (#35) Series and Discworld - Tiffany Aching (#3) Series)

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

At 9, Tiffany Aching defeated the cruel Queen of Fairyland. At 11, she battled an ancient body-stealing evil. At 13, Tiffany faces a new challenge: a boy. And boys can be a bit of a problem when you're thirteen. . . . But the Wintersmith isn't exactly a boy. He is Winter itself-snow, gales, icicles-all of it. When he has a crush on Tiffany, he may make her roses out of ice, but his nature is blizzards and avalanches. And he wants Tiffany to stay in...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A Hero Despite Himself

Wintersmith (2006) is the third fantasy novel in the Discworld for Young Adults series, following A Hat Full of Sky. A glossary of Feegle terms (compiled by Miss Perspicacia Tick) is included in the introduction. In the previous volume, Esme Weatherwax granted Tiffany Aching the right to call her Granny. After Tiffany showed the hiver the way to die, Miss Weatherwax even presented Tiffany with her hat. Later, Tiffany returned the hat to Granny Weatherwax and was told that a real witch made her own hat. Tiffany then learned something about her Granny Aching and about hats made out of sky. In this novel, Tiffany is almost thirteen years old and still training to be a witch. For the past three months, she has been living with Miss Eumenides Treason, which is a bit unusual. Other witch trainees have not lasted more than a day with Miss Treason. Such transient behavior generally would be viewed with utmost disapproval by senior witches, but not when Miss Treason is involved. Yet Tiffany finds Miss Treason to be very inspirational. Miss Treason has a reputation even among witches. Since witches are professionally odd, it is a bit redundant to say that Miss Treason is odd. Yet she goes far beyond the usual witchery oddness. Miss Treason really likes the color black. She not only wears black clothes -- not unusual for a witch -- but she also likes black walls, floors, ceilings and even black cheese. Moreover, Miss Treason carries a clock around with her that is made of black iron and clanks instead of ticks. Miss Treason is 113 years old and subject to the usual infirmities of the elderly; for example, she doesn't seem to need sleep. Yet she has an odd way of responding to such problems. When she went blind at age sixty, she started using the eyes of animals, reading sights right out of their minds. When Miss Treason went deaf at age seventy-five, she likewise Borrowed other ears. Lately Miss Treason has started Borrowing sight from a pair of ravens. Sometimes Miss Treason uses Tiffany's eyes, but Tiffany doesn't like this since it tingles her mind. In this story, Tiffany has a strange introduction to the Wintersmith. Without any thought, she is impelled by her feet into the middle of a Dark Morris dance in the place reserved for the Wintersmith and the Summer Lady. In the past, the Wintersmith has had only fleeting encounters with his opposite number, but now he has become aware of Tiffany and confuses her with the Summer Lady. The Wintersmith is determined to dance again with Tiffany. He even tries making himself a human body out of this and that and an iron nail. The Summer Lady also becomes aware of Tiffany as the other woman and really doesn't like her very much, but somehow Tiffany manifests a few of Summer's powers. The Wintersmith has a strange way of courting the ladies. He shapes each snowflake to look like Tiffany. Even worse, he produces huge icebergs formed like her. Such things can really embarrass a

Yet another reason why Terry Pratchett is one of my all-time favorite authors.

Although all of Mr. Pratchett's Discworld books are wonderful and well worth reading, there is something very special about the Tiffany Aching series, and from what I hear this third book won't be the last - thank goodness! Wintersmith is one of those books that has you reminiscing about your own early teen years, while looking for a special teen your life (child, neighbor's kid, niece) to whom you can buy the set of books for, because you know they are going to love them and learn from them. Mr. Pratchett is a true student, and teacher, of the human condition. His understanding encompasses not only the simplest mentalities (think Nobby), but easily walks you through the greatest, most complex minds (Lord Vetinari). And he does it with great humor and great compassion. I've met Mr. Pratchett in person just once, but there are some people in life whom you know are good people, and very, very gifted people. Terry Pratchett is both. Do yourself and anyone you care about who likes to read a favor - try any of his Discworld books (sorry, haven't read the others so couldn't comment on those) and see what you think. It is worth the time investment. See if you don't end up collecting his books like I do!

Probably Pratchett's most technically expert book yet.

_Wintersmith_ is the latest entry in Pratchett's three-book sub-series about a young witch growing up and learning, appropriately enough for her trade, to be a wise woman. (there are upwards of thirty or forty "Discworld" books total, which cluster into subgroups around individual characters). New readers shouldn't read this one first; start with _Wee Free Men_, the first in Tiffany's sub-series, and then read _A Hat Full of Sky_ before proceeding to this one. This is billed as a children's book, although little sets it apart from Pratchett's other fantasy except for some slight bowdlerizations for the young reader; primarily, this is a children's book because the heroine is a young person. . It might more properly be billed as a "young adult" book. Like the Harry Potter books, the content and tone of the Tiffany series have been maturing ever so slightly with each book, and Tiffany herself is portrayed as very mature for a child her age - a portrayal deliberate on Pratchett's part, I believe, as Tiffany is exactly as mature as most kids that age tend to think they are, and almost as mature as she herself wants to be. Tiffany turns thirteen in this book, and puberty is definitely the theme: in the most expert intertwining of story and myth I've yet seen Pratchett accomplish, Tiffany "steps into the dance" between the Summer Lady and "Wintersmith." Accidentally taking on the Summer Lady's role, she becomes subject to the Wintersmith's advances, and as he is the elemental spirit of winter, cold, frost, ice, etc., problems ensue. Pratchett's typical humor is present throughout (at one point, when plants begin to sprout at Tiffany's feet, one practically-minded character gets her to shove her feet into a pot of onion seeds) but the truly impressive thing about this novel is how expertly Pratchett manages to use myth and metaphor to write about a young girl becoming, ahem, fertile, while still maintaining the decorum appropriate to a british children's book.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful

but the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" And snow it does in Terry Pratchett's delightfully funny and thoughtful latest book, Wintersmith. I have to admit that I ordered Wintersmith because it was by Terry Pratchett. I did not notice that it is targeted as a Discworld book for younger readers. Adult fans of Discworld or of the genre generally should ignore this fact and step up and read Wintersmith. It is fun and should appeal to "children of all ages!" The plot is summarized quite nicely in the book description and I won't waste anyone's time repeating that summary. What isn't summarized is Pratchett's way with words and with characterizations. Here we have Tiffany Aching. Not only is she a 13-year girl entering her angst-filled teen years with a lot to learn about becoming an adult, but she is also learning how to become a witch. The witches in Macbeth sum this situation up nicely when they chanted: "double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble." Pratchett has a keen ear for Tiffany and he manages to convey these pangs of adolescence with an empathy that would be too sweet if it wasn't interspersed with humor and a nod and a wink. Pratchett knows how to keep the cauldron bubbling and those bubbles contain some of Pratchett's famous set-pieces. The Wee Free Men (the miniature version of Cohen the Barbarian multiplied by a factor of five hundred) provide some of those `fun' moments. Two examples bear repeating. At one point early on Daft Wullie goes on (with more than a wee bit of Scottish brogue) about the problem of being married and having to deal with "the Pursin' o' the Lips", the "Foldin' o' the Arms", and "not tae mention the Tappin' o' the Feets". It is left to Rob Anybody to explain the art "o' the husbandry". A little later Tiffany's beau-in-waiting Roland wonders if he is too clever by half. Roland is relieved to hear that being too clever by half is preferable to "bein' too stupid by three quarters!" Out of context these may seem to be nothing more than throw-away bits of fun writing. In context they seem a bit more than that. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg provide Tiffany with what can best be described as an inimitable (if off-kilter) support group. They are recurring characters on Discworld and they are in fine fettle. Rounding out the cast of characters is Wintersmith. This representation of Winter itself, who falls in love (in a boyish sort of way) with Tiffany, is a great counterbalance to Tiffany's character. If Tiffany is a young girl struggling to learn to be a woman, Winter is something approaching a boy struggling to learn what it is to become a human and then a man. It is a funny and touching portrayal. Looking at Tiffany (and her fellow teen witches) and Wintersmith and Roland was a lot like looking back at high school. Even in the alternate world that is Discworld - some things just don't change. Wintersmith was a fun book
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