The Wee Free Men

12 Apr

The anger came back. She’d nearly been fooled! She looked at the cheese knife. “Be a sword,” she said. After all, the drome was making her dream, but she was doing the dreaming. She was real. Part of her wasn’t asleep.
There was a clang.
“Correction,” said Tiffany. “Be a sword that isn’t so heavy.”

This book was such a fun read! It is relatively short and technically a kid’s book, but I read so quickly because it was hilarious and I couldn’t put it down.

The main character, Tiffany Aching is a 9-year-old girl on a sheep farm who keeps herself busy with making butter and cheese, but who wants to grow up to be a witch.  When her little brother is stolen by the Faerie Queen, she has to travel to fairyland and bring him home before it’s too late.  With the help of the Feegles, little blue-skinned men with red hair and a penchant for drinking, cursing and stealing, a speaking frog, and her trusty frying pan, Tiffany learns more about herself, and what it means to be a witch.

This is my first book by Terry Pratchett, and it was suggested to me by my roommate Mark.  He probably knew what he was doing, because now I’m quite curious to read more from Pratchett and more of Tiffany.  Mark has an entire shelf of books set in “Discworld” and even though he doesn’t own any more books featuring Tiffany, he highly recommends them.

The tone of the book was so light and enjoyable, with jokes and references thrown in on almost every page, but the ending was dramatic, meaningful and satisfying.  I feel like many people in our generation use reference based jokes; it’s so much easier with the internet and meme propagation.  The number of references in this book (to Tolkien, The Wizard of Oz, The Highlander, just to name a few) made me feel as if it was written by one of my friends.  It’s just so exactly our humor and so very witty.  I laughed many times.

Oh, and the cat’s name is Ratbag.  Best cat name EVER!

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