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Wintersmith (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett
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Wintersmith (Discworld) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Terry Pratchett

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5,442111795 (4.12)202
Member:guardianbookfest2011
Title:Wintersmith (Discworld)
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:****1/2
Tags:december, read in 2012

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Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (2006)

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English (104)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (110)
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Tiffany Aching, the protagonist of The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, is now almost thirteen and working for Miss Treason, a hundred and seventeen year old witch. When Miss Treason and Tiffany go to watch the dark Morris dance, where summer gives way to winter, the unprecedented happens: Tiffany, for reasons she cannot explain, joins the dance. Now she’s attracted the attention of the personification of Winter himself, and she’s risked a winter that never leaves…

“You danced into a story, girl, one that tells itself to the world every year. It’s the Story about ice and fire, Summer and Winter. You’ve made it wrong. You’ve got to stay to the end and make sure it turns out right.”

Wintersmith, like so many of Pratchett’s other witch books, is about the power of stories. Humans shape the world into stories we tell ourselves, but the witch stands outside the story. She shapes it, she changes it. The witch is the master of the story.

“People wanted the world to be a story, because stories had to sound right and they had to make sense. People wanted the world to make sense.”

In Wintersmith, Tiffany Aching, being so closely connected to the Chalk and the land, cannot help but dance to the changing of the seasons, and thus stumbles into a story she does not belong in. She made a mistake, and now she has to take responsibility for it.

I love Tiffany so much, and it’s a pleasure to see her grow up through the series. Terry Pratchett has a remarkable ability to get inside a young girl’s head. I recall reading Wintersmith when I was about fourteen, not so different in age from Tiffany, and I was absolutely amazed that Pratchett was able to capture so much of what I was thinking and feeling.

And there’s so much compassion towards all the characters. Just look at Annagramma – it would be so easy for Annagramma to fall into the “mean girl” stereotype, but instead she gets character development and sympathy. It’s so marvelous to find a series that has so many well written women, who work together and support each other.

“I’m the wicked ol’ witch, girl. They feared me, and did what they were told! They feared joke skulls and silly stories. I chose fear. I knew they’d never love me for telling ‘em the truth, so I made certain of their fear. No, they’ll be relieved to hear the witch is dead.”

There’s so much morality in the witch novels, so much on the importance of helping other people, even when they’re stupid or ungrateful. And it’s never written in a condescending or preachy way, it’s just embedded into the core of who Tiffany and the other witches are. They’re women who guard the boundaries and help those who cannot help themselves. They’re women who make choices and take responsibility.

“We make happy endings, child, day to day. But you see, for the witch there are no happy endings. There are just endings.”

I recommend Wintersmith to everyone, but if I could choose only one book to give a thirteen year old girl, it would be this one. This is truly a fantastic book.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
1 vote pwaites | Jul 25, 2015 |
Its nice to see Tiffany's 'growing up' though I agree with other reviewers who say that the fact she even joined the dance was completely out of character for her. And if she was 'compelled' in a sense as she said, there wasn't any explanation to it. Tiffany isn't a frivolous girl. So WHY did she jump in as if it was meant for her?

Otherwise excellent ^_^
Since this story wouldn't have happened without her dancing with Winter.. ( )
  JazMinderr | Jul 31, 2014 |
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is the 35th Discworld book and the third of the Tiffany Aching series. Tiffany is now working for Miss Treason, the scariest witch she's yet to apprentice with, a woman who sees through others' eyes and lives in a house painted completely black, inside and out.

While with Miss Treason to observe the Dark Morris, a dance to usher in winter, Tiffany is carried away by the thrill of it all and ends up catching the eye of the Wintersmith. Now her slice of the Disc is facing an ice age unless Tiffany can figure out how to set things to rights (with help from Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg).

Wintersmith in my mind is where Tiffany really comes into her own as a character. In the first book, Wee Free Men she had raw determination, her talent with cheese, and her frying pan. In the second book she showed that she had the raw powers to be witch of some reckoning. But it is here that she finally learns that witchcraft (or any other position of power) isn't all or nothing. She learns how to be in balance and when and where to make a show of things to encourage people to act, rather than either forcing them to or doing everything alone. Basically she learns the fine art of Boffo.

Wintersmith has become a bit of an addiction for me. OK... much of Terry Pratchett's work has recently but this book is on the special shelf along with Going Postal and Snuff and Raising Steam. I own three, yes three versions of the story: a lovely hardcover, the audio read by Stephen Briggs (who MUST go back and read ALL of Pratchett's books), and the folk album by Steeleye Span. ( )
  pussreboots | Jul 28, 2014 |
Originally, this was the first Tiffany book I read. For this challenge, I decided to re-read the books, for the most part in order. Since I first read Wintersmith when it was first published; it was a little more difficult to follow along with comments about her previous adventures. Pratchett had done a fine job with the novel, but now after reading them in order- the books are much more clever.

This is a perfect book to read on the edge of winter- wishing for summer. In short the book deals with stories, and the magic of the changing seasons. It also deals with first crushes- in its own, Pratchett way. We learn more about Tiffany's schooling as a witch, and as with the other novels, she is growing up. Young teenage girls I think will enjoy how clever Tiffany is, and I think some of them have faced some of the everyday challenges Tiffany as gone through. ( )
  DeweyEver | Mar 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, BillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paracchini, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060890339, Paperback)

When the Spirit of Winter takes a fancy to Tiffany Aching, he wants her to stay in his gleaming, frozen world. Forever. It will take the young witch's skill and cunning, as well as help from the legendary Granny Weatherwax and the irrepressible Wee Free Men, to survive until Spring. Because if Tiffany doesn't make it to Spring—

—Spring won't come.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When witch-in-training Tiffany Aching accidentally interrupts the Dance of the Seasons and awakens the interest of the elemental spirit of Winter, she requires the help of the six-inch-high, sword-wielding, sheep-stealing Wee Free Men to put the seasons aright.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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