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Wintersmith (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith (Discworld) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Terry Pratchett

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5,523112785 (4.12)219
Title:Wintersmith (Discworld)
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:december, read in 2012

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Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (2006)


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English (106)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I think I might have read too many Witch books in quick succession...

This is the 'dating is difficult' installment in Pratchett's stories about teenage Tiffany Aching. She sees a cool gap in the dark morris, impulsively dances into it, and has to live with the consequences of her actions - in this case, that the Wintersmith falls for her, instead of Summer, and follows her around with deadly blizzards etc. It's a good story, although if you squint too hard there are messages that I would not 100% endorse - Nanny Ogg's relaxed 'ah, he's stalking you, but you should make him frightened of you and make him show you some respect' and the whole 'kissing him to melt him to save the world' resolution.

I think I like the subplots even better. Anagramma, with her airs and lack of any practical skills, being saved and rallied round, and losing some of her corners (and being part of Granny's 'show how great she and Tiffany are' games). Miss Treason, and her boffo, and the ideas of looking the part and being the part, to get respect and get power. Little snippets of Ronald dealing with his father's illness and his evil aunts. And Horace, the cheese full of personality.

Tiffany gives Granny a kitten. That's cute :-) ( )
  atreic | Nov 22, 2015 |
The best of the Tiffany Aching stories, also the first one I read. Tiffany lets her feet take over at the Dark Morris Dance and becomes confused with the Summer Lady in the mind of the Wintersmith. At first he doesn't understand why she is in "his" world, the world of winter, but then sees the opportunity to ... well, he's not sure. Join forces? At last someone he merely dances with twice a year is available, but Tiffany rejects him as not being human. Slowly, he learns to make himself more like a human to court her. The Summer Lady, in the meantime, is annoyed at being usurped - but she can do nothing from where she is. Roland, whom Tiffany rescued from fairyland in a previous story, must (mostly because the Nac MacFeegles force him) rescue her from the land of the mostly dead so that balance can be restored.
The death of Miss Treason, to whom Tiffany was apprenticed, is a wonderful side story, with her Boffo. Annagramma, the snooty one, takes over the cottage and tries to run it with the Magick she learned from her tutor, Miss Earwig (pronounced Arwich, she claims). Tiffany and the other young witches have to pitch in and help her until she finds her way - and the Boffo catalog.
Just an all-around great story. I'd like to see it made into a movie.
  marfita | Oct 23, 2015 |
I had to not read this for ages because I was writing a book myself and that book had anthropomorphised seasons in it and one thing I could not possibly do was read how terry Pratchett anthropomorphised seasons before I worked out how to do it myself. Now the book is done and alas and waily waily waily Pratchett has met the guy in all-caps, so I finally get to read it.

Tiffany Aching, witch-in-training, through a blunder at a dark and mysterious dance, finds that the wintersmith, the spirit of winter, has fallen in love with her, partly because he thinks she's the spirit of summer and partly just because she's Tiffany. His various and potentially catastrophic attempts at wooing, as he struggles to become more human, need to be curtailed, or there might never be a summer ever again. Tiffany is aided by assorted witches and the Wee Free Men, aggravating as it may be.

Funny and smart with heart, this is fantasy, but grounded and sensible as ever, even as it scales the heights of mad ideas. Sigh. I don't want him to be gone. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
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. ( )
2 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 |
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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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