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I Shall Wear Midnight (2010)

by Terry Pratchett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roman du Disque-Monde (tome 5), Discworld: Tiffany Aching (4), Discworld: Young Adult (5), Discworld (38)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,7911412,317 (4.24)1 / 221
Fifteen-year-old Tiffany Aching, the witch of the Chalk, seeks her place amid a troublesome populace and tries to control the ill-behaved, six-inch-high Wee Free Men who follow her as she faces an ancient evil that agitates against witches.
  1. 121
    Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks, petwoe, ijustgetbored)
    MyriadBooks: For the appearance of Eskarina Smith.
    petwoe: Noteably for the parallels between Tiffany and Eskarina.
    ijustgetbored: For the backstory on Eskarina Smith, and for the parallels between Tiffany and Esk.

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English (138)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
I Shall Wear Midnight - Pratchett
Audio performance by Steven Briggs
3.5 stars

Tiffany Aching continues to grow-up. She’s an excessively overworked young witch with her own territory. This book heads into some serious adult topics; domestic abuse, a very young unwed mother, and serious witchbaiting. Tiffany and her band of Feegles are fighting real world darkness. As real as darkness gets on the discworld. Tiffany even spends some time (behind bars) in Ankh-Morpork with a few cameo appearances of characters from the Watch. Lots of Pratchett humor, sturdy feminism and strong themes of social justice. Just how do good people turn against their neighbors to throw the first rock? ( )
  msjudy | Aug 22, 2020 |
I had a hard time getting into this book. The opening is *depressing* -- drunken abuse, children dying, the burdens of being sole caregiver to a large community.

By the end of it I was put out that none of that depressing opening mattered in the slightest in terms of the actual plot. It pains me to say it, having been a Pratchett fan since The Light Fantastic, but this book is a self-indulgent mess from start to finish. File under "how to pad your plot - badly." It meandered in setting for no apparent reason other than to give a dozen characters from other Discworld stream a cameo. None of them ended up doing anything significant. The plot was far too easily resolved and entirely lacking in emotional impact. It doesn't seem like Tiffany has any lessons left to learn. The "villain" was barely present, and the supporting cast mostly acted like idiots.

The Wee Free Men is a nearly perfect book. He should have stopped there. ( )
  RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
The Tiffany Aching series has quickly become one of my favorite Discworld line of books. And I thoroughly enjoyed the last (for me) book of the series. Dealing with the maturing of Tiffany Aching and the coming into her own as a witch. It was an engaging story about confronting the realities of the world, in all its ugliness and learning the balance of life. An important death forces the community to come to terms with their roles within society. I Shall Wear Midnight is darker and more serious than most of the Discworld, less humorous and jovial. I think on the whole the Aching series has been a bit more serious than the others. I also think this story arch is far superior to the witches' series, or at least more cohesive. ( )
  stretch | Aug 15, 2020 |
Extremely enjoyable witch novel. This sub-branch of the whole disc-World always have the ability to make me giddy and giggly with the feeling that imminent practicality is the most magical skill in the world. It's a consistent feeling, of course, and not endemic to this novel. On the other hand, for all of the Aching novels that all appear to be about coming-to-age, there's a delightful variety in how one can come of age. I got the distinct impression that this 16 year old woman just got more wise and has received a great deal of Esteem, in a very Maslovian way. It filled my heart to the brim.

And by the way, fantastic use of foreshadowing. I'm not even referring to the hare. I caught many of the other ones before they bore fruit (barely) and had to reread the lines I thought I was paying attention to because I kept laughing out of turn when the larger set-up kept kicking me in the shins. So very enjoyable for any novel, but for the Discworlds, I might just put this one at one of the tops of the tops.

Fantastic stuff. :)
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
“I Shall Wear Midnight” does all the things that Terry Pratchet does well: it provides insights into human weakness, leavens them with hope and courage and spices them with a generous dash of humour.
What makes this an exceptional book, even for Terry Pratchet is the development of the young witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching. I confess to having fallen a little in love with Tiffany Aching in the previous books. She is brave, selfless and determined to do the task in front of her even when the task is immeasurably bigger than she is.
This is the book where Tiffany grows up. There is almost a sense that Pratchet is saying goodbye to her and launching her into her adult life. In this book, Tiffany comes to understand that doing the right thing is a choice that may set her so far apart that she may have no route to a normal happy life. She also starts to see the danger that what starts as setting yourself apart can become setting yourself above.
Although other witches appear in this book and the Wee Free Men are still at her side at all times, especially when she’s ordered them not to be, the evil threat in this book is one that Tiffany must face alone. It is, essentially a test of her own ability to choose to not to give in and become something monstrous.
The threat comes from an entity created and sustained by hate. It spreads hate like a contagion, changing normal individuals into a vengeful mob. Pratchet highlights our ability to hate and fear categories of people in the abstract even when we do not apply the hate to individuals in that category that we know. It counter-poses female “headology” – getting on with all the mundane or unpleasant things that make life work, with male “theology” that provides a model of who to hate and who to punish.
In the end it tells us that fear and anger blind us, allowing hate to bind us. Our protection is not just “First Sight and Second Thoughts” but the ability to reach out to others and build trust and affection that hate cannot break.
The title of the book “I shall wear midnight” highlights another strong theme in the book: doing things in their right season. Tiffany Aching pushed herself to be a witch of the Chalk when she was still a child. Her childhood was the price she paid for that. Yet Tiffany declines to wear black, Tiffany wants to join in the dance of life, Tiffany is willing to die to protect what needs to be protected but she’d rather live and love and grow. During this book Tiffany understands that not only that she can be a witch and still be a woman but that being a woman will make her a better witch. She will grow old and die. But not yet. She will wear midnight when she is old but today she is young and she is taking her time in the sun.
It is the ability to weave these messages into a book that is funny and exciting and easy to read that sets Terry Pratchet apart as a unique voice.
( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RobinAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, BillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stengel, ChristopherTypographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tippie, JoelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I dedicate this book to Mr [George Ewart] Evans, a wonderful man who helped many of us to learn about the depths of history over which we float. It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.

Terry Pratchett
27 May 2010

Author's note.
First words
Why was it, Tiffany Aching wondered, that people liked noise so much?
Still, it could have been worse, she told herself as they set off. For example, there could have been snakes on the broomstick.
It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
Roland was staring at Tiffany so nonplussed he was nearly minused.
The room (at Keepsake Hall) was full of bookcases, and the books on them gleamed. These weren't cheap modern books; these were books bound in leather, and not just leather, but leather from clever cows who had given up their lives for literature after a happy existence in the very best pastures. The books gleamed as Letitia moved around the large room lighting other lamps. She hauled them up toward the ceiling on their long chains, which swung gently as she pulled so that the shine from the books mixed with the gleam from the brasswork until the room seemed to be full of rich, ripe gold.
"A wedding almost straight after a funeral...I can tell you in truth that at such times the universe gets a little closer to us. They are strange times, times of beginnings and endings. Dangerous and powerful. And we feel it even if we don't know what it is These times are not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad. In fact, what they are depends on what we are."
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Fifteen-year-old Tiffany Aching, the witch of the Chalk, seeks her place amid a troublesome populace and tries to control the ill-behaved, six-inch-high Wee Free Men who follow her as she faces an ancient evil that agitates against witches.

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Book description
It starts with whispers.

Then someone picks up a stone.

Finally, the fires begin.

When people turn on witches, the innocents suffer. . . .

Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren’t sparkly, aren’t fun, don’t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy.

But someone—or something—is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root—before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her.

Chilling drama combines with laugh-out-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil.
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