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I shall wear midnight by Terry Pratchett
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I shall wear midnight (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Terry Pratchett

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2,470992,483 (4.24)1 / 132
Member:Rivendell
Title:I shall wear midnight
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:London : Corgi, 2011.
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Children's

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I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (2010)

Recently added byCadiva, private library, nishaspillai, m0nhawk, simd, AmericanCornerBL
  1. 111
    Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks, petwoe, elvisettey)
    MyriadBooks: For the appearance of Eskarina Smith.
    petwoe: Noteably for the parallels between Tiffany and Eskarina.
    elvisettey: For the backstory on Eskarina Smith, and for the parallels between Tiffany and Esk.
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Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Compared to other Witch books, it struck me as a very patchy, with plot and cohesion not always stringently followed through. Many of the main characters were introduced, but I still couldn't really care about them by the end of the book. The love stories appeared to be rather stuck on, as though coming-of-age stories about women always mean two things - coming to terms with misogyny and finding love, and that doesn't convince me at all.

I liked the way the text introduces three women with very different background who all three face the same difficulties in different ways and the way the three different stages of womanhood that are always present in the witch books are also present in this one, I like that we get to see how the negative effects of these three different stages or kinds of womanhood can be forced onto women through circumstances they can't control. Tiffany becomes a crone through having too much on her plate alone too soon, Amber becomes the teenaged mother of a dead child through both early love and abuse, Letitia retains her maidenhood through enforced ignorance. Neither of them has much choice in the matter, and each of them has to deal with her lot and to change what they can change and work around what they can't.

I liked that Tiffany has to fight with what I Finished as misogyny personified. It was convincing, overpowering, affected men and women alike. I also liked that she'd have to fight that battle alone, because it's realistic in a depressing way - because it affects everybody there are no allies, really. I emphatically didn't like the way that this force was characterised as magical - it's not. It's people being people, and I am sad that the author who managed to write empathically about torturers in Small Gods ("There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do") can't manage to see batterers the same way.

The entire Amber subplot left me open-mouthed. So she moves back in with her parents, and that's the end of that because her father, was under the influence of a magical force? It led him to punch her so hard she lost her baby and that's that, and she now understands? I loved the bit about the thistles, that is very realistic, but it is realistic without any mythical magical forces at work, and least said, soonest mended doesn't cut in in this case. Especially, witch or not, if the girl in question is all of thirteen years old. The text seemed to say, "Well, but these things happen, so you have to learn how to deal with them and be understanding about them". No, you don't. That's sort of what being a witch used to be about, about not understanding unspeakable cruelty. While that is true, depressingly enough, soothing someone out of their wits and then informing them that their abusive father was under the influence of magic is no fitting end, especially seeing as how he's been abusive before. While it's sad that he himself was abused, that is not an excuse. Even though I can imagine families staying together after abuse happened I doubt that an "I'll understand" spoken by the survivor of horrible abuse is in any way an appropriate ending, witch or not.

Letitia I couldn't grow that fond of, because while I see that her position was difficult and, in a way, as restrictive as the lives the other two young women were facing, her life-story was introduced too hurriedly and too patchily for me to grow attached to her.

The love plots I hated. I don't see why Tiffany'd need a boyfriend to conclude her coming-of-age, and he seemed to be rather shoe-horned into things. Of course it's helpful to have a partner if you can't ask your colleagues because it goes against a twisted sense of professional honour, but seeing as how Granny Weatherwax also always had plenty of help, it doesn't seem to make sense and just happens too quickly.

Also, "bitch" and "whore"? Really? Really? I never felt as slapped in the face by the use of a profanity in a book before. Even though it emphasises the double-bind and the idiocy of calling someone who is a virgin and completely ignorant of all things sexual a "whore", as well a the strange circumstances under which women are kept ignorant, are then expected to suddenly be sexual beings from one second to the next and get labelled as "whore" once they express an interest in doing so, it just did not fit.

It did not fit the first time, when the word "bitch" was used for the first and only time as something other than a rather unfortunate typo or a word used in reference to female dogs in the discworld novels, and Finisheding the word "whore" in a book which is still a book for children in a coming-of-age novel with a mostly female audience is all kinds of inappropriate, especially because Tiffany's etymological argument for the usage of the word doesn't check out, it seems that the meaning of this word has always been "promiscuous, immoral woman", at least according to my etymological dictionary - which, admittedly, is not very good.

I don't mind bad language, but using misogynistic terms for the first time in the entire series in the book which is a coming-of-age story for girls is just wrong. Yes, these things happen, and young girls will know about that better than anybody, but for me it ruined the book rather than adding them out of respect to people's experience who hear these terms often enough.

I loved seeing Esk again, but I didn't like the way her life was characterised as one spent as the shadow of Simon. Esk is powerful in her own right, thank you very much.

All in all, what I didn't like most of all is the way the book breaks up homosocial groups in favour of heterosexual relationships and constellations, something which is beneficial for Tiffany, who can't ask her witch friends for help at this point, but dangerous for both ignorant Letitia and abused Amber. And while this is, again, realistic, it is not a positive thing, and something that I really didn't miss while Finisheding the other witch novels.

So, I loved the way that coming of age in a misogynistic world as a powerful woman is dealt with, I really didn't agree with the way misogyny is portrayed. I have to think about this a bit more. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
The last of the Tiffany Aching books and an excellent ending to the series. Besides the first, I think this might be my favorite book of the four. Tiffany has finished her "apprenticeship" and is now the resident witch of her hometown. This means she's taking care of the community the way true witches do -- helping the sick who have no one to take care of them, easing the elderly to the next stage of life, fixing domestic disputes so no one knows she's really doing it. She's confronting anti-witches and land-grabbers and old fundamentalist ladies who simply don't agree with what she does.

We see a grown up Tiffany here, making and dealing with being an adult. She no longer has the wisdom and guidance of her fellow witches, so her mistakes are a result of a lack of experience (and a sharp tongue). But she does have the wee free men in her corner. You see her finally deal with some of the relationships that other books have let linger.

This book also borrows more from Pratchett's existing universe, as Tiffany travels to Ankh-Morpork. This chunk in the middle seems to be catering to Discworld die-hards. It harms a little of the overall narrative, but the rest of the story makes up for it.

Unlike the last two, this one doesn't have a big bad or a problematic witch teacher. You get to see Tiffany being Tiffany, rough and gruff, practical but still scared. All in all, it's a very satisfying conclusion, closer to the magic of the first book. ( )
  theWallflower | Nov 21, 2014 |
I love Pratchett, especially the Tiffany Aching series, most especially the Nac Mac Feegle. I recommend listening to these as audiobooks -- hearing the Scottish brogue so well done makes it just that much more fun. As always, Pratchett manages to mix humor with serious topics in a very satisfying way. ( )
  borbet | Oct 21, 2014 |
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett is the 38th Discworld novel and the last of the Tiffany Aching books. Tiffany is back on the Chalk as their witch. And that means dealing with the unpleasantries of life, such as domestic violence. As this is the Disc, there are things that feed off the anger of people, and now one of these things has come to the Chalk.

Meanwhile, change has come to the Chalk with the death of the Baron. Tiffany therefore has to go and bring home the new Baron, Roland. It's her first time in the big city and you can imagine what can happen when a witch and her Nac Mac Feegles descend on Ankh-Morpork!

As this is the end of the Tiffany Aching series, it's time for Roland and Tiffany to assume the roles laid out for them. Roland must do his part as the Baron and use his influence to guide the development of the Chalk. Tiffany as the witch takes on her grandmother's role, being a shepherdess and a mentor for the Baron.

It's also a chance to see Tiffany as a full-fledge (albeit young) witch among her peers. Through Tiffany's friendship with the Roland, his wedding will be a big draw of both witches and nobility, including Magrat who is both. So it's fun to see Granny, Nanny, and Magrat all together again, even though Magrat has stepped aside from witchcraft for the most part, leaving her place in the trio to Agnes (Carpe Jugulum).

Like so many good YA series, this is one that grows with its readers. In the course of four books (Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight we see Tiffany grow. We see her go from raw talent, through initial lessons, to making mistakes and fixing them, to her first big responsibility as a full fledged witch. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 2, 2014 |
When I first came across this book (long before I knew of Tiffany Aching or Discworld), I wanted to read it, but the cowardly part of me didn't want to face the horrible things that were to come. If that makes sense..

Anyway I'm glad to have read it, though sad that the Tiffany Aching series has ended for now. I'm glad she found Preston..because there needs to be romance!

All in all excellent characters as usual, no diminishing of TP's trademark hilarity, though this had a few more serious overtones.

And yay as always for the Nac Mac Feegles & their new member Wee Arthur of the Polis (ye ken) :D ( )
  JazMinderr | Jul 31, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terry Pratchettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidby, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Why was it, Tiffany Aching wondered, that people liked noise so much?
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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.
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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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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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