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I shall wear midnight by Terry Pratchett

I shall wear midnight (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Terry Pratchett

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2,6081062,296 (4.24)1 / 148
Title:I shall wear midnight
Authors:Terry Pratchett
Info:London : Corgi, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Fantasy, Children's

Work details

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (2010)

  1. 111
    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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Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
I love Terry Pratchett's books, and I esp. like the Tiffany Aching series because it focuses on the often neglected women of Discworld. This book had more serious undertones than the previous ones in the series, making me question its appropriateness for a young audience. But I very much enjoyed it. Tiffany rocks! ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
Crivens! ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Sep 6, 2015 |
I Shall Wear Midnight is the fourth book following Tiffany Aching, a young witch. While the plot of I Shall Wear Midnight is completely separate, I would suggest reading the earlier books, which start with The Wee Free Men, so you can see how Tiffany ages over the course of the series (so far it’s 9 to 15).

Unless The Shepherd’s Crown tops it, this is the darkest of the Tiffany books. Just to illustrate, in the beginning Tiffany is called out to deal with a situation where a thirteen year old girl who was pregnant was beaten so badly by her father that she lost the baby. In I Shall Wear Midnight, Tiffany has finished her training with the older witches and has taken over her own steading in the Chalk, which means dealing the messes and the people who fall through the cracks.

“And there’s always an excuse, isn’t there, to throw a stone at the old lady who looks funny. It’s always easier to blame somebody. And once you’ve called someone a witch, then you’d be amazed how many things you can blame her for.”

In the past, Tiffany has faced off against creatures like the Hiver or the Fairy Queen, but now she faces the Cunning Man, who is a very different sort of antagonist. For one, the Cunning Man is mostly dangerous in what he represents – the darkness in ordinary people, all the ugly emotions that lead to the witch hunts in our own world. But don’t be mistaken – “Poison goes where poison’s welcome.” The Cunning Man isn’t putting thoughts into people, he’s just bringing them to the surface.

“I ken well that witches looks after everybody but theirselves.”

Tiffany herself feels tired. It’s the natural result of the last three books. This series has been about Tiffany taking on ever more responsibility, and in I Shall Wear Midnight you can really feel how she’s straining under the weight of it. She’s really grown since the last book, and she feels older than her years. Also, she needs to remember to be a person first and a witch second.

“There have been times, lately, when I dearly wished that I could change the past. Well, I can’t, but I can change the present, so that when it becomes the past it will turn out to be a past worth having.”

I love Tiffany so much. This is the girl who chose to be a witch. No one chose her, and she wasn’t born with any natural ability. She saw an injustice, and she decided to become a witch so nothing like that would happen ever again. Tiffany’s smart and brave, and I love how she can use character traits like selfishness and pride to her advantage. Of course, she’s also flawed and makes mistakes. One, which is also an example of how generally amazing this series is with female characters, is that she was so judgmental of Letitia. Tiffany was so immediately scornful of the soppy blond girl in the frilly dress that she didn’t look closer. Tiffany, who’s always rejected the narrative the storybooks foisted on her, fell into the trap of applying “fairy tale thinking” to another girl.

I strongly recommend the Tiffany Aching books. Please, please don’t avoid them because they’re not one of Pratchett’s “adult” books. These are magnificent books with so much to say about what it is to be human.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
2 vote pwaites | Aug 13, 2015 |
If your kids enjoy the Tiffany Aching books, preread this one before getting it for them. At the very least, don't give it to anyone who's too young and sensitive to hear, in great detail, about a father beating his preteen daughter so badly that she miscarries her illegitimate child; or about an old woman who dies alone and whose cat begins to devour her corpse. This is far darker writing than any of the previous Tiffany Aching books. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Tiffany Aching, witch of the Chalk and hag o' the hills, here takes on the Cunning Man who is more than a man... he's an idea. The idea that witches are evil creatures who should be burned at the stake is one that reappears every couple centuries, wherever poison is welcomed. This time, she's the target and must figure out a way to defeat the most formidable enemy she's faced yet.

The story also sees some big relational developments with Roland's marriage to Letitia, the old Baron's death, and the introduction of Preston. The Feegles are hilarious, as always. Captain Carrot has a cameo, and a few more witches are introduced.

Much as I enjoyed it, the story would sit easier with me if Pratchett hadn't put some phrases from Scripture in the villain's mouth. I wonder if other readers (or even Pratchett himself) picked up on the anti-abortion message of Mr. Petty beating his daughter so hard she lost the baby. I wasn't sure what to make of the "rough music," Pratchett's term for mob justice. Most of the time, surely it is wrong, but other times doesn't it punish crimes that are otherwise ignored? Wouldn't the fear of the rough music give pause to someone who won't heed anything else? Yes, Mr. Petty felt bad about what he did, but he still killed a baby and almost killed his daughter. And it's okay that he gets off scot free since he demonstrated his sincerity by trying to hang himself?

There was also a little more adult innuendo than I remember in the stories featuring Tiffany. Nothing too explicit, but I'd think twice before giving this to my kids. It's a pity, really... Pratchett is so incredibly gifted an author that I'd love to endorse him wholeheartedly. ( )
  wisewoman | Aug 7, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

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?
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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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