A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
The Heroine: Tiffany Aching, incipient witch and cheese maker extraordinaire. Once saved world from Queen of the Elves. Is about to discover that battling evil monarchs is child’s play compared to mortal combat with a Hiver (see below). At eleven years old, is boldest heroine ever to have confronted the Forces of Darkness while armed with a frying pan.
The Threat: A Hiver, insidious disembodied presence drawn to powerful magic. highly dangerous, frequently lethal. Cannot be stopped with iron or fire. Its target: Tiffany Aching (see above).
The Nac Mac Feegle: A.k.a. the Wee Free Men. Height: six inches. Color: blue. Famed for drinking, stealing, and fighting. Will attack anything larger than themselves. Members include: Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, and Awfully Wee Billy Bigchin. Allies to Tiffany Aching (see above).
The Book: Hilarious, breathtaking, spine-tingling sequel to the acclaimed Wee Free Men.
I am giggling even as I sit here and write this review – this is another genius book from Terry Pratchett. It is number 32 in the Discworld Series and the sequel to the Wee Free Men. The star of this story is Tiffany Aching, a very young yet powerful witch. She is fearless and happy to fight anyone. And who wouldn’t be, when your side-kicks are the Wee Free Men – angry, small, blue Nac Mac Feegle. They will fight anything – nothing holds them back. In this book the Hiver is trying to take over Tiffany, and she has to protect herself and others from it. The witch she is staying with can’t help her, so in comes Granny Weatherwax. Granny must teach Tiffany how to be a witch, and that way she will win.
This book is hilarious. I love Granny Weatherwax – especially when she is “borrowing” and has the sign “I aint’en dead!” She is clever and to the point, and very funny. Pratchett has started to show her frailness and age in these novels, which means sense as she is an old witch, but it would be a shame if she was to disappear from the Discworld. Tiffany is another fun character. Her focus on how she is good at making cheese is entertaining, and watching her discover herself is interesting. I like that even at 11 she is headstrong and determined, and so powerful! She is a good character. The best people in this book however were easily the Nac Mac Feegle. Rob Anybody is so funny! I love that they don’t need any encouragement, they just fight – it is genius! Their actions and words are hilarious. They are some of the best characters Pratchett has created I think.
Like all the other Discworld books, I was gripped from the start and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I was immersed in this world. There is adventure, fighting, magic, stuck-up little girls, drink, scary Nac Mac Feegle wives and Granny Weatherwax – everything a good book needs! Pratchett is not short of imagination, and this book is testament to that. He is descriptive so you feel like you are there watching the action and his humour is awesome. I laughed a lot during this novel. I always find it so easy to recommend his books because they are extraordinary in so many ways. Pratchett is intelligent, witty and a gripping writer. His books are never dull, there is always something funny going on and the characters are unique and often very special. I can easily give this 4/5. What would have made it better was Nanny Ogg alongside Granny Weatherwax, and maybe a larger role for Death!