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Wintersmith (Tiffany Aching) Paperback – October 2, 2007
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"Oodles of dry wit, imagination and shrewdly observed characters."
-"Independent on Sunday"
From the Back Cover
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.
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Tiffany has been training with 113-year old Miss Treason, who uses subtle “special effects” to impress people, when she is taken to witness the dark morris one night. The dance that welcomes the winter draws on Tiffany and she joins in, unfortunately she comes face to face with the Wintersmith—winter himself—and he falls in love with her believing she is the Summer Lady. The problem is as time progresses, Tiffany starts exhibiting traits of the Summer Lady while the Wintersmith believes to successfully woo her, he must become human. Unfortunately Miss Treason isn’t able to help Tiffany through things as she passes away and Tiffany goes to train with Nanny Ogg as well has help Annagramma figure out how to be an actual witch in taking over for Miss Treason. In the end, Tiffany realizes she has finish things with the Wintersmith with a kiss to finish the dance.
Throughout last several books in the Discworld series, Pratchett has delved into various themes that touch upon real world issues except in the Aching books. Like the previous two books of Tiffany’s subseries, Wintersmith focuses on characters, world-building, and plotting. Although a tad older Tiffany’s continued development is seen throughout, Pratchett spends time growing the character of Annagramma while also enhancing the reputation of Granny Weatherwax. Even though this is the 34th book in the series, Pratchett is still able to world-build the Disc with elemental forces and psychological dispositions of people in various parts which are different and also the same. And finally the plotting which was well executed writing that began with a bang then suddenly took you to the quiet beginning of the story and progressing steady as you waited to find out how Tiffany was going to “end the story”.
The Tiffany Aching subseries is Pratchett giving young adults an introduction to the Disc with is interwoven strains of fantasy and humor. Wintersmith is a fun, easy read that gives even adults a fresh look at their favorite series.
Tiffany Aching is a Witch. Well, no, she doesn't actually cast hexes or curses or sell love potions or tell fortunes- and in fact few Witches on Discworld do any "real" magic at all. Mostly what they do is tend to their "flock"- usually a small rural village. They use herbals, "headology", give advice, help with the lambing, sit with the dead, visit the elderly, and so forth. Mind you, they do wear pointy hats and ride a broomstick now and then.
Tiffany has made a mistake- when invited to watch the Black Morris (performed at the start of Winter- and in all other ways the opposite of the Morris dance) she intervenes and takes the place of the Lady Of Summer who dances with the Wintersmith. This intrigues the Lord of Winter, who decides he now needs to become "human" and woo our young heroine. What's interesting here is that the "villain" is not in any way "evil"- he just makes some bad decisions out of ignorance- he thinks eternal Winter won't really be all that bad!
How Tiffany solves this problem as well as handling all her duties as a "Witch"- as well as growing up, it the crux of this delightful and often humorous book.