The Wee Free Men
"Why?" said Tiffany.
"There's no one to stop them."
There was silence for a moment.
Then Tiffany said, "There's me."
Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle - aka the Wee Free Men - a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds - black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors - before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone....
In a riveting narrative that is equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breathtaking tale certain to leave fans, new and old, enthralled.
Plot: Wow. This. Book. It's brilliant. It's hilarious. It's fantastic, and it's deep. This book is really about duty, and how sometimes we have to do things because no one else will. It's also about initiative and truly seeing what's around you. Tiffany makes it through fairyland not because she's strong or magical, but because she thinks and questions everything around her allowing her to see through the facade, and then she uses that same facade to her advantage.
Characters: I LOVED Tiffany Aching. I feel like sometimes in books authors say that the character is 12, but they act like a much older person. The great thing about Tiffany is that she's nine, and she acts like it. This book shows the world through the eyes of a nine year old and it's beautiful. Life isn't simple, but it has simple answers. If there's no one to save you, then you save yourself. If you don't know what's going on, then you figure it out. Tiffany faces problems of extreme proportions and fixes them using straightforward answers and approaches. Tiffany is a witch and that means that she takes action when no one else will, and creates her own destiny. She does not allow her mind to be controlled by the Queen, or even by the Nac Mac Feegle, she makes her own decisions, and thinks.
Miss Tick was great. I felt like she was a caricature of the typical adult. She thinks she knows what's best, and she does have good ideas, but she doesn't use her imagination enough. She can't believe that a witch can live on the chalk, when in reality she should be asking herself why that witch can live on the chalk. What is it about the chalk that breeds witches? I loved how contrasting the characters of Tiffany and Miss Tick were.
Crivvens! The Wee Free Men were fantabulous! They were brave, loyal, funny, and individual. They were not the typical good guys. They have their issues, and they're proud of them. And the greatest part? Tiffany uses their questionable pastimes to her advantage.
I really loved Pratchett's description of the Queen. I loved how Tiffany could see right through her, and I loved how a nine year old witch trumped the Queen of Fairyland.
Granny Aching, Lightening and Thunder were something out of a fairytale. I loved how they were as much a part of the land and the sky as they were living people.
Everyone should read this book, no matter what age they are. It really gives you a new perspective on life and how you should view it.