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I shall wear midnight
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2010
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Pratchett's fourth-and final-book to feature young witch Tiffany Aching (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith) is a delight from start to finish. The trademark Pratchett humor is in full force along with the classic elements of a witch, a royal wedding, a royal funeral, a trip to the big city, and an ominous villain. Comic relief comes in the form of frequent appearance by the Nac Mac Feegle (who would not be out of place in a farcical miniproduction of Braveheart) and everyone's favorite randy old hag, Nanny Ogg. A character from early in the "Discworld" series makes a cameo appearance, and we meet a new character, the learned young man Preston. As usual, Pratchett makes wise and wry observations about human behavior, for example, "poison goes where poison's welcome" refers to the mob mentality. Verdict YA and adult readers who like strong heroines and classic tales will enjoy this volume, which is sure to be in demand by Discworld fans.-Amy Watts, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Pratchett returns to the terra firma of his popular, sprawling Discworld series, the young-reader corner of which centers around teen witch Tiffany Aching. Being a good witch mostly means tending to the locals' minor aches, pains, and kerfuffles which she does with as much aplomb as anyone could be expected to muster but to become a great witch, she'll have to contend with the malevolent ghost of an ancient witch-burner. Yet even that might not be as terrifying as trying to keep the peace between the humans and the wee Nac Mac Feegles (whose primary skills are drinking, brawling, having Scottish brogues, brawling a bit more, and stealing every scene they're in) and, shudder, getting wrapped up in the wedding of her childhood friend, who is suddenly a very myopic baron. The action never picks up much more momentum than a determined amble, but readers won't care a whit because in terms of pure humor per square word, Pratchett may be the cheeriest writer around. Now that Tiffany Aching's adventures are concluded, readers can explore the nearly three decade's worth of other Discworld books.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Ask Tiffany Aching, and she'll tell you: It's not easy being a witch, especially when you're only almost 16 years old.It can't be easy being Terry Pratchett, either, an author known foremost, perhaps, for his screamingly funny Discworld novels, of which this is the latest. Beneath everything he writes, however, even as he has readers howling helplessly with laughter, is a fierce, palpable love for his fellow human beings, however flawed they may be. A love that causes Tiffany over and over to square her shoulders beneath her pointy black hat and do what's needful.He throws a lot at Tiffany, who crashed spectacularly into her calling when she armed herself with a skillet and, at the age of nine, ventured into Faerieland (which is not nearly as nice as it sounds) to steal her brother back from its Queen (The Wee Free Men, 2003). Here he challenges her with the Cunning Man, a centuries-old disembodied hatred that seeks ignorance and uses it"Poison goes where poison's welcome"against witches.Themes of memory and forgetting run throughout this tale. Books preserve all memories, even the ones better consigned to oblivion. The Cunning Man is resurrected when Letitia, Tiffany's erstwhile swain Roland's fiance (Pratchett confronts her with this betrayal, too) summons him inadvertently when trying to work a spell against Tiffany. But one of the Cunning Man's MOs is wanton book burning, a calculated obliteration of memories.Witches, arguably, embody the accumulated wisdom of their craft, while the Cunning Man is a collective memory of evil. He operates by playing on fear and causing the common folk to forget what their witches have done for them. Tiffany must remember everything she's gleaned from all the witches who have trained her to defeat him, and the key is a childhood memory the old Baron shares with her on his deathbed.It's not all heavy stuff. Pratchett leavens Tiffany's passage into adulthood with generous portions of assistance from the Nac Mac Feegle, the six-inch-high blue men whose love of boozin', fightin' and stealin' is subordinate only to their devotion to Tiffany, their Hag o' the Hills. When they utterly destroy the King's Head while on an errand for Tiffany, they rebuild the pubback-to-front, rendering it the King's...oh, crivens, never mind.And even as he demands more and more of Tiffanyher beau engaged elsewhere, her old Baron gone, the people of the Chalk turned against herhe gives her an army of friends and someone who loves words as much as she does, someone who, like Tiffany and, one suspects, the author himself, knows that "forgiveness" sounds "like a silk handkerchief gently falling down."A passionately wise, spectacularly hilarious and surpassingly humane outing from a master.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>The fourth in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.</p> <p>As the witch of the Chalk, Tiffany Aching performs the distinctly unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone--or something--is inciting fear, generating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Tiffany must find the source of unrest and defeat the evil at its root. Aided by the tiny-but-tough Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces a dire challenge, for if she falls, the whole Chalk falls with her. . . .</p>
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