ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice * ALA Notable Children's Book
“Pratchett’s unique blend of comedy and articulate insight is at its vibrant best. Full of rich humor, wisdom, and eventfulness.” —Horn Book (starred review)
By beloved and bestselling Terry Pratchett, this is the third in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.
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 all 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 for anyone.
About the Author
Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.
Hometown:Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:April 28, 1948
Place of Birth:Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Education:Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick
Read an Excerpt
By Terry Pratchett
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
The Big Snow
When the storm came, it hit the hills like a hammer. No sky
should hold as much snow as this, and because no sky could,
the snow fell, fell in a wall of white.
There was a small hill of snow where there had been, a few
hours ago, a little cluster of thorn trees on an ancient
mound. This time last year there had been a few early
primroses; now there was just snow.
Part of the snow moved. A piece about the size of an apple
rose up, with smoke pouring out around it. A hand no larger
than a rabbit's paw waved the smoke away.
A very small but very angry blue face, with the lump of snow
still balanced on top of it, looked out at the sudden white
"Ach, crivens!" it grumbled. "Will ye no' look at this? 'Tis
the work o' the Wintersmith! Noo there's a scunner that willna
tak' 'no' fra' an answer!"
Other lumps of snow were pushed up. More heads peered out.
"Oh waily, waily, waily!" said one of them. "He's found the
big wee hag again!"
The first head turned toward this head, and said, "Daft
"Did I no' tell ye to lay off that waily business?"
"Aye, Rob, ye did that," said the head addressed as Daft
"So why did ye just do it?"
"Sorry, Rob. It kinda bursted out."
"It's so dispiritin'."
Rob Anybodysighed. "But I fear ye're right, Wullie. He's come
for the big wee hag, right enough. Who's watchin' over her
doon at the farm?"
"Wee Dangerous Spike, Rob."
Rob looked up at clouds so full of snow that they sagged in
"Okay," he said, and sighed again. "It's time fra' the Hero."
He ducked out of sight, the plug of snow dropping neatly back
into place, and slid down into the heart of the Feegle mound.
It was quite big inside. A human could just about stand up in
the middle, but would then bend double with coughing because
the middle was where there was a hole to let smoke out.
All around the inner wall were tiers of galleries, and every
one of them was packed with Feegles. Usually the place was
awash with noise, but now it was frighteningly quiet.
Rob Anybody walked across the floor to the fire, where his
wife, Jeannie, was waiting. She stood straight and proud, like
a kelda should, but close up it seemed to him that she had
been crying. He put his arm around her.
"All right, ye probably ken what's happenin'," he told the
blue-and-red audience looking down on him. "This is nae common
storm. The Wintersmith has found the big wee hag-noo then,
He waited until the shouting and sword rattling had died down,
then went on: "We canna fight the Wintersmith for her! That's
her road! We canna walk it for her! But the hag o' hags has
set us on another path! It's a dark one, and dangerous!"
A cheer went up. Feegles liked the idea of this, at least.
"Right!" said Rob, satisfied. "Ah'm awa' tae fetch the Hero!"
There was a lot of laughter at this, and Big Yan, the tallest
of the Feegles, shouted, "It's tae soon. We've only had time
tae gie him a couple o' heroing lessons! He's still nae more
than a big streak o' nothin'!"
"He'll be a Hero for the big wee hag and that's an end o' it,"
said Rob sharply. "Noo, off ye go, the whole boilin' o' ye!
Tae the chalk pit! Dig me a path tae the Underworld!"
It had to be the Wintersmith, Tiffany Aching told herself,
standing in front of her father in the freezing farmhouse. She
could feel it out there. This wasn't normal weather even for
midwinter, and this was springtime. It was a challenge. Or
perhaps it was just a game. It was hard to tell, with the
Only it can't be a game because the lambs are dying. I'm only
just thirteen, and my father, and a lot of other people older
than me, want me to do something. And I can't. The Wintersmith
has found me again. He is here now, and I'm too weak.
It would be easier if they were bullying me, but no, they're
begging. My father's face is gray with worry and he's begging.
My father is begging me.
Oh no, he's taking his hat off. He's taking off his hat to
speak to me!
They think magic comes free when I snap my fingers. But if I
can't do this for them, now, what good am I? I can't let them
see I'm afraid. Witches aren't allowed to be afraid.
And this is my fault. I: I started all this. I must finish it.
Mr. Aching cleared his throat.
"... And, er, if you could ... er, magic it away, uh, or
something? For us ...?"
Everything in the room was gray, because the light from the
windows was coming through snow. No one had wasted time
digging the horrible stuff away from the houses. Every person
who could hold a shovel was needed elsewhere, and still there
were not enough of them. As it was, most people had been up
all night, walking the flocks of yearlings, trying to keep the
new lambs safe ... in the dark, in the snow....
Her snow. It was a message to her. A challenge. A summons.
"All right," she said. "I'll see what I can do."
"Good girl," said her father, grinning with relief. No, not a
good girl, thought Tiffany. I brought this on us.
"You'll have to make a big fire, up by the sheds," she said
aloud. "I mean a big fire, do you understand? Make it out of
anything that will burn ...
Excerpted from Wintersmith
by Terry Pratchett
Copyright © 2006 by Terry Pratchett .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It was amazing!
This book is greatbut it was alittttttttttttttttttlllllleeeee Confusing :p
Read it for great laughs then read it again for deeper insights to human behavior and growing up as a young person. But if it wasn't for Terry Pratchetts way of making me laugh so hard that at it seems to make lifes troubles bareable. Laughter is good for the soul.
What a delight. This is a great story with lots of metaphors that symbolize the birth, coming-of-age, and life transitions not only for Tiffany, but the other young witches in training, as well as Roland the baron's son and the Feegles (in particular, Rob Anybody). In true Pratchett style and humor, the author manages to pull the reader in for remarkable entertainment and read about characters who are developed in even more detail than before. Granny and Nanny Ogg make strong appearances here (though Agnes is missing) and have you rolling with laughter with their sage advice.
I'm a long time fan of Terry Pratchett and even I can admit that some things he has written were better than others, but this book is one of the best. The characters are fantastic, the humor wonderful, and the setting is of course Disc World and how can you go wrong there? With this we see the continuing adventures of Tiffany Aching, the witch from the chalk. At nearly 13 she is finding out about love and life, and a few boys as well. One of whom is Winter. Plus there are chickens!(werk)
Thirteen year old Tiffany Aching is an apprentice witch learning to use her magic to perform spells. People don¿t want anything to do with witches until they actually need them. Tiffany is watched over by Feegles who are little blue men who live in mounds in the earth and will do anything for their HOG (Witch). Her mentor is Miss Treason who is a hundred and thirteen years old and has a lot of knowledge.------------- They arrive to see the winter dance performed and the rhythm of the music is so strong that Tiffany jumps right into the middle of the dance cutting out summer. Wintersmith takes notice of the witchling and creates snowflakes in her images, makes roses out of ice and showers her name in the snow. He wants to be human so they can be together always.. Tiffany with the help of the Feegles must rescue summer in time for her dance with Wintersmith to return the balance of nature.------------- Terry Pratchett well crafted plot will appeal to teens as well as adults. The heroine is astute beyond her years and acts as a herb woman, a wise woman and witch depending on what the occasion calls for. Wintersmith is an interesting character who learns what it is to be human though he never will be one and his infatuation with Tiffany gives him a glimpse into a world he will never be a part of but he enlists no sympathy because he is an elemental who has a higher purpose to perform.----------- Harriet Klausner
Nac Mac Feegle! Wee Free Men! Nae King! Nae Quin! Nae Laird! Nae Master! We willna be fooled again!
terry pratchett is now officially one of my favorites! i love his style, it's fast paced, easy and fun to read, and tickles my brain!
Granny Weatherwax is cool, calm and collected, and rather scary. Tiffany Aching is undoubtedly cool, quite calm and collected for a thirteen year old girl, and she's working on the scary thing. Boys beware!
Another enjoyable book in the Discworld series. Plays with similar themes as other Witches books and Hogfather, but still refreshingly different and with all the usual Pratchett humour and insight into the human condition.
Tiffany Aching, 13 years old, witch of The Chalk and big wee hag for the Nac Mac Feegle, has interfered in the dance between the Wintersmith and the Summer Lady - and she must face the consequences. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are there to keep an eye on things, but she must correct her own mistakes herself, however dangerous...Third Discworld book featuring Tiffany, and another very nice one indeed. As always, Pratchett manages to engage your mind and your emotions while taking you with him in his magical universe.
This is the third in Terry Pratchett's fantastic series featuring Tiffany Aching. Which is a bit of a miracle considering Nanny Ogg is in the book. Superb.
The very first thing you need to know is that the 'A Story of Discworld' series are aimed at a younger audience. They are not full of wit and humour, but rather meddle with clever writing here and there. However, Wintersmith is a cracking story. It's Romeo and Juliet on Discworld, with Gods, Elementals and witches. Oh, and a cheese. Wintersmith is a cleverly plotted novel, which doesn't overstay it's welcome, and has some quality originality, as you would expect from Pratchett. A recommended book for readers of any age, although regular Discworld followers should start in the knowledge that it's a different style than the usual series, even though the old characters are present. Enjoy it until the well crafted final dance.
This snowy, icy, windblown story of the ancient winter/summer dance was refreshing to read in the current summer heat. Tiffany Aching, the main character, gets into romantic trouble with the Wintersmith who finds he is infatuated with this 13 y/o girl. He makes Tiffany-shaped snowflakes and icebergs. If he has his way, the world will freeze over and never see Spring. Not to worry! Tiffany has many magical friends to save her and the world. The sub plot woven throughout - "how to be a good witch" - raised a few important questions, e.g., If you kill your enemy, how will they know you won??? Love it! This YA book has a hefty amount of humor and fun. Recommended for the young and young-at-heart Terry Pratchett fans.
Tiffany must deal with the Wintersmith and the Summer Lady after she stumbles into their dance. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are there to help her, as well as her other friends. This book didn't resonate with me as much as the first two Tiffany Aching books. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I couldn't warm up to the characters of Summer and Winter, or perhaps because the subplots didn't seem very important to the story? I did like reading more about Roland, and the other trainee witches. All in all, to say this wasn't my favorite Tiffany book still puts it way above and beyond most other books I've read. I'll not hesitate to read it again or recommend it to others.
When twelve year old witch in training, Tiffany Aching, impulsively steps into the Morris dance that marks the beginning of winter, she captures the attention and love of the Wintersmith, the spirit of winter. In his misguided attempt to win Tiffany¿s affection and make her his queen, the Wintersmith buries everything in snow and ice, causing great destruction, and Tiffany alone can bring spring and save the world. Set in the Discworld universe, this is an entertaining fantasy that both adheres to and delightfully subverts the conventions of the genre, and readers need not be familiar with other books in this series to enjoy the story. The suspenseful introduction draws the reader into the complex world, and the story features a number of entertaining subplots: a funeral is held for an ancient witch before her death so she can participate, the Wintersmith decides to become human, and uses a children¿s nursery rhyme for instruction, and some traveling librarians stranded in the snow (whose primary concern is running out of candles for reading, though they are already out of food) help a very unusual patron. The amusing characters include the Feegles, small blue men who are hilariously fond of fighting, a large coven of eccentric witches with unusual worldviews, Anoia, the goddess of things stuck in drawers, and a sentient block of cheese named Horace who is prone to causing trouble. The story is full of wordplay, jokes and humorous asides but has a fully developed plot, that is cleverly intricate without being convoluted, making Wintersmith is an entertaining fantasy for middle school readers.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The Wintersmith was an interesting characterization of Winter and Tiffany and the other characters were just a lot of fun.
Summary: It's normal for a thirteen-year-old girl to start having boy problems. But Tiffany Aching is not a normal girl, and her boy problems are not about a normal boy. Okay, there is Roland, the son of the baron of the Chalk, who gets stammery around her, and writes her letters while she continues her witch training. But someone else has fallen in love with Tiffany, and that someone is the Wintersmith - the god of winter itself! When Tiffany joins in the Dark Morris dance that marks the changing of summer to winter, she attracts the attention of the elemental god, and she begins to take the place of the Summer Lady, the Wintersmith's normal opposite and partner. Any attention from the gods is dangerous (not to mention disruptive to learning the practice of witchcraft), but when it's romantic attention, there's a whole extra layer of complications for Tiffany to sort out... along with her perennial allies, the Nac Mac Feegles.Review: While I still enjoyed this book quite a bit, I don't think it lived up to either of its two predecessors, The Wee Free Men or A Hat Full of Sky. Partly, I think this was due to the structure; Wintersmith's first chapter starts in the middle of the crisis, then skips back in time, and the pacing throughout the rest of the story just felt a little bit off... spending a long time on some more tangential aspects of the plot while hurrying through others. Partly, it was due to the nature of the conflict; I didn't feel the Wintersmith was particularly menacing or dangerous (especially compared to the Faery Queen or the Hiver), and Tiffany never seemed that concerned about her problems. But mostly, I think, it was due to the comparative absence of the Feegles. Tiffany's a fine, multi-dimensional, and sympathetic protagonist, and the other characters that surround her are all interesting in their own right, but the Feegles are undeniably the stars of the show, and their screen time is somewhat reduced in this installment.I want to reiterate that I did really enjoy this book. The Feegles, when they were around, got in some lines that made me truly laugh out loud, and the rest of the book manages a similar sly sense of humor throughout without feeling the need to be hi-larious every line. Even more, I really appreciate the worldview and sensibility that's present in these books. Although they're ostensibly for a YA audience, they don't talk down to kids, don't sugar coat the fact that the world isn't always a nice place, and just generally seem to have their head screwed on right about issues surrounding growing up, how people relate to each other and themselves, and what it takes to be yourself and do right by others. At the same time, it's not preachy, and wraps up its sensible opinions in a fun adventure in an interesting world, populated by bizarre witches, amusing normal folk, and hilarious little blue men. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Not quite as strong as the two that came before it, but still very much a worthwhile read if you're looking for YA fantasy that's not strictly for teens.
Not my favourite Discworld - felt that the plot dragged more than it had to. However, excellent word play by Pratchett as always and the Discworld characters are delightful and don't fail to please.
Terry Pratchett is a remarkable writer, and Wintersmith is one of his finer books. It's quite rare to read a book that makes me laugh out loud, but this one did so numerous times. While technically a young adult book, this reads just like all the other Discworld books. The main character just happens to be 13. The witches in Pratchett's books rank as his best characters, so following TIffany and her continued growth as a witch under the guidance of the elder witches is simply delightful. The Wee Free Men complement the witches perfectly. The witches use truth in wonderful sarcasm, while the Wee Free Men use it in complete innocence. Both result in great moments. I highly recommend Wintersmith to any Pratchett fan, and to anyone who can appreciate the intelligent sarcasm and irony presented by his characters. Pratchett ranks up with the best writers ever. That's hard praise to give someone who writes fantasy, but he stands apart in the mastery of telling a story that encompasses so much more.
`Wintersmith¿ is the third book about Tiffany Aching, a young witch in training on Discworld. Now 13, she faces an elemental force. Tiffany joined in dancing in the Black Morris dance on the autumn equinox, and for one brief instant, danced with winter. Winter has taken a shine to her, and has come courting. If she doesn¿t get the Wintersmith to stop courting her, summer will never come, and the world will freeze to death. She doesn¿t have to face him alone, however. She has the aid of several older witches, the Mac Nac Feegles (the Wee Free Men), an animate blue cheese, and Roland, a teenaged boy who she exchanges letters with regularly. This is a fantasy adventure filled with comic mishaps and satire, which Pratchett excels at. But this book goes a little deeper than most. The characters are more realistic and fully formed ¿okay, the animate cheese doesn¿t have a great deal of personality, but the others do. There are no caricatures here, even though there are opportunities galore to use them. Even the ill trained, spoiled, self centered teenaged witch who takes over a cottage when an older witch dies turns out to be solid character who just needed help. The drunken, feckless Feegles are heroic warriors. In this book, Pratchett blends Discworld mayhem with mythology of the turn of the seasons and with a view of witchcraft that doesn¿t involve wands and crystal balls as magical articles, but of witchcraft as a blend of practical knowledge (medicine, veterinary, plants) and of power coming from within. Compared to the wizards of the Unseen University, the witches are more sensible, useful and powerful. I liked that. This is one of my favorite Discworld books.
I love Terry Prachett books and especially this series because of the witch Tiffany Aching. A wonderful strong young female character. The Audio Books are wonderfully narrated.
The final book in the Tiffany Aching series of Terry Pratchett's books. I highly enjoyed this book, just like the other two. I enjoyed how the characters were all brought together to solve the problem at hand. I really like the Nac Mac Feegles, and I can only hope that perhaps someday there will be another story that contains Tiffany and the Wee Free Men!
How to write about a Pratchett book without it degenerating into incoherent fangirly squeeing? I'll try, but I'm not making any promises.This is the 3rd Tiffany Aching book, which is a subset of the Discworld series. Tiffany is a young witch-in-training.In Wintersmith, Tiffany turns 13, which is a difficult enough time in any girl's life. But Tiffany's not just any girl, so things are exponentially more difficult. Her biggest problem starts when she (unintentionally, to be sure) steps into the dance between the Wintersmith and the Summer Lady, resulting in her taking on some of the attributes of the Summer Lady, and in the Wintersmith falling in love with her.Then her current mentor, Miss Treason, announces that she'll be dying soon, and the race is on to decide who should take over her cottage. Tiffany is likely the best qualified, but Annagramma is older and more likely to be accepted by the locals.Enter Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. Granny manipulates things in her usual twisted way, and Nanny is her usual blend of practicality and earthiness. And of course there are the Nac Mac Feegles, who are just hilarious.Wintersmith is a young adult novel, but that's mostly because the heroine is 13. The story is universal enough and complex enough to appeal to adult readers as well.Tiffany takes responsibility for a serious mistake--she gets advice and help along the way, but ultimately, she has to fix the problem herself.She also has to bite the bullet, swallow her pride, and focus on what's best for everyone in the long run rather than what makes her happy now.Both of those are lessons that aren't limited to young people--they're not easy for us grown-ups, either.*sigh* Instead of squeeing, I ended up synopsizing. Sorry about that. It's a great book. I'd recommend reading Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky first, and maybe a couple of the Discworld witch books too, so you're familiar with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, but you probably don't have to.
totally great book I can't wait to see more of tiffany