“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
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.
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