Wintersmith

by Terry Pratchett | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0552562890 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 4/22/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Monday, April 22, 2019
The third book in the Tiffany Aching sub-series, which in theory I was reading as part of Mark Oshiro discovering Discworld but in practice I read it for myself without ever checking in with the site, and am only now catching up on Mark's videos. Also, for the first time since we started this, I skipped two books: Going Postal (which was not at the bookstore) and Thud! (by accident, because I thought it came after Wintersmith).

The story:
When Tiffany attracts the attention of the Wintersmith, the cycle of winter to summer to winter is broken, and there might never be summer again. Unless she can make up for her Mistake and bring the Story to its end.

I was extremely confused at the beginning. It took me until the end of the first chapter to be 100% sure that I did not accidentally skip another Tiffany book. (A feeling that was not helped by the knowledge that I had, in fact, skipped a few Discworld books preceding this one.)

That said, I guess throwing the reader right into the middle of the action did serve its purpose: piquing my interest. I also felt that the many questions the prologue/first chapter had raised got answered at a nice pace.

Anyway, I sort of expected to dislike the book, but in the end I found it to be much better than either of its predecessors. I think the main reason is that this time it's Tiffany herself who sets things in motion, and though the blurb describes it as an accident, disobeying Miss Treason's explicit orders was a choice whereas back in A Hat Full of Sky Tiffany had no way of knowing that using herself as a mirror might be dangerous. This time she has to atone for an actual mistake.
A secondary reason might be that there are less (fewer?) Feegle hijinks. They still play a big role and have lots of funny lines, but their actions serve the plot rather than distract from it.

Aside from that there were great characters: Miss Treason was just awesome and I loved her Spoilers, highlight to make visible Going Away party, a concept we had been introduced to with Windle Poons' Death Day party in Reaper Man.
Of course, Granny Weatherwax is always terrific, but I particularly liked how Tiffany manages to bring out a more human side in her. I guess Granny sees a lot of her young self in Tiffany...

The Wintersmith is an interesting villainopponent, and Tiffany's mixed reaction's to his infatuation between feeling flattered, embarrassed, scared and angry felt very realistic.

And even Annagramma (horrible as she had been in AHFOS) undergoes some character development. I know it's hard to believe, but I actually started to like her. (At least, she stood up for Tiffany when the latter needed help.)

As for Roland, it's impressive how much he has changed. Didn't he have a (toy?) sword back in The Wee Free Men? I certainly was surprised to learn that he never learned (or at least got lessons in) sword fighting. I appreciated all the scenes that gave me some insight into his life (which is not as easy as I had expected) and how he deals with problems. I like him a lot now, and the slowly developing relationship between Tiffany and Roland is sort of cute.

Pratchett wrote this book after his diagnosis of Alzheimer/Parkinson (?), right? Both the bogles themselves (shades that eat people's memories) and Roland's horrified reaction to them as well as his cathartic battle defeating them all strongly speak of Pratchett's own fears and feelings.

New ranking:
1. Carpe Jugulum
2. Small Gods
3. Maskerade
4. Monstrous Regiment
5. Men at Arms
6. Night Watch
7. Wintersmith
8. The Truth
9. Jingo
-------- (imaginary line splitting special favourites from "normal" favourites)
10. Guards! Guards!

Next up: ?
More relevant is catching up on previously skipped titles: Going Postal and Thud!

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