Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wintersmith



Those of you who know me also know that I’m a shameless fan of Terry Pratchett, irrespective of his over-inflated ego and less than cordial interpersonal manner. I admire his quick wit, intelligence, writing style and the ability to sit down and produce at least one book a year (I’ve just completed a novel that I started in 1998 or 1999, so I’m speaking from the unenviable position of an expert in the field of procrastination).

Of course, some of his books are better than others. Some (like the children’s series Johnny, which is waiting for my children to grow up) I haven’t read yet. They are all unmistakeably pterry, though.

“Wintersmith” is a Discworld Novel and the third in the series of Tiffany Aching, the Sheep-girl Witch. I’m partial to all Discworld witches and Tiff is no exception. In this tale, she inadvertently gets Winter to fall in love with her, and - of course - the results will be disastrous if she doesn’t save the world, again.

I love Terry’s allusions to literature, so I’m glad to discover that the echoes of Snow Queen from the first Tiffany book (“The Wee Free Men”) resound here again. And I may be reaching, but the idea of becoming human in order to be with your loved one may have been borrowed from The Little Mermaid. There is also plenty of Greek mythology for those who like that sort of thing, myself included.

In “Wintersmith”, Terry also alludes to his own books, much to my enjoyment. The first place I spotted was a romance book Tiffany was reading, commenting about the author’s lack of knowledge when it came to a sheep farm (I wonder whether Terry was quoting from one of his own readers' letters there). The other reference was to “Where is my cow”, when Rob Anybody commented that the author hadn’t stretched himself there… that’s ok, my two-year old loved the book.

All in all, a yummy read. Now bring on “Making Money”… October is just around the corner!

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