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A Touch More Fantasy If You Please

Reading through 41 Discworld novels is harder than it would seem. This I realised after I undertook the challenge at the start of 2017. I originally figured since I find Fantasy my go to genre when life’s being a bit antsy, it would be a breeze.

The trouble with this though is that not every single book written by a favourite author may be as good as the last one you read. I came to understand this quickly as I was disappointed by some of the books on offer in Pratchett’s Discworld series.

But I was quickly heartened to find the themes, characters and humour I so love about Pratchett coming to the fore in their droves the more I read.  I once again began to feel my choice of genre and author was justified. Top of my list are the following:

Guards Guards
Men At Arms
Carpe Jugulum
Feet of Clay

However, by far my favourite of the entire series is The Wee Free Men. I defy anyone to read this and not come away thoroughly entertained. These outrageous little characters with their OTT Scottish accents and devilish shenanigans wormed their way into my affections completely. What thrills me even more about this little package of Pratchett dynamite is the fact it’s actually a children’s book.

So what’s it all about?

It’s the first book in a series about 9 year old Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle (The Wee Free Men to us Sassenachs). It’s a book about being special in an ordinary world and running with that. What I love most about this book is how it celebrates individuality and encourages children to be the person they most want to be. It acknowledges differences and reminds us that to be good at any craft we need to work at it.

There are 4 more books about Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle after this one. All are well worth the read.

A Hat Full of Sky
I Shall Wear Midnight
The Shephard’s Crown

But I confess I did not read these because I wanted to know what Tiffany’s character would do next. I was far more concerned about what the wee fellas were getting up to. And I was not disappointed either.

I read these long before I embarked on my crazy plan to read all 41 Discworld novels. However, I plan on rereading them even though I don’t have to.  Once you read about a Nac Mac Feegle it’s hard to stop – you get addicted and start emulating their speech patterns. So be warned. For me, it’s an addiction well worth the strange stares. The added bonus is, you get to take them with you wherever you go. My one sorrow is that Pratchett is no longer with us to create more adventures for these irascible yet adorable characters.

This post has been updated and edited since its first airing on Anna Caig’s reading blog in November.


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