Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Sir Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge: I Shall Wear Midnight

I finished this book (which marks the conclusion of the Tiffany Aching series), and I feel... confused about it. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent book, but there were one or two things that didn't really gel with me.

Ok, so to give you a rough overview of the book, Tiffany is now (more) grown-up at the age of 16 and a very busy full-time with. But with Roland about to marry another girl (yes, you read right), and a strange force that is turning people against witches, she's got her hands full. And this time, the enemy is worse than the Hiver, The Fairy Queen or the Wintersmith.

And yup, most of my O.o moments lie with the fact that Roland is going to get married to someone else. I don't know about you, but I spend the last three books reading about Tiffany and Roland's (slowly blossoming) romance. And to suddenly hear that he's going to get married? O.o There is some explanation about incompatibility, but I really would like more, and some flashbacks because this break is way too sudden for me.

On the other hand, it was worth reading the book just because of Eskarina Smith the first (and only) female Wizard. I loved her in Equal Rites (I think I'll re-read that next) and I always wished she appears more in the Discworld series. She's such a unique character and this is very evident in the book (but not much of her personal life appears.

On the whole, this is probably the most serious Tiffany Aching book. It deals with concepts like the mob mentality, revenge and the lifespan of an idea (or emotion). I loved the phrase "rough music" used to describe the mob mentality. It was a very visual (or should I say audible?) metaphor about how the mob mentality works. And in this, all the other ideas are brought in. Possibly because of this, I feel that the language used in this book is more poetic. Definitely a book approaching the normal Discworld books rather than a Discworld book targeted at the younger readers.

Of course, I've ended the last three Tiffany Aching book reviews with quotes about the Nac Mac Feegles (who are as funny as ever) and I won't stop now. In fact, I think this is the most quotable book out of the whole series (well, I have the most number of bookmarks for this).

"Tiffany sniffed. There was a definite scent in the air, and it was the kind of scent you get when you have sheep meat in close conjunction with, for example, a roasting pan. All right, she thought, we know they do it, but they might have the good manners not to do it in front of me!

The spokesfeegle must have realised this because, while wringing the edge of his kilt madly with both hands, as a Feegle generally did when he was telling an enormous lie, he added, 'Weel, I think I did hear that maybe a piece of sheep kind of accidentally fell intae the pan when it was cooking and we tried to drag it oot but - well ye ken what sheep is like - it panicked and fought back.' At this point the speaker's obvious relief at being able to cobble some kind of excuse together led him to attempt greater heights of fiction, and he went on, 'It is my thinking that it must have been suicidal owing to having nothing to do all day but eat grass.' "

And I love this quote, which reminds me of both Shakespeare and Agatha Christie:

"By the blinking of my eyes, something wicked this way dies."

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