Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett


My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Where have you been all my life, Terry Pratchett?  How could you have written so many books, and I am just now discovering you?  The bad news is, I have missed out on so much good reading, here.  The good news is, I still have it all ahead of me, and I’m excited to have all these stories waiting for my reading pleasure! I can’t wait to delve into each and every one of the 39 books (so far) in this series!

The Wee Free Men is actually the 30th book in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  It had the feel of a stand alone novel, and I suspect it might be the first of the Tiffany Aching books, so perhaps the entire series has various books about individual characters who live in, or on, the Discworld.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  But this introduction to the ten-year old Tiffany was priceless. 

Tiffany has begun to realize that her beloved Granny Aching, who has gone on to the next world, was in fact, a witch.  A witch whose job was to take care of those with “no voices o’ their own,” like the sheep and lambs she so tenderly administered to.  But also, to keep an eye on the “edges,” or borders, between our world and the many, many others that exist.  Tiffany’s journey of discovery about her own abilities and her place in her world is magical, touching, and so much fun.

The Wee Free Men of the title refers to a clan of kilt-wearing pictsies (NOT pixies, as they are quick to inform you), the Nac Mac Feegles, who are only six inches high, with so many tattoos they appear to have blue skin. These guys are hilarious, with wonderfully colorful Scottish accents and faces that look “like a hatful of knuckles.”  With names like Rob Anybody, and No’-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock, you are laughing even before they open their mouths. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a group of characters as much.

Plus, with bad folk ranging from Jenny Green-Teeth to Dromes to an evil Fairy Queen, there are plenty of battles for the Wee Free Men to engage in, all the while shouting things like “They can tak’ our lives but they canna tak’ oour troousers!” Or  “Ye’ll tak’ the high road, an’ I’ll tak’ yer wallet!” 

All I can say is, you have to read the book to understand just how truly funny and heartwarming it is.  In the BEST sense, and not the sappy, mushy, cutesie sense that would make any self-respecting Nac Mac Feegle sick to his little blue tummy.  I highly recommend this one.  If you want a real lift in your spirits, get it. Fast.

The Wee Free Men (Discworld)

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6 thoughts on “The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

  1. annamaries22 on said:

    Pratchett’s Discworld books are spectacular, oh the imagery. Have you read any of Piers Anthony’s Xanth books, also a great series?

  2. Hi, Annamarie. I’m really looking forward to learning more about Discworld. I just downloaded the 2nd Tiffany Aching book yesterday. I’m planning to read her series within a series first, since I started there. I believe the arc is just four books or so. But I do intend to explore the rest of the series, as well.

    I never read Piers Anthony, though I remember my son reading many of them while he was in school. I’m not usually drawn to Fantasy, per se, unless it has the word “Urban” before it, but I’m open to anything well done. I will definitely check out Anthony’s work. If it is anywhere near as funny as The Wee Free Men, I’ll be happy. (I think my problem with a lot of Fantasy is that it tends to take itself too seriously, to my mind. But again, I don’t exclude anything from my potential list of To Be Read books.)

    Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

  3. I love Terry Pratchett. It is my dream to one day have all of them on my bookshelf. The Tiffany Aching series is among the best mini Discworld series. All Four of them will make you laugh out loud all the time.
    My first introduction to Pratchett was through Good Omens which he co-wrote with Neil Gaiman. Then I picked up Going Postal. It was then that I decided to start at the very beginning. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the whole series.

  4. Hi, Gingersister! Nice to “meet” you. I read Gaiman’s Graveyard Book last year and loved it. I can picture the two of them collaborating. So you think I should finish the Tiffany Aching books, and then go back to the begining and read the series in order? That’s my current plan.

    Geez, I laughed so hard at The Wee Free Men. Those Nac Mac Feegles just cracked me up. I could SEE them so clearly, running around and yelling imprecations at everything and everyone, in their own unique way. Crivens! They were fabulous. Plus I liked the way Tiffany’s mind worked…how she thought out each new problem and let herself understand exactly what she needed to do before taking action. She was a treasure.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your input. I’ll have to read fast to catch up with you!

    • “I’ll have to read fast to catch up with you!”

      You should also check them out on audio book. They are hilarious, and the narrators (Stephen Briggs and Nigel Planer) are hilarious and have the perfect British sardonic style to bring these books to life. About 50% of the ones I’ve read were audio, and I loved every minute in my car while reading them.

      • Would love to, but audio books and I don’t get along. My hearing is pretty bad, and I have to keep stopping, backing up, and replaying over and over before I can figure out what they are saying. But thanks for the suggestion. It isn’t much of a problem for me, usually. I’m a fast reader, and I almost always like the Voices In My Head Better, anyway. I’ve become quite good friends with the Voices In My Head, actually. :D

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