A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
In keeping with my promise to myself to read the four Tiffany Aching stories before starting at the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, I finished the second Aching book over the weekend. A Hat Full of Sky started a wee bit slower for me than The Wee Free Men, but it began to pick up pace rapidly, and I was soon totally immersed in this wonderfully entertaining world. Once the Nac Mac Feegles showed up, I was a happy camper. Who knew little six-inch tall blue men in kilts could be so much fun? I mean, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for men in kilts, you understand…what woman doesn’t? But usually, they have been men a little less height-challenged. At any rate, these little pictsies (again, not to be confused with pixies, as they are quick to point out), just steal the show. I love Tiffany Aching’s character, too, but the Nac Mac Feegles RULE!
Pratchett brings the characters of this world to life in a totally believable manner, and makes you care about every one of them. The magic things that happen throughout the tales are unique to this world and presented from a perspective that I’ve never seen before, skewed in a way that I find truly addictive. And if Tiffany Aching is the oldest 11 year old you ever met, well…it works, that’s all. In addition to wonderful character and world building, Pratchett has an elegant way with phrasing now and then that I really enjoy. And his humor, from the wry and witty, to the laugh out loud hilarious, makes me glad over and over that I finally started reading this series.
A quick quote, just because I can’t resist the very subtle humor of this one:
“Tiffany was used to sleeping while, outside on the downland, sheep baaed and sheep bells occasionally went tonk. Up here, there were no sheep to baa and no bells to tonk, and every time one didn’t, she woke up thinking, What was that?”
If you love stories told from the perspective of clever children, and which include various interpretations of Celtic mythology, the concept of witches as guardians of those with no voices of their own, and all things magical, I highly recommend this series. And if you’ve ever wanted to meet little blue men in kilts, with names like Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Slightly Sane Georgie, and Awf’ly Wee Billie, jump right in. You won’t be sorry.
I will soon be immersed in the world of The Wee Free Men once again, and will be reviewing the last two books in the Tiffany Aching arc as soon as I can. In the meantime, check them out yourself and see what you think.
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