Monday, September 16, 2013

Read-Along: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, Part 1

Today starts of the continuation of the read-along from earlier this year of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books. The book this month is Wintersmith, in which Tiffany Aching unwisely attracts the attention of the elemental that crafts winter.  There will be three posts over the next three weeks covering Wintersmith, and then three weeks of I Shall Wear Midnight will follow in October!
This week’s questions were provided by “Dab of Darkness”, and they cover the first four chapters of Wintersmith.

1) Did anyone else read the Feegle Glossary in the Introduction? What Feegle words have you incorporated into your daily speech?
I read it, and I think it is a bit useful in understanding some of what the Feegles say. I have to admit I don’t incorporate any into my daily speech, though.  I try not to be very accented in day-to-day life, though I know a little bit of US southern creeps in.  
2) Chapter 1 starts the story with a flashback. In it, Tiffany says, 'This I choose to do. If there is a price, I choose to pay it.' Pretty ominous, huh? How did you feel about the serious nature of this first chapter?
I thought it was a nice way to start off the book, showing us how bad things would eventually get.  It was a good saying, too.  I think Tiffany used it to remind herself that she wasn’t just a scared little girl caught up in dangerous circumstances, but that she had chosen to take on the burden of dealing with the consequences of her actions.
3) Ms. Treason is 113 years old, and odd. What aspect of her oddness was most endearing to you? Which the most disturbing? 
I think the all-black quirk was cute.  I can see how she would be irritated by Tiffany’s wearing blue and green. Using other creatures’ senses is probably the most disturbing.  It would be creepy to have someone use your eyes to look at themselves.  Even more, though, it makes you wonder what else someone who can do that would be capable to doing to you.  I can imagine it’s not very pleasant for Tiffany, after her experience with the Hiver using her body.
4) Miss Tick finds herself once again persecuted for being a witch, and is being held per the instructions of Witch Hunting for Dumb People (which she secretly wrote). What instructions or tidbits would you include in such a book, or in one entitled Feegle Hunting for Really Dumb People? 
For the witch book, I might have added that they are to provide the witch with a diving suit, and that they are to place the clothes by the river and not watch them the following night.  If the clothes vanish, it means the witch is properly dead.  That would save Miss Tick’s poor clothes, but maybe it's a bit too obvious?  For Feegle Hunting, my book would probably just say, ”You don’t want to do that. Trust me.”
5) After Tiffany wakes up after the Morris Dance, she stomps off into the snow to cool off & yells for the Wintersmith. What amused you about that scene? 
I suppose this is Tiffany’s teenage rebellion phase, and she’s doing it as hard as she can!  Sadly, there’s usually a reason people tell you not to do things, and it’s generally a smarter idea to figure out what that reason is before rebelling.
6) Boffo and little assumptions fed ticking clocks. What do you think of Ms. Treason's little tricks? 
It reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe… I read somewhere that most biographies about him are not entirely factual, because he made such an effort to spread wild stories about himself.  I think it is a great idea.  She will definitely be remembered for a long time by the townspeople after she’s gone, even if none of the things they remember about her are actually true.
7) We have been reintroduced to Roland, but this time we learn a little more about his family: his ill father and his controlling aunts. What do you think Roland will do about this problem? 
I think his current solution can’t possibly work.  It’s fine for putting off finding an actual solution, but I think he’s 16 or so, right?  And he doesn’t inherit until he’s 21?  He can’t live in a room and sneak food from the kitchen for 5 years.  There’s got to be some way he can prove his aunts’ unfitness for guardianship. Is minor emancipation something that can happen in Discworld?

That wraps up today's read-along post! The next will come on 9/23, and will cover chapters 5-7, and the last will be posted on 9/30, and will cover the rest of the book.


  1. As Ms Treason uses other insects and such like for her senses I wonder what the vision she sees is like, so if she's seeing through a dogs eyes will everything be (supposedly) in black and white and upside down. Or if she uses an insect like a fly will she have a multitude of little images? Sorry, I get very easily distracted (don't get out enough).
    That's really interesting about Poe - I love picking up random bits of info like that!
    Lynn :D

    1. Good point, and if she's seeing through all those creatures at the same time, how does she combine all the different points of view and types of vision in her mind? That must be really confusing!

  2. I too like the sense of responsibility Tiffany instills from the first chapter. I often find that by taking responsibility, you take control, even if it is a mess.

    Hooray for Tiffany scoffing at the witchy all-black dress code!

    Yeah, I don't think Roland can live under siege for 5 years either. So, he'll have to come up with something better than sneaking out for mail, a moonlit ride, and a bit of sausage and cheese.

    1. Yay to Tiffany, "because it's always been done this way" is never a good enough reason :)!