Thirteen year old Tiffany Aching is a witch in training apprenticed to Miss Treason, a scary witch feared by her people and trainee witches alike. On the last day of autumn, she brings Tiffany to the woods so they may witness the Dark Morris, a dance to symbolize the changing of the seasons. Despite stern warning from her mistress, Tiffany's feet get the better of her and she twirls right into the middle of the dance. As winter rolls in, Tiffany learns that the Dark Morris is much more than a symbolic tradition and her boldness has garnered the attention of the Wintersmith himself. The Wintersmith courts her with snowstorms that turn dangerous. With the help of the Nac Mac Feegles, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and others Tiffany must find a way to set things back to order.
As with the two previous titles (A Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men) the characters and storyline and wonderful. Wintersmith more so than the other Tiffany Aching books shows Tiffany as a young woman, well on her way to becoming a witch in her own right. It's being on that line between child and adult that drives the whole story-- her young impulse to dance begins the whole mess, but her adult thinking and acting finds the solution. The Wintersmith's quest to become a man and properly court Tiffany is sweet, yet also potentially terrifying. And the romantic advice from the Mac Nac Feelges adds the undeniable Pratchett humor.
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is "officially" a young adult title (as are A Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men), but, as with many well written kids titles, it is a great read for any age. The Tiffany Aching books are becoming my favorite stories in the Discworld universe.
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Printed by HarperCollins
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is available at Amazon.com
I borrowed a copy of Wintersmith from the library