Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, readalong week 1

Posted On 16 September 2013

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This week I’ve returned to the world of little blue men, who steal, drink and tell lies (but you still can’t help loving ’em) and witches with pointy hats who have demons in their cellars and can slit your gut with their thumb nail.  Or can they??

Today commences week one of the Wintersmith read along being hosted by Dab of Darkness and then alternately by Over The Effing Rainbow.  These books are such good fun so if you want to join in you’re really not too late.  This is a fairly leisurely pace so you won’t struggle to catch up.

Straight to this week’s questions. (Oh, almost forgot to mention – if you haven’t read these books but want to do so then you might want to look away about now as spoilers run amok in the text below).

1) Did anyone else read the Feegle Glossary in the Introduction? What Feegle words have you incorporated into your daily speech?

I actually didn’t, or at least I very quickly skirted over it.  But I recognised a lot of the words from previous books so I’ve not struggled at all.  I might go back later to see if there’s a couple of choice words I want to save for future bloggery or just plain old insults!

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?

At first I thought I’d picked up the wrong book and had missed something!  Then I realised what was going on.  I liked the opening chapter although in one respect you could say it’s a bit of a spoiler for future chapters maybe – we’ll see??  I thought it seemed darker than previous stories and it makes me wonder if the Tiffany books are going to get a little more dark as she’s growing up and her talents are being honed.

3) Ms. Treason is 113 years old, and odd. What aspect of her oddness was most endearing to you? Which the most disturbing? 

One-hundred and thirteenty – that deserves a party right there!  She seems like a real old curmudgeonly so and so and yet I think her bark is worse than her bite.  She was all ‘I don’t care about’ the kitty when it arrived but as soon as there was nobody left to see she let it right in (and lets face it she probably let it sleep on her lap as well).  I think the most disturbing thing would be the way she uses other people’s eyes to see – most bizarre, a little bit creepy and also a total invasion of privacy – not to mention I don’t think I want to be used as someone’s personal mirror!

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

On Feegle Hunting – I would say be sure to write into the instructions to leave lots of liquor round the place, easily accessible and highly potent!  Also, on no account lock your valuables away.  And, if you ever see a Feegle be sure to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction as nobody who saw a Feegle has ever lived to tell the tale!

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? 

She was a proper stroppy little teenager wasn’t she – knowing that she’d acted in the wrong and feeling embarrassed so just stomping out with a red face!  it sort of amused me that Ms Treason didn’t go after her – she has a bit of a ‘if you can get yourself into this mess then you can jolly well get yourself out of it’ approach which I found quite funny.  It also made me wonder when Tiffany was yelling for the Wintersmith if she realises more than we think that she has some sort of hold over him??  It was the first point at which he realised the Wintersmith had some sort of almost romantic interest in Tiffany.

6) Boffo and little assumptions fed ticking clocks. What do you think of Ms. Treason’s little tricks? 

I thought they were great to be honest – although it’s just as well there’s no witch hunt going on as she’ll be the first for flames!  But, it goes to affirm that people will believe all sorts and make up and exaggerate even more as they go along because they love to be able to relate a bit of a fantastical tale.

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’m not quite sure just yet.  It appears that he’s having a mini siege imposed by himself – quite the opposite of being sent to your room huh!  Perhaps he will search out Tiffany or ask for her help in some way – maybe he’ll use it as an excuse to see her again?



8 Responses to “Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, readalong week 1”

  1. tethyanbooks

    About Tiffany yelling to the Wintersmith, I just assumed that was a bit of teenage self-centeredness, more than any knowledge about the guy. I mean, Tiffany has more reason than most to think she’s particularly special–she beat the fairy queen, saved Roland, faced down a Hiver, had a conversation with Death, and she is now literally a special snowflake–so it seems not so farfetched for her to believe that the Wintersmith would come when she called. I wonder how the Wintersmith expects this to end, though, because poor Tiffany is not made of ice :(. Also, on Ms. Treason, I don’t think I would like to be used as someone’s mirror, either.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think it was a bit self-centred now you point it out. She was very disappointed after all when her little witch circle hadn’t noticed the Tiffany flakes!
      This whole thing with the Wintersmith – you just can’t see how it can end well. It puts me in mind of a film called Meet Joe Black – where Joe Black is ‘Death’ and he falls in love! Then again it makes you feel a little sad for the Wintersmith. He wants something more.
      Lynn 😀

      • tethyanbooks

        Oh, I remember that movie! Both stories kind of make me want to take the boys aside and say, “What do you expect to happen here? Come on, give me your best case scenario for how this turns out!” 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        Yes, what do any of us expect to happen here – basically, it can’t end up happily ever after with a little cottage and a picket fence!
        Time will tell.
        Lynn 😀

  2. nrlymrtl

    That first chapter threw me when I first read the book a few years ago. I thought perhaps I had picked up book 2 of the Wintersmith or that there had been a mix up at the printers and they had inadvertently printed a chapter out of order.

    Ha! Yeah, leave your liquor out, leave your valuables out, and simply walk away. That’s the easiest way to rid yourself of Feegles.

    Tiffany definitely has some cajones on her yelling for the Wintersmith the way she did. Big brass cajones. Too bad the Wintersmith is a weather elemental that will freeze them right off.

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s almost romantic isn’t it, having a winter elemental all in a tiswaz about you – right up until the part when you turn blue and icicles form on the end of your nose! Then it sort of loses the romance.

      The first chapter did throw me for six I must admit – I did eventually catch on though (doh).

      Lynn 😀

      • nrlymrtl

        Or icicles on other perky bits – ha!

      • lynnsbooks

        Or, not so perky – as it’s so cold!!
        Lynn 😀

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