I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, Readalong weeks 1 and 2

This week I’m posting two week’s worth of answers – which means I’ve just about caught up (haha with only one week left – muppet!).  So I’ll keep my answers a little more to the point.  And, of course, please don’t read further if you haven’t read the Tiffany Aching series as there will be spoilers. If on the other hand you have read then please do continue reading and leave me your comments.  The hosts for Wintersmith and this readalong have been Dab of Darkness and Over the Effing Rainbow.

Week 1 (I answered these before reading on so I wouldn’t have spoilers)

So Roland is engaged! … And being a bit of a ‘Baron’ towards Tiffany. Oh dear. What do you think of this awkward turn in their ‘friendship’ in this book? I can’t believe the way he’s behaving!  Not so much meeting someone but being a noob about it.  Perhaps he thinks as he’s now rescued Tiffany everything is squared.  Or maybe he’s just grown up a bit and changed his mind?

“Rough music…” Even more so than with Wintersmith, it seems this book is tackling darker/more adult issues. What did you think of the way Tiffany handled Mr Petty, and is this darker side a welcome development?  That really took me by surprise and I felt for Tiffany having to deal with that given her age.  She’s very down to earth though and has a sort of ‘roll up your sleeves and get on with it’ approach to life.

The Feegles are back, and this time we see more of Jeannie, their Kelda. She takes in the Pettys’ daughter, Amber, after Tiffany deals with Mr Petty. Is this a good idea, or do you think it’ll just bring trouble? And what do you make of Jeannie’s prediction that more trouble is coming Tiffany’s way? I do think it could bring trouble – it will simply look as though Amber has ‘disappeared’ and the bad feelings being stirred up about witches at the current time are not going to help if people start thinking Tiffany has a hand in it.

Speaking of Amber, there’s something interesting going on with her … Do you think we might see Amber become a witch? And what do you make of her ability to ‘understand’ animals?  Perhaps she will become a witch, although how good she will be at the regular duties the witches seem to perform remains to be seen.  In fact I’m not sure she could do what Tiffany does for example.  Perhaps she should have another more   fitting role? Thinking about it… animal whisperer – okay, no idea!

Tiffany vs. Miss Spruce … It seems Tiffany is having to deal much more with people’s negative views of witchcraft, and her use of it. Do you think we’ll see Miss Spruce become more of a problem for Tiffany later? Highly likely as she seems to be a bit of a vicious old trout!  I think she quite fancied getting her mits on some of those bags of gold herself!

On the other hand, there is the Baron, may he rest in peace … What did you think of his first and last real conversation with Tiffany? I thought it was a really touching scene. I’d love to know what’s going on with this ‘hare’ and I’m sure I’m being incredibly dumb but I genuinely have no idea!!

Week Two:

This section featured some characters from the Night Watch, who are featured in other books. Did you enjoy the cameos? If you haven’t read the Night Watch books, did their appearance pique your interest? I haven’t read the Night Watch books but Mad Arthur is a character – I’d like to read about him taking the Feegles to the ballet!

Roland sure is harsh in this section! What do you think is the source of these drastic changes in him? What, or who, would you delete in his life to makes things better? I suppose he’s grieving and he’s letting his future mother-in-law boss him about.  I would remover her Ladyship and her stick!

As Mrs. Proust predicted, Miss….Smith of the Unreal Estate found Tiffany. How do you think Ms. Smith’s info on the Cunning Man will be used by Tiffany? What would you fear stumbling over in the Unreal University, a place where magical bits are constantly bumping into each other? I guess it’s all mind bending with this Cunning fellow – perhaps she has to do a mind reversal trick on people – a bit like Ghostbusters II where everyone had to think ‘happy thoughts’ and sing in the New Year to reverse the negative waves.  I would fear stumbling over ANYTHING in the Unreal University – pretty weird to be honest.

Tiffany & the Feegles return to the Chalk to find Roland’s men about to dig up the Mound. Luckily, Tiffany is able to make them see sense and they put away their shovels. If they hadn’t, what do you picture would have happened? It would have gone very badly for Roland’s men and those shovels would have gone into places they were never meant to see is what would have happened.

The Duchess seems ready to cause everyone a bit of pain, especially Tiffany. While Tiff seems to have checkmated her for now, what do you think the Duchess’s next moves will be?  Did you find it hard to hold your tongue during that standoff too? I wanted to launch at her!  What a witch – maybe that’s it, she’s a bit witchy herself and she’s in denial.  You can’t be a spell casting Duchess ‘don’t you know’!  Maybe she’s the real reason why The Cunning Man appeared or maybe I just don’t know what I’m talking about and will continue to name everybody as the culprit until I hit on the answer purely by accident or through a process or elimination.

We’ve met a very interesting guard, Preston, the newest of the bunch. He’s a bit of a bookish nerd. Do you see him being of further assistance to Tiffany? How do you think this will affect his long-term employment at the castle? I really like Preston and I see him becoming very helpful to Tiff somehow – not sure how but I don’t see him staying at the castle somehow.

Finally, we learn something very interesting about Letitia. It appears she is a witch. Will Letitia and Tiffany join forces to defeat evil? What do you think Letitia did, if anything, to bring the Cunning Man? I was thinking that the Cunning Man had come as a result of Tiff’s kissing Winter.  Hadn’t foreseen this unexpected witchy element.  Perhaps because Letitia was thinking bad thoughts she helped him to gather momentum?

Biggest shocker this week: I was really surprised that the Feegles were captured by ONE nightwatchman!  In fact I was gobsmacked and a little bit dismayed.  They always seemed unbeatable – it’s dented my confidence although I still love the little guys.

12 Responses to “I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, Readalong weeks 1 and 2”

  1. tethyanbooks

    So many answers! 🙂 I guess Amber might not be great at watching after a whole town, but I think she would be a fantastic assistant. If she were able to understand people who can’t speak (elderly people with severe issues or babies, for instance), it could be immensely helpful for the organizing witch-in-charge. I think Amber would be happy in a situation like that.

    They’ve definitely been hinting that Tiff kissing Winter cause the Cunning Man to wake up, but I am still betting on Letitia and her mother. As for the Feegles getting taken down by one watchman… he was a Feegle, at least? I mean, maybe that just goes to show how unbeatable a Feegle is if he also has discipline?

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, exactly that – I sort of feel that maybe Amber couldn’t be a fully fledged witch – but she could certainly be a helper.
      And the Duchess and her daughter Letitia – well I have a bad feeling about the Duchess to be honest. I won’t go any further because I’m usually wrong but I’d be more like to say that she’d brought about the Cunning Man than anybody else.
      The Feegles – I totally know what you’re saying – but I still wanted them to stay invincible somehow – I know that’s the real child in me talking but when I read that scene part of me was thinking it was good because it was in actual fact another Feegle beating them but then another small part thinking – he beat ALL of them!
      So much fun though and I really hope they go to the ballet!
      Lynn 😀

    • suecccp

      I can also imagine Amber being excellent with animals . . . perhaps she could be the first witch vet?

      • lynnsbooks

        Yeah, plus the other young witch (whose name temporarily escapes me! Doh for a tiny brain) who looks after pigs is sort of almost an animal witch so, maybe.
        Lynn 😀

      • tethyanbooks

        Oh, true. Maybe Petulia could train Amber up!

  2. wiccaqueen

    What a variety number of answers you gave us.. Amazing dude.. If you would like to know about wicca queen. Click me you will get a story book its very different one..

    • suecccp

      Wow – Lynn, I didn’t know you were a ‘dude’! 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        haha – you’d think the name of the blog might be a tiny clue – shall delete that – these damn spammers are getting more crafty by the day!
        Lynn 😀

  3. suecccp

    On the whole, Roland has been a real disappointment so far and he is running out of opportunities to return to being a sensible lad and regaining my sympathy. At the moment I want to give him a good slapping.

    The whole thing with Mr Petty was such a shock because it is so much darker than I had expected. As we see in Week 2, it seems far easier for people to blame Tiffany for what happened than to actually address his terrible behavior. I do hope that everyone will finally recognize what he has done and make him pay for it and I hope that Amber gets away from him to live a happy life.

    Miss Spruce and the Duchess are perfect examples of people that I truly despise. They are so self-righteous and convinced that they are right that I have this intense desire to prove them wrong in the most embarrassing way possible. Plus a few incontinent piglets wouldn’t go amiss in their punishment!

    I have a horrible nagging feeling that I have heard the ‘hare running into the fire’ as folklore or mythology somewhere before, but I can’t remember where. This is very frustrating! I can only assume that it means that sometimes you must run into the danger in order to escape it, but I am not sure how that helps things.

    Wee Mad Arthur is surely a force to be reckoned with – I would also love to see him dragging the Feegles along to the ballet . . .

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – I’ve been absolutely staggered and annoyed in equal measure reading parts of this and don’t know how Tiffany has kept her calm. I think most of the folks round those parts would have been turned into something nasty! Although that probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Tiffany is much more sensible and measured.
      This book has been so much darker than the others. There have been laughs and giggles of course but what with Mr Petty, everybody being wound up and moody and having personality transplants, plus even the feegles having a bit of a serious moment!

      I might look up about this hare – although it might spoil the ending… That being said I’m sure Pratchett will come up with something totally bizarre at the last minute.

      Lynn 😀

  4. nrlymrtl

    Yeah, I couldn’t see what Amber might become in the first 3rd of the book. She obviously has some skills, but can she witch like Petulia? Like Tiffany? Even like Annagramma? Perhaps there is another kind of witch.

    Vicious old trout – I’m going to use that insult this week. I haven’t heard it before and I need to try it out.

    I forgot about the possibility of Feegles and ballet! Maybe I simply blocked it out…..

    Haha! Well, perhaps the Duchess is our first real good example of a bad witch. That might explain some of Letitia’s hidden abilities, no?

    Sorry it took me a few days to get over here. Life has been full.

    • lynnsbooks

      Everybody seems to be having a busy time at the moment – perhaps it’s because the nights are drawing in – which is stupid but always makes me feel like I have less time somehow (plus the clocks change soon! – so even darker mornings).

      I’m probably wrong about the Duchess – I like having my little made up stories but they’re very rarely correct 😀
      Lynn 😀

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