I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett readalong, final instalment


We’ve come to the end of the readalong, which is frankly a little bit sad.  I’ve enjoyed spending time with Tiffany and the Wee Blue Men and will miss them.  But, nae bother, onto the questions and if you haven’t read these books you definitely want to read no further.

The readalongs for Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight have been hosted by the lovely ladies at Dab of Darkness and Over the Effing Rainbow for which I give much gushing goodly thanks and praise!  Onwards:

Well, now. It seems Letitia is much more than just a snivelly ‘princess in the tower’… What do you think of the way she handles the ghosts at Keepsake Hall?  I thought it was great!  She’s definitely a witch.  She has that ‘caring’ thing down to a tee.  On top of that I was impressed with that whole chapter.  Letitia almost changed personalities when she was on her home ground and became a different person – it shows how out of water she was really feeling and how stressed with the whole ‘wedding’ thing.  Not to mention, and don’t pelt me with rotten fruit – but even the Duchess came out of that scene looking kind of good!  She looks after her staff in their dotage.  Okay, she can be a bit of a mare but that was touching and definitely helped me to look at her with a ‘less frowny face’.

“We do right, we don’t do nice…” Miss Smith turns up again – in another unusual way – and she’s got some eye-opening words for Tiffany here… Do you agree that Tiffany’s got to grow up a little more still, or should she just ask for help with the Cunning Man?  I quite like that Tiffany wanted to sort this out by herself – even more so as it wasn’t all her own creating.  I thought on the contrary it almost made her seem more grown up – she’s on her own turf, erm, chalk, and she’s taking the responsibility.  And, okay, things could have gone wrong but she has pride in herself which as she said isn’t necessarily bad.

Preston earns even more trust from Tiffany, and she makes an interesting point about whether or not the Cunning Man will be dangerous to him… Do you think the two of them can take him on? I really like Preston even more now I’ve finished!  To be honest it never occurred to me at the time just how terribly wrong it could all go – I suppose the Cunning Man could have tried to overtake Preston’s body just the same as the man in the jail and being worn as a suit by Dr Evil doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  But, Tiffany seemed to think he was safe so I did also.

Speaking of taking on the Cunning Man, he’s getting closer – and in a very alarming way. This is certainly different, and it’s keeping Mrs Proust involved. Do you think she might be the exception to the “kindly assistance” rule among witches?  It certainly seems that way.  She  made an enormous effort to reach Tiffany and warn her about the Cunning Man having acquired a body – and all the witches managed to get on together when they finally met.  It was like a standoff.

O-ho, so the Duchess has a secret of her own… Are you surprised?  I’m not surprised that she had a secret – you could tell her behaviour was wrong.  But I hadn’t figured it was about being a dancing girl!  It certainly brought her down a peg or two although I don’t know why she was so scared about it all coming out – it’s not exactly the end of the world and perhaps she would have been able to remove the ramrod from up her backside and get on with people in a normal fashion if she wasn’t so scared people would find out.  I guess the whole hint about all her family being dead was a giveaway – they were probably all still alive!

Tiffany defeats the Cunning Man! What did you make of this scene?  I didn’t really figure out what her plan was – right up to the end – Okay, I could tell she was running into the fire but I kind of thought she’d do that transference thing (although it’s not like she had a bucket of water handy so DOH!)  I liked that she used the whole harking back to the ancient wedding ceremony trick with the language and all – although I wondered why she was calling Letitia names and I thought it was cool that in actual fact she did really have help through the use of time travel – but actually helped herself.

Extras go here!

I loved that all the little odds and ends were worked out.  Amber, Letitia, Preston – even the Feegles being handed the land which the mound sits on.

Also – I loved the use of the Macbeth line!

I could definitely do with some more Tiffany reading material so side note to Mr Pratchett – if you want to write any more – or just the Feegles all by themselves – nae problemo, I’ll be there.

11 Responses to “I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett readalong, final instalment”

  1. tethyanbooks

    The information about the care of her servants did make the Duchess seem a nicer person. I hadn’t even considered she was lying about her family being dead. I just assumed that there was the tragic deaths, then she was destitute, became a dancing girl, met the duke, and became a duchess. The other story (born to a poor family, became a dancing girl, met a duke, pretended family was dead) makes her seem a much worse person, from my perspective. Though, I guess we know nothing at all about her family. Maybe cutting ties was justified, if they were like the Pettys or something.

    • lynnsbooks

      If her family was anything like the Petty’s it would be totally justified. I just wondered back to it with particular mention being made of how she’d told people previously that her family were all dead – it just made me think (probably in the wrong direction) but I couldn’t help wondering why she would mention that as part of her background/history other than to stop anybody looking more thoroughly! I do like to go off on a strange tangent though. I quite like your version of poor destitute girl becomes a dancing girl, etc.
      Lynn 😀

      • suecccp

        I imagine that they were all terribly common, with appalling accents and bad teeth – not at all what she would want turning up on her doorstep! 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        Hahaha, imagine! A load of old crones – perhaps ‘witching’ really does run in the family!
        Lynn 😀

  2. Grrr. Lisaargh. (@EffingRainbow)

    I haven’t read Macbeth in years – where was that used?

    • lynnsbooks

      In Chapter 14 – Burning the King – when Tiffany is about to run over the field with Roland and Letitia – she thinks ‘by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes’ actually – shouldn’t have said poem! That’s from Macbeth?? I think.
      Lynn 😀

  3. suecccp

    1. You’re right – I’d forgotten about the staff being cared for in their old age. Perhaps the Duchess is a bit witchy herself?

    2. I liked her thoughts about how pride can be a good thing and not just a sinful emotion to be avoided.

    3. Preston has such a sunny, optimistic outlook on life that I think the Cunning Man would have run screaming from his cheeriness! 😀

    I really liked the way that she and Roland dealt with the money that the old Baron had given her. I am quite sure that it made everyone think very highly of the new Baron as well as reminding them that their witch has their best interests at heart.

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh, good point, I never put that together about the Duchess caring for her staff perhaps meaning she was a bit witchy. Yes, I think the Cunning Man would have been deterred by Preston’s disposition – he could have been renamed the running man!!
      All round, it was a really good book. I may even continue with some of the other discworld books – I’ve always found the notion a bit daunting previously, probably because there are so many.
      Lynn 😀

  4. nrlymrtl

    Sorry for the tardiness. I locked myself out of the house in my small clothes and had to climb in through window. 😉

    I agree with you on Letitia and the Duchess. At first, they seem so self-centered (one constantly in tears & the other overbearing) but on the home turf, we see that they both do some good for their people. I love that Pratchett shows us that people have more than 1 side.

    I think the Cunning Man may have had trouble taking over Preston because he wasn’t a negative personality. While we didn’t get to know the prisoner really, from some things said, we can infer that he was not a positive person.

    Now the Feegles have a legal document concerning their land – a legal document! Legalities! Good thing they have their toad.

  5. I Shall Wear Midnight Read Along: The End | Over The Effing Rainbow

    […] Here’s what other folks thought…Dab Of Darkness Lynn’s Books […]

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