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.

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Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, readalong week III

The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett readalong week III.  Nearly caught up with this readalong – holidays hey (can live with em)!!

Hosted by Dab of Darkness and Over the Effing Rainbow.  Week three’s questions hosted by Dab of Darkness as follows, oh and if you don’t want to know what a Scotsman wears under his kilt then read no further as spoilers will abound:

1) What did you think of Annagramma’s blunderings and then her reveal to Tiffany about her parentage? It sort of makes sense.  I hadn’t really considered it but when she revealed her background it gave a bit more substance to the way she behaves.  She’s somehow ashamed of her background and comes across as though she’s always trying to hide her real self!

2) Lady Summer makes herself known in this section of the book. How did your impressions change with each time we saw her? Well, she was pretty miffed and like I always say ‘hell hath no fury’ so I wasn’t too surprised about her reaction when a young usurper comes along and steals her man!  All that being said, and whilst I might understand her a little I can’t say I warmed to her (no pun intended).

3) Ah, the Cornucopia, the Horn of Plenty. Was it all you expected? What would you ask from the Cornucopia if you had it for a day?  This wasn’t what I expected but I loved Pratchett’s strange twist.  Mmm, I would ask for a very fine bottle of red wine (after all it’s like having one of your five fruits for the day), some cheeses (because what could be more natural?) and Jean Tannen – sorry, just skipped books there, brrr…

4) Werk, werk, werk. So many chickens! Which is worse: 5 kilted Feegles hiding under your bed or a house full of chickens? What would you do with so many of the feathered egg-laying manure factories? I’ll take the Feegles hiding any day.  At least they’re relatively house trained – although the fresh eggs would be a bonus.  Chickens can be little so and sos though and I don’t fancy getting my ankles (and other bodily parts) pecked!

5) The winter was a harsh one, with wolves in the ice tunnels. However, Mistress Weatherwax put a stop to the wolves but never said how. What do you think she did?   She probably set You on them (btw I’m referring to the kitty and not being personal)!  Or perhaps she simply transported them to another place!  Maybe she turned them into ham sandwiches and shared them round the village.  Basically, I’m pretty clueless – but then I like to be consistent.  (Actually, damn, what did she do with them?)

6) The immortal who tried to make himself into a man: did you enjoy the Wintersmith’s attempts to make himself a man?  I actually had a good deal of sympathy for the Wintersmith and thought he was a great character.  He had his little infatuation and didn’t really understand all the trouble he was causing.  I loved that whole poem ‘thing’ – I wonder if it’s actually based on a true poem??  Anybody????

7) Granny Weatherwax tests Rob Anybody’s spelling and then sets him a heroic task. Do you think she was right to set that in motion or do you think someone else would have come up with the same idea?  Maybe, although Granny W always seems to be one step ahead of the game.  I thought it was good that she gave Rob Anybody a bit of a push in the right direction and the whole incident with the ferrymen and singing ‘row your boat’ was pretty funny to say the least.

8) Finally, did you applaud Tiffany’s solution to the Wintersmith dilemma? Did you find the ending satisfactory?  Yes.  Yet again I wondered how she would achieve it but she simply managed when the time came.  She’s experiencing a wealth of different and difficult situations which are ultimately going to make her into a simply brilliant witch.

Very enjoyable.  Terry Pratchett is so funny he had me laughing out loud no end in this volume – particularly any part where the Feegles show up – such a great creation – I would literally read a book just with the Feegles.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett, readalong week 1

Hi everyone.  Today is the first week in the A Hat Full of Sky readalong being hosted by Little Red Reviewer and Dab of Darkness.  These books are such good fun – if you haven’t read them but fancy a really refreshing blast of humour then get onboard – it’s not too late, this is a lovely leisurely schedule so there’s lots of time to catch up!  Plus, once you start reading about Tiffany you’ll get swept along (not to mention the Nac MacFeegle).  If you haven’t read these books already however you might wish to stop reading from hereon-in as spoilers will be running amok like little blue men!  You have been warned.

What do you think of Miss Level and her housemate Oswald?  Did you guess the secret about her identity before she told Tiffany the truth?

Wow, the world of Miss Level is totally out there!  I think Tiffany is in for a very strange time.  And, no, I confess, I hadn’t guessed about her identity.  At first, I hadn’t realised that there was a third character in the  mix – I had this weird idea that Miss Level had run amok with the whole ‘see me’ thing and had created a sort of other version of herself that was running around but, not only does she have ‘another’ self (which actually is a little bit creepy if you really think about it) but she has Oswald, an ondageist, who runs around tidying up!  It sounds divine – where can I get me one of those??  Although not sure I like the idea of Oswald just being able to go wherever he wants when he wants!

What kind of witchy stuff do you think Miss Level will start teaching Tiffany?

It’s a strange form of teaching really isn’t it.  A bit like teaching but without being taught.   The witches don’t seem to know how they do things but it just seems to be something they have a feel for.  It feels like it’s going to be less about teaching, in a traditional sense, and more a sort of coming to the idea of what’s right and what’s not, with a sprinking of herbal lore thrown into the mix.

What do you think of Jeannie? Do you think she’ll get in the way of the Feegle continuing to help Tiffany?

Not quite sure to make of Jeannie yet.  She seems a bit bungling (a bit in the way that Roland felt in the first novel).  She doesn’t particularly feel malicious at this stage but I do wonder about her with all her beads and baubles and dancing in the woods!  A bit like the kind of thing that seemed to have given witches a bad name in the first place when they were thought to be devil worshippers?  I must admit I don’t like the idea very much of Tiffany in the woods at night with that weird demon thing searching for her!

Have your feelings for Roland changed any?

Okay, I admit that I was a bit of a meanie on Roland and I’m now feeling slightly sheepish!  I just was a bit flabbergasted with his ‘lord to the manor’ behaviour.  He seems to have developed a bit of a crush on Tiffany doesn’t he and turned into a blushing maniac now whenever she’s around – it will be interesting to see how that develops.

Which is creepier? a Hiver or a Drome?

A Hiver definitely – it’s a demon after all and just looking for a host to possess! The whole thing with sounding like a bunch of buzzing insects – just creepy.

What really grabbed my attention this time?

The way Tiffany won the battle of the wills with the goat!

“I am no’ deid! I’m trying to have a moment o’ existential dreed here, right?”

The part where the horse and cart, with the Mac Nag Feegles on board, is going faster than the coach and horses that they’re trying to catch in order to get their more speedily.  Irony at all?

Good fun.  Don’t forget it’s not too late to join in!

AMENDMENT to the question about Jeannie above.  Okay, I admit it!  I’m a raging doghead!  So, now you all know.  I answered that question as though I was talking about Petunia (is it Petunia?).  Anyway, what can you do. (Perhaps answer the proper question – okay, Jeannie – I didn’t like that she stopped the guys in blue from sending out a bit of a rescue party when they spotted the Hiver was on Tiffany’s tail!  But, she has a lot to contend with and I think she’s feeling insecure.  She did the right thing as soon as she realised Rob would stay with her if she asked.  So I think she’ll be okay.

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