Today is day 25 of Drawlloween – a fun event that I found out about here on the lovely ‘Not Yet Read’. Today is Rat. Nobody likes rats, right? Well, maybe sometimes we do – what about this fella – and, in spite of my rough sketch – can you name the film?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
Okay, this week I’m doing a good impression of the White Rabbit. “Me, late, with my reputation!” This actually wasn’t my fault as I was on holiday. So, I’m playing catch up. I’ve read the book but will keep my posts separate and check everyone’s posts out in order. Below are the questions for week 2 of the Wintersmith readalong provided by the Lovely Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow. Week 3 will follow shortly! If you haven’t been joining in we are about to pick up the next book in the Tiffany Aching series anytime and if you want to join in the two hosts are:
Dab of Darkness and Over the Effing Rainbow.
Also, if you haven’t started this series right now would be a good point to stop reading as spoilers will follow:
- “I’m not here…” At Miss Treason’s funeral, we see Tiffany get the better of the Feegles, sneaky though they are! What do you think of the way Tiffany’s ‘witching’ is getting better here? She’s really coming along isn’t she? Sometimes you could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t really much actual ‘witching’ going on. More, sixth sense and common sense and I think that’s true of this situation. Tiffany is smart enough to realise what the Feegles are up to. Such a funny part of the book though (well, every time the Feegles are involved everything turns slightly hysterical!)
- It’s decided that Annagramma gets the cottage, at the meeting of witches – but we learn that Mistress Weatherwax put Tiffany forward for it. Do you think Tiffany should have gotten the cottage? No. Or at least I didn’t really want her to. She’s just so young – I know it shouldn’t matter but I want her to carry on with her ‘witching apprenticeship’. I admit that’s she’s very sensible in some respects and has her head screwed on (in the right direction as well which is a comfort) but I suppose I want her to be allowed to be young for a little while longer.
- Nanny Ogg appears at last, to take Tiffany in while the wintersmith’s about. Next to Mistress Weatherwax, she’s my favourite of the witches! What do you think of her so far? I love Nanny Ogg. She’s a riot, not to mention seems perfectly capable of being friends with, whilst standing up to, Mistress Weatherwax.
- We learn a little more about “the dance” that Tiffany interrupted, now – and I love the summer-winter mythology that’s explained to her here. What’s your take on the effect it’s having on Tiffany (and her feet)? And do you think we’ll be seeing more of the Summer Lady as well as the Wintersmith? Both the elementals are now involved with Tiffany. The Wintersmith because of his infatuation and Summer because it feels like she’s teaching Tiffany a bit of a lesson. It will be interesting to see how both these pan out and I definitely think we will see more of Summer.
- Poor Annagramma … I’m starting to have a little more sympathy for her now, as she turns up desperately seeking skulls! Do you think she’s got what it takes to be a good witch, when it counts? Or is her case as hopeless as it seems? I think that she will probably be okay. Let’s face it she’s pretty thick skinned so failure doesn’t seem to be something that she will ever acknowledge! I’m not sure she’ll ever make a good witch – at least in the traditional sense – it feels like she thinks more of it as a ‘glamorous’ role rather than actually getting down to the nitty gritty and actually helping people but it could be that she learns her lesson and sees sense?
- Oh, dear. Rob Anybody has a Plan … With all of the seriousness surrounding what Tiffany’s gotten herself into, do you think the Feegles can help her this time? Or are even they in over their heads? I absolutely have faith in the Feegles. Frankly I would love a little band of these critters following me around! They’re the stars of the show.
Part 3 to follow soon.
The other readers joining in as follows: