A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett, review by Greg

SmackdownI just read Terry Pratchett’s third book for young adults in the discworld series, A Hat Full of Sky.  It’s the sequel to a story he wrote called The Wee Free Men and follows the adventures of the 12 year old Tiffany Aching – a witch in training.

In the first book, she defeats the queen of the fairies.  Not an easy task for a nine year-old.  But it’s at that time that she is recognized as a witch.  In Hat Full of Sky, Tiffany goes off to learn with another witch about what it is to be a witch. 

I am glad that I read this book so soon after finishing another.  I realized that it’s okay for me to like Terry Pratchett’s work because he’s a fine author.  And he seems to do effortlessly what other authors take years to do – put out quality books. 

I would recommend this book to anybody who has read any Terry Pratchett books.  Or who just enjoys good fun books.  It would be good to read The Wee Free Men first, but not 100 per cent necessary.

I have been reading my history textbook, so I can’t really remember a whole lot of Hat Full of Sky.  The main problem is that Tiffany is going to have to fight off posession by an unstoppable, unkillable entity from the dawn of time.  While at the same time doing her chores, helping people with sicknesses, teaching people how to behave, working out fights, and milking a devilish she-goat every day. 

Go tiff.

And it’s good.  Granny Weatherwax shows up for a good portion of the book.  There’s, as always, some good laughs to be had.   Come to think of it, another reason I liked this book is because it seemed to return to a funnier time when Pratchett was a lot more humorous and less satirical – but he managed to do it without sacrificing depth and meaning.  I liked it.  

I also liked how he made it clear that the girl was special because of who she was not what she was but he didn’t do it overtly at all.  He would throw in comments that indicate witches are cool because they do _____.  and then the cool thing was something that all young people do – which would make any young reader instantly feel cool about herself, and may cause one or two young readers to believe they’ve become witches.

But hopefully the harry potter thing has scraped that kind of scum off the pond already.

Wow.  That was harsh.

I’ll give it a 4 on the scale of -5 to 5.



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