So with a mere day (and an elephant’s cocked leg) to go until Terry Pratchett’s new novel is released, I thought I’d reblog the Waterstones Bookseller Discworld Reread. It’s been quite an adventure.
I ‘discovered’ Discworld at the age of 14 and (promptly, vociferously) read every single one then published. I’d just finished a favourite, Thief of Time, when I decided the Time (sorry) had come to move on to fantasy pastures new. I only returned to Discworld around the publication of the utterly enchanting Wintersmith, which I was lucky enough to gain the honour of revisiting in the Reread:
35. Wintersmith (2006), Lucy Hounsom, Waterstones Exeter Roman Gate
Wouldn’t it be terrible if hundreds of icebergs shaped like you floated about on the icy seas wrecking ships? But wouldn’t it also be just a little bit…cool?
This is largely what teen witch Tiffany Aching thinks when she realises the spirit of winter is in love with her. Well, what do you expect to happen when you impulsively usurp summer’s place in the autumnal dance of the seasons? Pratchett calls this dance the Dark Morris, an eerie but essential balance to the traditional Morris performed in springtime
In fact, Wintersmith is all about balance: between the seasons, the elements and – most poignantly in Tiffany’s case – between heart and head. Not only must she concentrate on the subtleties of witchcraft, she has to learn to deal with boys and the first tentative allusions to sex. Needless to say, this is done in Pratchett’s inimitable comic style: “Is this about sex?” Tiffany bluntly asks Nanny Ogg…
It is this straightforward, no nonsense manner that I find so endearing. Tiffany might only be thirteen, but her understanding of people and determination to correct her own mistakes speaks of wisdom beyond her years.
Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching sequence may be aimed at younger readers, but the storytelling prowess demonstrated in Wintersmith is the equal of his adult novels, and is indeed a wonderful introduction to the Discworld universe.
Without further ado from me, here are the links to the rest of the reads. Enjoy!
Also I’d like to add how much I love wonderful artist Paul Kidby‘s illustrations that have brought the Discworld so vividly (and hilariously) to life.