The Wintersmith Review

25 Jan

Now, last time I didn’t review a wintery or Christmassy book because I did feel it was a little bit predictable so decided to buck the norm and review a very non-Christmassy book.  You may be thinking that that is all well and good, but the fact remains that The Wintersmith sounds like a particularly wintery book.

And you’d be right, but if anyone has read any Terry Pratchett beforehand you will know that this is not a typical winters book.

The Wintersmith is the third book in a mini-series about a young witch called Tiffany Aching, set in Pratchett’s well-established Discworld. The Book is the third in a series of four (the other three books are WELL worth a read) and can usually be found in the teenage section in bookshops. It oozes with good advice for young women about becoming responsible and independent and is about facing problems head on and learning not to blame anyone else for your mistakes.

The plot is based around the idea that at one point in the run up to winter time, the deities of Winter and Summer change over during a very important late night winter Morris dance. Young Tiffany attends this dance with the witch she is training with, but hasn’t explained to her what is going on. Miss Treason (the old 113 year old witch she works for) has told Tiffany to stand still and not move during the dance, but offers no more explanation than this.

Needless to say, Tiffany gives into her feet and joins in the dance, causing her to become the Summer Lady and the Wintersmith to fall in love with her.

This causes all sorts of problems because Summer and Winter are never supposed to be above ground at the same time, they only meet in the dance. So while the real Summer Lady is sleeping, her powers have gone to Tiffany who is still walking about above ground.

The Wintersmith tries to impress Tiffany- but little will impress her, even the roses made out of ice (I thought those were a pretty nice touch if I’m honest). The older witches in the story are there for a little guidance, but are mostly there to make sure that no one gets hurt. Tiffany is left to figure out how to defeat the Wintersmith herself.

We follow Tiffany through the trails that the winter brings, as she tries to get on with learning how to be a witch, and the tricky but hopefully temporary task of being the Summer. I do feel that this novel is a good one for any girl to read; it contains a strong woman who at the end of the day does not need a man and knows her mind enough to follow through.

Tiffany never grumbles about her situation because she is aware that she has made a mistake- she becomes a better person by the end of the book and with her you feel like you have learnt something about how to be a better person.

Pratchett’s attempt to get the message about being aware that actions have consequences isn’t done in a preachy manner. It’s done carefully with a strangely lucid insight into a young woman’s mind, especially when Tiffany gets angry or unreasonable, we are there with her, understanding why this is happening. The answers we are given to Tiffany’s actions are not ones of scolding but of care.

The whole story is very relatable and readable. Pratchett’s stylistic writing style carries the reader through the action perfectly and the Discworld setting really captures your imagination.  Sometimes I do feel that the Discworld is what would happen on our planet if we were all that little bit less proper.

That leads me to my next point and that is; this is a review not only for The Wintersmith but for Terry Pratchett as well. If you enjoy satire and a little bit of fantasy, I recommend Pratchett on the highest level.

But basically, if you want a kick ass girl, who knows her own mind and can save a world, I thoroughly recommend The Wintersmith along with any of the other Tiffany Aching novels such as Wee Free Men and A Hat full of Sky and I shall wear Midnight.

Overall, I would give this book 4.5 out of 5.


Other Read:

  • My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark. I know you’ve all seen the movie of My Week with Marilyn but how many of you went and picked up the book? Well I did. The book I have is split into Colin Clark’s original book on the filming of the Show Girl and the Prince starring Marilyn Monroe and Lawrence Olivier. The second half of the book is the few missing weeks of the book and what happened between Colin Clark and Marilyn Monroe. So far it is an easy read, quite clear and detailed. I look forward to finding out what has been left out of the movie.

About the writer: Stef is a 21 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.


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