Adventures in Reading


A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
March 17, 2008, 2:23 pm
Filed under: book reviews, fiction
“The new boots were all wrong. They were stiff and shiny. Shiny boots! That was disgraceful.”

After finishing The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett I simply could not stop myself and picked up the second book in the Tiffany Aching series: A Hat Full of Sky. I really believed I left this book unfinished some years back only to discover by the end that I actually had read it before. (I am feeling more and more sympathy now for customers returning books because they forgot they had already read them.) As all Discworld novels, it’s witty, humorous, gripping, humane, and reads as (in this case) young adult literature.

It’s two years since The Wee Free Men and Tiffany is now eleven years old. Tiffany’s parents believe that she is being sent off to work as a servent, or to get a bit of taste of the world, but between her and Miss Tick (a witch finder who locates blossoming talent for witchcraft) Tiffany will be apprenticed to a witch to pick up the craft. A Hat Full of Sky is largely about growing up and what it means to become a witch, but from the onset of the novel something begins following Tiffany. This something is identified as a hiver, or an embodiment of energy born from the creation of the world, and lacking a physical representation it seeks a replacement.

One of my attractions for the Tiffany Aching series is how Pratchett exemplifies the magic present in life (even real life). This theme was readily found in The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky begins to also explore themes of self-sacrifice and responsibility. Of course the Nac Mac Feelgle make a reappearance to provide some comic relief and really helps to shape A Hat Full of Sky into a much endearing novel.

In addition, I was terribly excited to discover that Pratchett has another book coming out this fall supposedly called Nation. While Pratchett usually publishes about two books per year what is so exciting about this one is that it does not necessarily unfold on the Discworld. At least since I started reading Pratchett, all of his novels have occurred on the Disc and I am excited to see what he produces. It also seems that the Tiffany Aching series will have one or two more books written for it: my fingers are crossed for two.

And an additional review from Books & Other Thoughts.

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