Book: I Shall Wear Midnight (Tiffany Aching 4, Discworld) by Terry Pratchett
Release Date: January 1st 2010
Tags: Fantasy / Young Adult / Discworld / Witches
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
It starts with whispers.
Then someone picks up a stone. Finally, the fires begin. When people turn on witches, the innocents suffer. . . Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren’t sparkly, aren’t fun, don’t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone-or something-is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root-before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her. Chilling drama combines with laughout-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil.
‘When I am old, I shall wear midnight.’
I Shall Wear Midnight is already the fourth Tiffany Aching book and the third book of it that I buddy read with La La in the Library. And while I enjoyed this installment, I am a bit disappointed perhaps. Hence my four star rating for a change.
In this story Tiffany is two years older and in this time she has become the hag of the Chalk as the wee free men so lovingly put it. After the last book I had suspected her relationship with Roland to evolve but Pratchett threw that out of the window very quickly. Instead it almost feels like they have become complete strangers, even more so when Roland has to step up and become baron. The Tiffany-Roland relationship was one I was very looking forward to so this completely threw me under the bus for that. I shall not give away what happened at the ending though.
But aside from that I think the plot just wasn’t as engaging as the previous two were. I didn’t quite feel the threatening menace of the enemy. He seemed very far away. It just wasn’t as tight and there are some things I am wondering about that I didn’t get an answer to. Perhaps in the next book. And as Tiffany is now the witch of the chalk we saw very little of the older witches that have helped her over the years. I do have to say that I like how there was a twinge of more darkness here in the surrounding society. Actual murder but also dealing with families and physical abuse within them as the witch.
‘People lived and died, and were remembered. It happened the same way that winter follows summer. It was not a wrong thing. There were tears, of course, but they were for those who were left; those who had gone on did not need them.’
Still there were other things that I did enjoy. We get to visit the city Ankh-Morpork and it was of great interest to me to see the city watch in interaction with Tiffany. I have not yet read the City Watch arc but it was interesting getting this bit of introduction to them. I love how these things weave through one another. Of course we get a short cameo of Death as well. And there are new characters added who I feel will play a role in the next book.
I have to say that this one read quite a bit faster than the previous three. Perhaps this is because I have a taller paperback of this one compared to the mass market paperbacks I have of the other three.