The Wee Free Men

Opening line: ‘Some things start before other things.’

Strange things are happening on the Chalk. Monsters rise out of normally quiet streams, the baron’s son disappears in the forest, horse and all, and when her little brother disappears too, nine-year-old Tiffany Aching has to do something. Armed only with her wit, a frying pan, and an army of pictises, the Nac Mac Feegle, Tiffany crosses into Fairyland and into the land of dreams to steal her brother back from the Queen.

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett was a charming book to read. It is geared for a younger audience than I’m used to reading, as its protagonist is only nine years’ old. Independently from each other, two of my friends recommended this book to me upon hearing that I wasn’t a fan of Terry Pratchett. I mean, I enjoyed Good Omens (co-written with Neil Gaiman) and The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, but the only other Discworld novel I had read was Mort, with which I was rather unimpressed. And yet it seemed almost wrong of me not to like Terry Pratchett, considering that several of my friends most vehemently did. So I checked out The Wee Free Men from the public library and yes, it was enjoyable to read. I’m still not head-over-heels for Terry Pratchett, and I’m not going to go out and read every Discworld novel there is, but at least I now know that I might like some Discworld.

My favourite thing about The Wee Free Men was, of course, the Nac Mac Feegle. They spoke in Scots with a thick Scottish Brogue and I could hear it in my heid. Er, head. ‘Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna be fooled again!’

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