The Wee Free Men
September 29, 2019 7:18 PM - by Terry Pratchett - Subscribe

The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching. A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality. . . . Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle—aka the Wee Free Men—a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men. Together they must face headless horsemen,...
posted by aniola (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
One thing that is really gratifying about Wee Free Men, is that I was feeling like DiskWorld was a little tapped out. The witches and wizards were very established, the Watch had finished its evolution and had turned into the stories of Reluctant Lord Vimes, and well, while it wasn't descending into endless repeats territory, it was feeling filled up.

And so Terry Pratchet had the courage to leave Ahnk-Moorepork entirely. To focus on a different cast of characters, on someone young, with her own path. And it worked brilliantly. I do love that book.
posted by happyroach at 10:29 PM on September 29, 2019 [9 favorites]

I agree with what happyroach has written.

I got a bit tired of the Feegle hijinks well before the Tiffany Aching books were finished but by that point I was already pretty well caught up in the story of Tiffany's development into the person she would turn out to be..
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:49 AM on September 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had very much gotten the impresson that the discworld books were becoming formulaic, and this book just struck me as a breath of fresh air. There were more actual jokes, cartoonishness and an actual sense of fun on display in it, as well as more freedom in how he approached plot and character, and it had the side effect of making the poignant stuff work better. It was the slight change in direction and perspective Pratchett needed to revitalise his style and become interesting again.
posted by Sparx at 3:03 PM on October 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

My wife and I used to host Nac MacFeegle Camp at our house for our son and his friends when they were about 6. We’d paint them blue, give them red fright wigs, and lead them in drinking and fighting and thieving. (Root beer and plastic swords and objects in the woods, respectively.) My wife was the Kelda, which made crowd control surprisingly easy. Thanks, Mr. Pratchett, for some great memories!
posted by argybarg at 2:58 PM on October 3, 2019 [8 favorites]

I now know I was fortunate in encountering "The Wee Free Men" and Tiffany Aching early on on my Pratchett reading, and I remain stubborn and ridiculous in my affection for both the character and the series because I associate it so strongly with its moment in my life. "The Wee Free Men" is what played in my car as I raced across counties to see my dying mother-in-law in hospice, with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs somehow capturing perfectly the feeling of not being big enough or qualified enough to do the job, but doing it anyway. Of wanting to be smarter and wiser. Of recognizing the unsuitability of the narrow range of possible narratives of a life. It is deeply humane, and I love it still for that quality.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:41 PM on October 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

I took incredible pleasure in reading this to my son recently. I had always read Discworld in my head, and while I would get a few smiles, the experience of reading out loud really brings the humour alive. I took great pleasure in saying "No-As-Big-As-Medium-Jock-But-Bigger-Than-Wee-Jock-Jock" a ridiculous number of times
posted by Cannon Fodder at 7:39 AM on September 8, 2023

« Older Bless the Harts: Hug N' Bugs...   |  God Friended Me: Joy... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments