This is part of the Christmas Book Advent Calender, where we post a new Christmas/winter book recommendation every day leading up to Christmas. More info can be found here…
December 4th- Wintermsith recommended by Stephen/Rinion of the ThirstforFiction Forums
Wintersmith is a fantasy–comedy novel written by Sir Terry Pratchett, the third instalment in a YA series set in Pratchett’s phenomenal Discworld universe. The series is Discworld’s second foray into YA literature after the Carnegie Medal-winning The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.
Published in 2006, Wintersmith follows the adventures of Tiffany Aching, a 13-year-old witch who accidentally gets winter itself to fall in love with her. On the Discworld the seasons have physical manifestations, the Wintersmith and the Summer Lady, one of whom holds sway over the world for six months while the other sleeps deep in the underworld. The two meet twice a year, as one season ends and the other begins, and dance together for only a moment.
But then one year as summer ends and winters begins, Tiffany blunders into this dance and takes the place of the Summer Lady. The dance ends and the real Summer Lady disappears to the underworld, but Tiffany is now stuck with the affections of the spirit of winter who thinks his beloved has finally come to stay with him. He makes icebergs that are giant statues of her and carves her face into every snowflake, which is, as Tiffany thinks, “just a little bit… cool.” But now unless Tiffany can fulfil her new obligations as the resident Summer Lady and figure out a way to stop the Wintersmith, it will be winter forever. Luckily for her, she has the Nac Mac Feegle on her side: a tribe of tiny but immensely strong men who are always rowdy, often drunk and who will beat up anyone who tries to call them “fairies”.
The book offers a fast-paced narrative that switches between Tiffany’s attempts to live up to her new role, the Nac Mac Feegle’s hilarious quest to rescue the real Summer Lady from the underworld, and the Wintersmith’s futile but heart-warming efforts to make himself human like his beloved.
Wintersmith is an endearing, clever, side-splittingly funny book that is a powerful reminder as to why Sir Terry Pratchett is the author with the most books on the UK’s top 200 favourite novels list.
‘Crivens!’ Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake . . . And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you’re thirteen, but also just a little bit . . . cool. And if Tiffany doesn’t work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime . . . Crackling with energy and humour, Wintersmith is the third tale in a sequence about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men – the Nac Mac Feegles who are determined to help Tiffany, whether she wants it or not. ‘An extraordinary achievement’Books for Keeps ‘A characteristically entertaining mix’Sunday Times ‘One of the best and one of the funniest English authors alive’ Independent