Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Read-Along: Part 3 of The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Today wraps up the read-along of Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men.  The Read-Along will continue to the second book of the series, A Hat Full of Sky, with details as announced by Little Red Reviewer and Dab of Darkness.

This discussion post has spoilers through the end of The Wee Free Men.  An ordinary review of the whole book will be forthcoming in a week or so!  My usual weekly-ish reviews will also resume here in a couple of days--I was briefly distracted by job-search related activities.

1) What was your favorite part of the 'duel of dreams' between Tiffany and the Queen?

I think my favorite part was the psychological battle between the two of them, rather than the visual dreams.  I especially liked when Tiffany 'woke up'.  Not that it was in any doubt before, but Tiffany is a remarkably capable and self-aware young lady.  I think she's a good role model.

2) The last part of the book shows us a bit more of Roland's character. What did you make of him? 

I think he's a pretty decent guy.  He's not as brave, confident or clever as Tiffany, but he might be a good baron.  Though he said he wouldn't, he did try to help her against the Queen, and it isn't his fault he got knocked unconscious by the Feegles. Also, while it would have been nice for Tiffany to get some credit (instead of being publicly relegated to the 'rescued princess' role), I can see how it was a difficult situation for Roland. 

3) The Nac Mac Feegle never cease to make me laugh. What were some of your favorite scenes or lines from the Feegle (for this segment or the entire book)? 

From this segment, my favorite has got to be the explanation for their absence while Tiffany was first confronting the queen.  Tiffany defeated the drome in the masquerade ball dream… and the Feegle just didn't want to let all that dream-alcohol go to waste.  I also quite liked the scene with all the lawyers.

4) The finale of the book introduces us to Mistress Weatherwax and Mrs. Ogg. These are two of my all-time favorite Discworld characters. What did you think of them? Have you read other books featuring these two ladies? 

I honestly don't remember if they've been in the other Discworld books I've read.  If so, I suppose they probably weren't featured characters, just cameos, as they are here.  Even though they were in only a few pages, I already feel like I have a decent grasp of their personalities.  I hope they appear more in Tiffany's story in the future.

5) Tiffany's connection with Granny Aching is one of the most poignant throughout the book. Did you enjoy Granny Aching's brief appearance late in the book?

Yes, of course!  I think Granny Aching is fantastic, so I was happy to see her.  Also, it gave Tiffany closure in a few ways.  First of all, back when she learned the Feegles had been watching the sheep and taking the tobacco, the sense of absence of her Granny's spirit really hurt Tiffany.  Also, she had that lingering fear that she had insulted Granny Aching when she gave her the shepherdess statue.  Through her appearance, and her style of dress when she appeared, Tiffany can now feel reassured on both counts.  Her Granny Aching will be with her always, in some ways :). 

And one last random thought, I really love how Tiffany mis-pronounces her vocabulary sometimes.  I used to do that when I was a kid, too.  I think it mostly comes from learning vocabulary through reading instead of conversation, so you know the meanings but you've never heard the words spoken out loud. Thus Metaphorical -> Metapahorrical, for example.  Tiffany is such a great protagonist, I'm looking forward to seeing her grow in the next few books.


  1. Yes, the Feegle and the dream alcohol. And the Feegle and the dream gold coins too! They sure did scamper away quickly to try to buy something with the dream coins. I wonder who they could buy from?

    I too enjoyed all the Tiffany vocabulary lessons throughout the book. It makes me think of her reading the Sheep book - all those big words impressing the Feegle. So silly.

    1. I'm sure they could find someone to con into taking dream coins, even in Fairyland. :) Though maybe they can flit in and out of Fairyland easily?

      The part with the sheep book was hilarious! I think they said something along the lines of "You know it's good haggin' when you've got no idea what she's on about."

  2. I never really thought of that but it's as though Granny Aching appeared dressed like that to reassure Tiffany - well done - it just simply hadn't occurred to me.
    I love Granny Aching - all the stories are brilliant and I enjoyed Thunder and Lightning making a reappearance.
    The Wee Men are definitely the best though - they just make me smile - they can break in and out of any thing - well, they probably can't break out of a pub! And they're scared of lawyers and briefcases. Just so funny.
    I must confess that I wasn't as kind to Roland - he got on my nerves a little bit - not so much the getting knocked down, and not even the fact that people misconstrued the whole rescue thing - but more his attitude when he came to see Tiffany (although in fairness he was a bit less than useless!)
    Lynn :D

    1. I loved Granny Aching, too! I hope she doesn't vanish entirely in the future books. I figure the Feegle could break out of a pub... but not before they finished all the drink, so it might take a while!

      I think I read Roland's attitude when he came to Tiffany as him trying to justify to himself that it was okay he got all the credit, even though he clearly felt like it wasn't, which was why he came to apologize in the first place. Not everyone can be as clear-minded as Tiffany when faced with conflicting thoughts :).

  3. 3. It would be criminal not to drink everything in sight . . . such a waste! :D

    I like your point about Tiffany's pronunciation . . . although, thinking back to the chapter with the teachers, I suspect that she is simply passing on someone else's mistake . . .

    1. Oh, definitely. I mean, the dream alcohol was going to cease to exist if they didn't drink it, after all! Can't let that go to waste.

      That is true, I didn't think of the teachers. I guess I just liked my theory because it made Tiffany more like little me. :)

  4. I'd nearly forgotten about that scene with the Feegle where Tiffany is like "where were you!", and they had been staying in the dream so's all the alcohol didn't go to waste. hilarious!!

    I still mispronounce words because I come across them in books all the time, but have only rarely heard them spoken. Is it terrible that i will avoid using certain words in conversation because i'm unsure of the pronunciation?

    1. I still do that sometimes, too. When I remember to, I usually double check the ones I'm not sure about on the Merriam-Webster website!