5 out of 5 stars
Tiffany Aching is only 9-years old, but already she has a different sense of all that is happening around her. She is by the river when she sees two tiny blue men in kilts. They warn her that there is a ‘green heid’ or a monster in the river called Jenny Greenteeth. Unfazed by this, she sets a trap using her small brother, Wentworth and tempts the monster out of the water and cracks her with her frying pan.
She heads into town to top up her education from the teachers who travel around. It is here that she meets Miss Tick, a witch from up in the mountains. She sees that Tiffany has potential, but Miss Tick still can’t believe that witches can exist on the chalk. Miss Tick tells her that the tiny blue men are Nac Mac Feegles, a rough and ready fae people who speak with a strong accent. She returns home to discover that Wentworth has gone missing.
Not knowing what to do, she heads outside to contact the Nac Mac Feegles and see if they can help. They tell her that the Queen has taken him to Fairyland and that they will be happy to help her rescue him, but first, they need a new Kelda or leader. The Feegles check to see is she is capable of finding Fairyland and let her find the entrance. Soon after they have entered they are faced with several large wolves and these dream-like blobs called dromes. But Tiffany still has to face the Queen and at that point, there will be a reckoning.
This is the first of the Tiffany sub-series that I have read and I thought it was just brilliant. Pratchett has taken elements of the witches from his past books and formed them into this new character who you can sense developing page by page. One of my favourite parts of the book was when Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany first meet. Weatherwax knows exactly what she is seeing in this young witch, she respects her place in the landscape and can already see what Tiffany will be capable of in time. It is amusing as I have come to expect from all of his books, full of subtle and not so subtle humour and the Nac Mac Feegles are just hilarious.