WINTERSMITH is the 3rd Tiffany Aching novel and the 35th Discworld novel. (35!!! What is Terry Pratchett on, and where can I get some?)
Tiffany Aching jumps into the dark Morris Dance, which welcomes in winter, and finds herself dancing with the Wintersmith. He mistakes her for the Summer Lady, and falls in love. He makes her ice roses and icebergs and tries to convince her to marry him. That's all well and good, except the Summer Lady has lost her powers and the world might never see the end of winter. The lambs are dying, sailors are being shipwrecked, people are starving. Tiffany has to do something, and fast!
This was my first time reading a Terry Pratchett novel and I loved it. While Tiffany Aching is only 13, she's practically an adult in her world. She's in training to be a witch, and finds that she must use her witchcraft and her boffo- the magic of expectations- to defeat the Wintersmith and save the world.
Interspersed throughout the novel are the Nac Mac Feegles, or the Wee Free Men. They believe that this world is heaven and that they've already died. When they die, they believe that they return to whichever world they were in previously. The Feegles are hilarious. It took me a moment to get into their Scottish accents, but once I did, the laughter started and didn't stop. With their well-intentioned brawling, the Feegles are reminiscient of a pack of Gremlins- pretransformation.
Pratchett's writing was engaging and very humorous at times. Some of my favorite lines:
"Feegles on the Chalk tend to rely on the fact that you can only get so much dirt on you before it starts to fall off of it's own accord."
(I wish I knew this as a kid! )
"Look, just because a woman's got no teeth, doesn't mean she's wise. It might just mean she's been stupid for a very long time."
(A bit of wisdom I'll be takign with me from now on!)
Wintersmith was a very pleasant read, and made me want to seek out the other 36 novels in the series.