My reaction on finishing Terry Pratchett’s A Hat Full of Sky was two-part:
- Gosh, you’d think he’d have run out of things to say about the nature of witches, after six books about the Lancre witches and the prior nominally-YA book about Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men.
- And yet he doesn’t appear to have. That’s kind of impressive.
Tiffany is now eleven and leaving home to start her formal education in witching. She knows sheep, and cheese, and the Chalk. She doesn’t know status-conscious girls, or how to make a shamble, or how to deal with having her body taken over when she casually left it empty for a moment—so she’d better learn fast.
Tiffany is only eleven, which helps differentiate this book from prior Witches books: because of her youth and inexperience, she’s prone to mistakes that Granny Weatherwax just wouldn’t make. Tiffany may be Granny’s apparent successor, but she’s no Mary Sue and she has a long road ahead of her to get there.
(I continue to be curious if Pratchett has an end in mind for Granny. In the unlikely event I get to talk to him at Worldcon (I imagine he’ll be mobbed constantly), I may well ask.)
Oh, and the Nac Mac Feegle are back. Good stuff, nothing earth-shaking but solid and enjoyable.