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I Shall Wear Midnight
Tiffany Aching Series – Book IV

By Terry Pratchett

Tiffany Aching now knows that there is more to being a witch than magic. In fact, there is generally not much magic involved, but far more in the way of calling on the sick and dispensing common sense. One of her patients is the old baron, and even she cannot delay the inevitable, part of which involves traveling to Ankh-Morpork in company with the Wee Free Men and looking for the Baron’s son, Roland. For Roland is going to get married…and not to her but to somebody of his own class whom Tiffany is prepared to hate. As if this was not bad enough, something evil and ancient has awakened and is after her: a man with no eyes who wants to destroy all witches…

There is a lot in this book beside a good story, although there is certainly that as well. Terry Pratchett is the master of the pithy comment that goes right to the heart of whatever it is he is saying, so much so that you will be nodding in agreement as much as laughing. Expect the unexpected in this book, as there are plenty of surprises, and we get to meet some interesting new characters as well as being reacquainted with the old. But it is between the story that the most fascinating and memorable parts of the book lie, and Pratchett has a lot to say about the nature of prejudice, and the sort of ideas that need the right (or rather wrong) person to snap them up and make a spark into an inferno. Although this is part of a juvenile series, it is rather dark in places in quite an adult way. As such, it is likely to mean rather more to adults than those who are actually “children,” which is why I give it a teenage/adult rating. As this is another novel set on The Chalk, you can also expect to be treated to some lyrical passages about the beauty and mystery of the part of Wiltshire where the author lives and this reviewer loves. One of Pratchett’s better efforts (which is saying a whole lot), this book will stay in the mind for some time after, probably when you are searching for another book as good to read when you have finished it. Very highly recommended.

The Book

Doubleday (Transworld UK)
August 2010
0385611072 / 9780385611077
Fantasy / Teen / Young Adult
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010