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Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Shall Wear Midnight

Title: I Shall Wear Midnight
Author: Pratchett, Terry 
Publication Date: 2010 
Number of Pages: 349
Part of a Series: Yes.  As of October 2010, the last book in the Discworld series, which began with The Color of Magic.  This is the fourth book featuring Tiffany Aching (the first is The Wee Free Men).

Subject Heading(s):      JW=Joy Woods; LT=LibraryThing; NL=NoveList; RA=Readers’ Advisory Online
Child Abuse (NL)
Miniature Persons (NL)
Fantasy (NL)
Persecution (JW)
Fairies (NL)
Teenage Witches (NL)
Good and Evil (NL)
Villains (NL)
Hate (NL)
Witch Burnings (JW)
Humorous fiction (NL)
Witches (JW)
Memory (NL) 
Geographical Setting/ Time Period:  Set in the Discworld, a flat world supported by four elephants on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin.  Takes place in the Chalk region (backcountry), and also briefly in the city of Ankh-Morpork.
Main Character(s):
Tiffany Aching, a capable, sarcastic young witch
Rob Anybody, leader of a group of drinking, fighting, stealing supernatural beings called the Nac Mac Feegle.
Jeannie the Kelda, Rob Anybody’s wife and the only female Kelda, she works magic.
Amber, an abused child with a mysterious connection to the Kelda.
Roland, stuffy new Baron of the Chalk, formerly Tiffany’s sweetheart.
Letitia, Roland’s beautiful, rich, silly fiancée.  Wishes she were a witch.
Preston, observant and philosophical guard.
Plot Summary: Tiffany Aching has finished her apprenticeship in the mountains and returned home to become the first witch of the Chalk.  When she travels to Ankh-Morpork to inform Roland that he is the new Baron, she finds herself accused of murder and theft.  The persecution she faces from familiar friends is only a symptom of an older, more sinister force determined to drive out witchcraft.

Appeal: Plot-driven novel with serious themes applicable to real world.  Although dark, the book has a humorous tone.  Characterization also an important aspect.  Includes appearances of popular characters from other Discworld books, including the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg.

Brief quote: “ ‘You hear people talk about witches being burned, but I don’t reckon many real witches ever did get burned unless they were tricked in some way; I think it was mostly poor old women.  Witches are mostly too soggy, and it was probably a waste of good timber.’” (page 136)

Prizes or Awards: I Shall Wear Midnight received a starred review in Kirkus. Terry Pratchett has won numerous awards for his writing, including: 2009   Writers' Guild Award (Outstanding Contribution to Children's Writing), 2004   WH Smith People's Choice Award   The Wee Free Men (features Tiffany Aching) 2007   British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year   (shortlist)   Wintersmith (features Tiffany Aching).

Similar Works:  Reviewer recommends the following books as humorous young adult fantasy adventures with capable female heroines, similar to Tiffany:  Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede (begins with Dealing with Dragons).
Reviewer=s Name: Joy Woods
Adapted from Saricks, Joyce G. and Nancy Brown. Readers= Advisory Service in the Public Library 2nd. Chicago: ALA, 1997.

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