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The Wee Free Men

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Nine-year-old Tiffany Aching thinks her Granny Aching - a wise shepherd - might have been a witch, but now Granny Aching is dead and it's up to Tiffany to work it all out when strange things begin happening: a fairy-tale monster in the stream, a headless horseman and, strangest of all, the tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free Men, who have come looking for the new 'hag'. These are the Nac Mac Feegles, the pictsies, who like nothing better than thievin', fightin' and drinkin'. Then Tiffany's young brother goes missing and Tiffany and the Wee Free Men must join forces to save him from the Queen of the Fairies-

Wee Free Men

Chapter 1

A Clang Well Done

Some things start before other things. It was a summer shower but didn’t appear to know it, and it was pouring rain as fast as a winter storm. Miss Perspicacia Tick sat in what little shelter a raggedy hedge could give her and explored the universe. She didn’t notice the rain. Witches dried out quickly.

The exploring of the universe was being done with a couple of twigs tied together with string, a stone with a hole in it, an egg, one of Miss Tick’s stockings which also had a hole in it, a pin, a piece of paper and a tiny stub of pencil. Unlike wizards, witches learn to make do with a little. The items had been tied and twisted together to make a . .. device. It moved oddly when she prodded it. One of the sticks seemed to pass right through the egg, for example, and came out the other side without leaving a mark.

‘Yes, ’ she said quietly, as rain poured off the rim of her hat. ‘There it is. A definite ripple in the walls of the world. Very worrying. There’s probably another world making contact. That’s never good. I ought to go there. But . .. according to my left elbow, there’s a witch there already . .. ’ ‘She’ll sort it out, then, ’ said a small and, for now, mysterious voice from somewhere near her feet. ‘No, it can’t be right. That’s chalk country over that way, ’ said Miss Tick. ‘You can’t grow a good witch on chalk. The stuff’s barely harder than clay. You need good hard rock to grow a witch, believe me. ’ Miss Tick shook her head, sending raindrops flying. ‘But my elbows are generally very reliable. ’ ‘Why talk about it? Let’s go and see, ’ said the voice. ‘We’re not doing very well around here, are we? ’

That was true. The lowlands weren’t good to witches. Miss Tick was making pennies by doing bits of medicine and misfortune-telling, † and slept in barns most nights. She’d twice been thrown in ponds. ‘I can’t barge in, ’ she said. ‘Not on another witch’s territory. That never, ever works. But . .. ’ she paused, ‘witches don’t just turn up out of nowhere. Let’s have a look . .. ’

She pulled a cracked saucer out of her pocket, and tipped into it the rainwater that had collected on her hat. Then she took a bottle of ink out of another pocket and poured in just enough to turn the water black. She cupped it in her hands to keep the raindrops out, and listened to her eyes.

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Quite, quite brilliant


A clear example of a comic fantasy classic and, well . . . Crivens! It deserves t'sell a millyun copies

Sunday Express

Plenty to laugh at here, not least Pratchett's ability to put a 90 degree spin on the familiar

The Times

The Wee Free Men;

This book is simply magical.

You can enjoy this book and the Nac Mac Feegles at any age.
Even if you weren't born out of the chalk.

You can have a listen through audible or spend your down time enjoying this book.
This is one I always suggest to everyone who could use a break from reality or just a nice journey and a smile.


sharon diaz

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