A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, as fantasies go, this one is pretty mild. It contains minimal violence and displays solid values of hard work and responsibility.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When taken by her mentor witch to see the Dance of the Seasons, Tiffany accidentally attracts the attention of the Wintersmith, the elemental spirit of Winter, who develops a crush on her. To win her love he makes all the snowflakes (as well as some icebergs) look like her, writes her name in window frost, and creates a garden of ice-roses for her. But most of all he tries to make himself human by following the directions in a nursery rhyme.
Meanwhile the spirit of Summer is none too thrilled, and Tiffany also has to deal with the smothering protectiveness of the Feegles; Roland, who may or may not be her boyfriend; the death of her current mentor; and helping the snippy Annagramma in spite of herself.
Is it any good?
Sensible witch-in-training Tiffany and the crotchety witches she learns from certainly are appealing characters in this third installment of the Tiffany Aching Adventures. But the book really comes to life when the Feegles are onstage -- which is too seldom. The red-haired, blue-tattooed, drinking, stealing, and fighting Wee Free Men with the thick brogues are the main source of fun and humor.
Author Terry Pratchett continues to have plenty to say on a variety of subjects, including marriage, old age, the nature of myths and stories, and growing up, and he does so with a dry, twisty wit that often makes readers stop and think -- after they finish laughing. The plot is often secondary to Pratchett's pungent observations, and he subtly goes several layers deeper than you'd expect.