Wintersmith Read Along Part I

My daft, toothless cat, Waffles.
My daft, toothless cat, Waffles.

Dab of Darkness has teamed up with Over the Effing Rainbow to bring you Terry Pratchett goodness, with Lancre Blue cheese. Sounds awesome, right? This week, I am hosting, so make sure to leave your links in the comments so we can all hop around and visit.

This week covers Chapters 1-4. Spoilers lurk below, not even bothering to hide in cupboards or drain pipes.

1) Did anyone else read the Feegle Glossary in the Introduction? What Feegle words have you incorporated into your daily speech?

Bunty. I desperately want to call someone a bunty. Think I can get away with it at work? hehe… perhaps just the once. I’ve already used the phrase ‘cack yer kecks’ this week. My man was in a hurry, hurrying me along. Sigh, just so we can sit in the car and not be too early. ‘Don’t cack yer kecks! I’m coming. Chill.’ That was kind of how it went. By the time we got home from being social, I was pished (this is also a word I want to use at work and see what my workers think). Though, there are plenty of scunners and even a few scuggans there so such language and joking around could lead to job termination.

2) Chapter 1 starts the story with a flashback. In it, Tiffany says, ‘This I choose to do. If there is a price, I choose to pay it.’ Pretty ominous, huh? How did you feel about the serious nature of this first chapter?

While this is probably my 3rd time reading this book, this opening chapter always throws me. I remember the first time I read this book and the tone was so serious for Pratchett, especially for an opening chapter. I checked the spine – this is Terry Pratchett, right? But by the end of the chapter I see what he is doing and felt that he was clever about it.

I could see right away that Tiffany was going to be dealing with some big stuff in this book. She has before in The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, but from Chapter 1 it sounds like her decisions and actions may affect not just her, not just her family, not just her friends & neighbors, not just her village, but perhaps the whole Chalk. That’s a lot for the shoulders of a 12 year old.

3) Ms. Treason is 113 years old, and odd. What aspect of her oddness was most endearing to you? Which the most disturbing?

She’s a weaver, and this simple hobby gives her a little warm place in my heart. Being a weaver myself (check out Woven Hearth if you want to see pics), I like that Pratchett adds in these basic and practical hobbies to the story.

I figure most people will have a little shudder at this, but I have to say it is the borrowing of the eyes. I know it is practical, and that much of the time, er….sometimes, she even asks permission before she does borrow them, but it is just creepy. Still, if I get to be a 113 year old blind witch living in Discworld, I will probably do the same.

4) Miss Tick finds herself once again persecuted for being a witch, and is being held per the instructions of Witch Hunting for Dumb People (which she secretly wrote). What instructions or tidbits would you include in such a book, or in one entitled Feegle Hunting for Really Dumb People?

For Witch Hunting for Dumb People, I think I would also include instructions about providing the witch with light entertainment such as music or perhaps just an exciting adventure novel to keep her quiet and docile in her confines. As for Feegle Hunting for Really Dumb People – I could start with, ‘Don’t!’ if I care about the humans involved. But for the vast majority, I think I would make it fun for the feegles. I would suggest that the hunters use the biggest mallets they can lay hands on, set snares with razor wire, perhaps even bring in an excellent knife thrower for a rousing chase through the woods. The feegles would love this! Of course, there might be a sizeable human body count when all is said and done, so such a book would have to be kept in the restricted section under lock and key.

5) After Tiffany wakes up after the Morris Dance, she stomps off into the snow to cool off & yells for the Wintersmith. What amused you about that scene?

Poor dear was embarrassed, so I can totally understand that she needed to step away to cool her blushes and gather her wits. It is both brave and foolish to think that she could simply confront the Wintersmith, an elemental, and have everything sorted out. I do think it is pretty cool that she has a permanent mark of the Chalk Horse on her hand now.

6) Boffo and little assumptions-fed ticking clocks. What do you think of Ms. Treason’s little tricks?

The boffo and rumors are cheap, easy ways for her to maintain some authority and mystique. At her age, she needs this kind of convenience. I loved watching Tiffany discover these things and her slight shock. Listening to the villagers explain the clock was great!

7) We have been reintroduced to Roland, but this time we learn a little more about his family: his ill father and his controlling aunts. What do you think Roland will do about this problem?

Seems Roland’s aunts are after someone’s inheritance. Tsk, tsk (wags finger at them). Roland is off to a decent start with his barricaded door, his books, and his super secret exit so he can still send messages, run errands, pick up a ham sandwich to go, etc. I think he would have an easier time of solving this conundrum if he told Tiffany about it, but I respect him for wanting to handle it on his own.

Other Tidbits:

Rob Anybody – reading Tiffany’s mail and diary. Awkward. I mean, he’s an adult male, yes a Feegle, but still an adult male. Tiffany needs a place where she can draw hearts and unicorns and also write pretend hate mail to express herself.

Horace, the Lancre Blue cheese. I always, always forget Horace. Every single time I read this book, Horace sneaks out of his cupboard and smacks me upside the head. Every kid needs a pet of some sort. Poor Tiffany gets Feegles and Horace.

Roland has a key book too, on how to survive sieges. Naughty aunties! Clever Roland!

The chat between the Feegles and Miss Treason was great. So practical and funny.

Granny Weatherwax now has a white kitten. Too cute. It was very thoughtful of Tiffany, especially the way she mentioned Mrs. Earwig’s black cats.

What Others Think:

Over the Effing Rainbow

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Lynn’s Book Blog

Tethyan Books

12 thoughts on “Wintersmith Read Along Part I”

  1. Yes, definitely no ‘mouthing’ the cheese!! The whole reading the diary was really embarrassing – I used to have a diary, omg it was really twee with a little lock and key that you could break into just by breathing on it! There was nothing really great in there. I had some romantic notion that years later it would be great to look back at. It wasn’t.
    The aunts – they’re selling off the inheritance. There’s going to be nothing left the way they’re going at it.
    Exactly like you said – I had to check, I literally thought I’d started reading book 4 instead of 3 – and let’s face it that’s not the first time that would have happened. A great start. Very ominous.
    And, yes, again. I didn’t really like the using people’s eyes thing. I could totally see the practicality of it but it doesn’t mean I would have to like it!
    Lynn 😀

    1. We must learn to respect the cheese. Any cheese that can open & close cupboards of it’s own accord must be respected. Tiffany should really post something to warn others. No sleeping in the dairy!

    1. Yes, I remember the first time I read about the kitten, and I was a bit concerned that Weatherwax may do some magical experiments on it or such. So far, just gruff love.

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