Tis the end. Am I the only one sad to say goodbye to Tiffany (at least until I reread the books again in a few years)? Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is our host this week, so make sure to visit her site for entertaining chitchat. Let me just give her an applause for cohosting with me. This has been a wonderful read along and I thank everyone for participating and making this so fun!
This week, we covered Chapters 11-End, so spoilers run amok, kilted and all natural underneath.
1) Well, now. It seems Letitia is much more than just a snivelly ‘princess in the tower’… What do you think of the way she handles the ghosts at Keepsake Hall?
I was impressed, just as Tiffany was too. She seemed very compassionate, providing a fake head (pumpkin) and teddy bear to some of the ghosties. It was interesting to see this other side of her, as she didn’t really show Tiffany compassion by carving an effigy of her, albeit a poor one, and burying head first in a bucket of sand and wishing Tiffany a shitty life. Still, she likes books, and studying, and doesn’t freak over ghosts. So, now that she has made amends for slighting Tiffany, I think I could civilly have tea with her.
2) “We do right, we don’t do nice…” Miss Smith turns up again – in another unusual way – and she’s got some eye-opening words for Tiffany here… Do you agree that Tiffany’s got to grow up a little more still, or should she just ask for help with the Cunning Man?
I wonder why Terry Pratchett wrote the story line this way – I mean making it impossible for Tiffany to ask for help. I would think that the lesson would be: When great things ride on whether or not you ask for help, ask for help! But Pratchett seems to have gone the other way. I think Tiffany grasped that Weatherwax and the other witches would do right, even if that wasn’t nice – such as killing Tiffany if she was possessed by the Cunning Man. So, yes, Tiff did grow up a bit with this latest challenge.
3) Preston earns even more trust from Tiffany, and she makes an interesting point about whether or not the Cunning Man will be dangerous to him… Do you think the two of them can take him on?
The storyline seemed to be setting Tiffany up to do a one-on-one with the Cunning Man, so I didn’t expect Preston to be in on the final show down. And when the Cunning Man took on a body, and a big, muscled one at that, I was concerned that Preston would get punched or kicked around a bit. I didn’t want his brains scrambled because Tiffany seems quite taken with them and if his brains no longer worked, who would Tiffany have to banter with?
4) Speaking of taking on the Cunning Man, he’s getting closer – and in a very alarming way. This is certainly different, and it’s keeping Mrs. Proust involved. Do you think she might be the exception to the “kindly assistance” rule among witches?
Mrs. Proust did provide a warning to Tiffany, which was very considerate. I loved that she also brought company – a witch who is allergic to tides, and an incontinent blind older witch. Quite the flying party the 3 of are! But no, I never expected Mrs. Proust to be of assistance to Tiff in the final showdown.
Ha! And when Tiff introduced her to Mistress Weatherwax, and then nothing snippy, or violent, or explosive happened, I thought that was quite amusing. And Tiffany’s second thoughts were kind enough to point out that these 2 older witches are still cleverer than herself.
5) O-ho, so the Duchess has a secret of her own… Are you surprised?
Haha! Her dancing hall days certainly explains why she was so high-handed, loud, and generally obnoxious – she was playing a role, a role she felt she had to in order to ensure her daughter caught the eye of a noble young man. I am glad that Mrs. Proust called her on it, and that Tiffany, the local witch, knows about it. This means that whenever the Duchess gets too high handed, someone can remind her or her own lowly roots.
6) Tiffany defeats the Cunning Man! What did you make of this scene?
I liked the fire, the running hare, the impromptu wedding ceremony. However, I thought the actual defeating of the Cunning Man was a bit simplistic. I mean, he was intrusive, and stinky, without a body, so why does burning the body of the ‘escaped’ killer send the Cunning Man away for years or centuries? I wasn’t sure. Anyhoo, I am willing to look the other way as, over all, I love the Tiffany Aching series. Not all the books have to be perfect.
I thought it was great of Tiffany to ask Letitia to tell Roland the whole story. The silence that followed was very telling.
While Pratchett lets us know that the ‘escaped’ killer is a very bad man, we also get to see that the Cunning Man killed his canary. That was great – we know the prisoner is a wretched man who deserves death, and yet the death of his canary, a pet he cared for, is moving.
Oh I felt Tiffany’s embarrassment when that bit about marrying Roland slipped out. Ouch!
Ah, the Feegles. They warm my heart and make me laugh so! They listened in on Tiff’s little marital chat with Letitia, and then they had questions. Haha! And later, they helped out with a bit of kilt flapping to fan some flames. Too hilarious!