The Wee Free Men Read Along Part I

Stout snuggling with the Nac Mac Feegle.
Stout snuggling with the Nac Mac Feegle.

Welcome everyone to Part I of The Wee Free Men Read Along. If this is your first Terry Pratchett book, you are in for some fun. I absolutely love the Tiffany Aching books and I am so glad to be able to share them with so many folks. This week, if you did a blog post, please leave your link in the comments and I will create a running list of participating blogs as they pop up. If you just want to stop in and leave comments, that is excellent too.

Next week, we’ll be over at The Little Red Reviewer. See HERE for the schedule.

This week, Chapters 1-5 are covered and spoilers abound from here on in! Without further procrastination, here are these week’s discussion questions:

1) Since I am a nosy person, I want to know if this is your first Terry Pratchett book for you? Do you enjoy the humor and writing style so far?

As you already know, I have read this book several times, probably more than is healthy, as I named several chickens after Nac Mac Feegle curses. I really love Terry Pratchett’s mix of humor and serious one-liners. I have read other Discworld books, which are fun, but I find these to be a bit more grounded, less punny, and therefore more entertaining. I am also a big fan of snarky footnotes, which are used in this book to my amusement.

2) We’ve been introduced to Tiffany Aching’s world of shepherding and cheese making and her family. What about this quaint setting has caught your eye?

Uh… I had to look up the word ‘gazzunder’ the first time I read this book. While I was pretty sure from the context that it was a chamber pot, I still double checked. I also like that the farm cat, Ratbag, is a real cat alternating between snuggling humans and eating baby birds. Tiffany’s clothes are pass-me-downs, including her boots (which are far too big for her), and this gives me a humorous, butt-kicking boots mental image of our young heroine.

3) Ah, the Nac Mac Feegles! Can you understand their speech? Who or what do you think the kelda is?

Haha! OK, the first time I read this book, I was reading the Feegle lines out loud to work out what they were saying. Once I got their lingo down, it added yet another layer of amusement, chortling and snort laughing ensued. Since I have already read this book, I’ll have to be mum on the kelda, but I did not have a clue my first time around.

4) Do you see a future for Tiffany at a witches’ school? Or do you think Ms. Tick will take on a mentor’s role?

Ms. Tick, what will you do? Will she get help? Will they arrive in time to be assistance? Perhaps Tiffany will be stuck with the toad as her mentor for the foreseeable future. I look forward to seeing how other witches measure up to Ms. Tick – is she the best around, average, or below average? Hmmm…. Maybe Tiffany is better off with the toad…

5) Wentworth has gone missing and there is a Queen involved. What do think she wants with him? If this is a reread, then how do you like having one magical world (the Queen’s) nestled within the Discworld universe (Tiffany’s world)?

When I first read this, I really expected to simply be learning about yet another aspect of Discworld, and I was pleasantly surprised when Pratchett yanked us into a magical realm that most Discworld residents are not aware of. Even a place such as Discworld, as saturated with magic as it is, has to have its faerie tales.

I honestly forget what the Queen wants with Wentworth (tsk, tsk on me). Perhaps she simply stumbled into him and he stuck to her, being sticky by nature as he is.

This is my chicken Crivens. She is roughly 8-9 years old. Feisty!
This is my chicken Crivens. She is roughly 8-9 years old. Feisty!

Other tidbits:

I love that there is cheese and butter making. I assume they have a milk cow for the butter as it is very difficult to get butter from sheep or goat milk because the milk is naturally homogenized, which means the fat does not separate out – and that is what you need to make butter.

I forget why Tiffany takes the book on sheep ailments. I totally understand the frying pan.


Don’t forget to add your link in the comments! I so look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts.

Over The Effing Rainbow

Tethyan Books

The Little Red Reviewer

Lynn’s Book Blog

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

24 thoughts on “The Wee Free Men Read Along Part I”

    1. Yum! Sheep cheese! We make goat cheese when we have dairy goats. We decided to take a breeding season off this year tho – so no fresh cheese for me right now.
      That’s right – the little men were discussion stealing a cow.

  1. I tried to post a comment, and it’s not showing up. I’m very sorry if this ends up being a duplicate comment, but I’m going to try again!

    I think I remember the Feegles commenting on not stealing a cow, because they were too securely locked up, so I assumed the Achings had dairy cows. I imagine she could make some nice cheese (brebis/chevre) from goats and sheep, too, though!

    Here’s my answers!

  2. 1. Crivens looks very impressive, but do you have a Schemey in your hen-house?

    2. I have a cat called Ratbag . . . or that’s what I shout at her quite a lot! 😀

    4. The toad is great, and I liked his poignant belief that he used to be human. He is certainly more useful than Rincewind . . .

    5. I love your idea of Wentworth accidentally sticking to the Queen as she goes past! 😀

    1. I should name a chicken Schemey. We plan to get several this coming spring. If one stands out, she shall so be named.
      I also like how the toad talks about how easy it would be to mess with a toad’s mind, making him belief that he was once human….

      1. That particular paragraph is enough to drive you crazy – it’s like The Princess Bride and the poison cup scene!!!! is the frog deluded, or was he a human, or is he deluded about being deluded OMG! Actually I love it.
        Lynn 😀

    1. I haven’t seen the illustrated edition myself. But perhaps I should pick it up sometime. I love this book and have read it multiple times. I hear the audio is very good as well, and I have been on the waiting list forever at the library to give it a go.

      1. I’ve not listened to the audio. I seldom do that. I’m more of a reader than a listener. I do have first U.S. editions of the original hard cover and the illustrated version that came out about a year or so later. It’s one of my favorite books.

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!