The Wee Free Men by Terry Prachett

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

Why I Read It: I LOVE this book & there was this read along.

Where I Got It: Own it.

Who I Recommend This To: Great for kids, teens, & adults – lots of humor with some serious bits mixed in.

Publisher: HarperCollins (2004)

Length: 375 pages

Series: Tiffany Aching Saga Book 1

Tiffany Aching is 9 year old, lives on a sheep farm on the chalk, makes excellent cheese, and has a questioning mind. Her recently deceased Granny Aching was a powerful figure in her young life, filling the silences with simple things and the smell of Jolly Sailor tobacco and Special Sheep Liniment. This adventure starts simply enough with Tiffany whacking Jenny Green Teeth with a frying pan for trying to steal her little baby brother. That is followed up with Tiffany guilting and scaring the Nac Mac Feegle (AKA the Wee Free Men) into doing chores. However, the pleasant days of sheep shearing are disrupted when baby brother Wentworth goes missing; and Tiffany has a strong suspicion of who is responsible.

I’ve read this book perhaps 4 times over the past few years. It makes me laugh, a lot, out loud. My man is terribly tired of me reading bits out to him while giggling, especially when I am trying to do a Feegle accent. Terrible, terrible. Tiffany is so easy to connect with, and root for. The mix of humor and moments of seriousness is perfect, creating a story that I can return to again and again. The Feegles are 6 inches or shorter, generally drunk, quick to lift stuff, and fiercely loyal once attached to a person or cause. They are also the source of much of my amusement.

Tiffany herself is not shy about swinging that frying pan around either. She is always thinking, which turns out to be key for saving the day in this book. Her Granny Aching provided some of the most poignant scenes in the book, even though she is dead. Her deep, yet simple, connection to her granddaughter was key in shaping the young lady she is to become. Also, both Tiffany and Granny Aching are incredibly practical people; I like their boots. Terry Pratchett did the Discworld universe and his fans a service when he created Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle – thank you Sir Pratchett!

For deeper discussion of this book, check out the read along posts:

Part I

Part II

Part III

What I Liked: The endless humor; sneaky word play; Tiffany’s practicality and determination; bloomers used as a parachute; new vocabulary word: gazunder; Granny Aching; the ending.

What I Disliked: Nothing to put here – this is truly one of my fave books of all time.

7 thoughts on “The Wee Free Men by Terry Prachett”

    1. You’re not an ass dude, not at all. I got busy with farm stuff and didn’t reply to all comments yesterday. My bad.

      Anyway, Pratchett is awesome and I think the Tiffany Aching books are his best works.

  1. I have only read the first two books in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series but absolutely loved them. I remember getting weird looks when I burst out laughing on the bus.
    I am probably gonna pick Wee Free Men up next when I am in the mood for Pratchett’s quirky humor :)

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