Select one of the keywords
A Hat Full of Sky    by Terry Pratchett order for
Hat Full of Sky
by Terry Pratchett
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A Hat Full of Sky is a sequel to Terry Pratchett's brilliant The Wee Free Men, set in his enormously popular Discworld. In the former, young Tiffany Aching discovered that she'd inherited her dead granny's role as witch of the Chalk downlands, and attracted the interest of the six inch high Nac Mac Feegle (Wee Free Men), renowned for their abilities at 'Stealin' an' drinkin' an' fightin''. With their help, Tiffany dealt most effectively with an incursion of nightmares, using an iron frying pan.

Evil is back in the hills, this time in the form of an ancient sentience 'like an invisible fog', a hiver. It's searching for a new host, and soon picks Tiffany. She's attracted its attention by using powerful magic to step out of her body, untutored in the risks. Witch finder Miss Perspicacia Tick has arranged for Tiffany to live with Miss Level (who has two pairs of hands already and whose 'cheerfulness has got cracks around the edges'), to learn more about witchcraft. This is important as what witches fear most is 'going to the bad', slipping into the 'careless little cruelties' that can accompany power. Tiffany meets Miss Level's 'ondageist' Oswald, as well as other young apprentice witches. The overly agreeable Petulia is very sweet but Annagramma is an opinionated bully, who acts 'like a dog worrying sheep'.

Back in the Feegle mound, poor Rob is being forced to learn to read and write by his new 'kelda', Jeannie, with hilarious results. Jeannie's resigned thoughts about Feegle men gave me a chuckle - according to her, brothers think 'often quite fast while being totally in the wrong direction.' Jeannie's jealousy of Tiffany prevents Rob from helping after he notices the hiver, and puts the young witch and those around her in great peril. However, Tiffany eventually comes through (I love her ongoing 'Third Thoughts'), resolving the problem with the hiver, and getting an answer to 'what's the third wish?', at the 'Witch Trials'. Tiffany finds a new friend in Petulia, as well as someone who begins to fill the hole in her heart left by her granny's death - in the powerful witch Mistress Weatherwax.

At the beginning Terry Pratchett tells the reader that he had to write this book, since he 'wanted to find out what Tiffany would do next ... what the Nac Mac Feegle would try this time.' Seconded! I certainly felt that Tiffany ached for a sequel, and was delighted to hear that the author plans at least one more book about these remarkable characters ... soon, I hope!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews