13. A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. 407 p. Published June 2005.
A Hat Full of Sky is the sequel to The Wee Free Men, and continues the adventures of Tiffany Aching, apprentice witch.
When the other witches consider Tiffany’s potential and how well she handled herself again the Faerie Queen two years before, they decide that it’s time for her to begin proper training. Of course tiffany is very excited about this, but isn’t quite sure she’s ready to leave the farm and all her cheese.
The temptation of knowledge is too much, and Tiffany is soon off to the house of Miss Level. Of course, Miss Level isn’t exactly normal – even by a witch’s standards. You see, Miss Level, while of sound singular mind, has two bodies. One may be off on errands while the other is home preparing dinner – both being Miss Level.
Miss Level begins to teach Tiffany what it truly means to be a witch. Yes, there may be some hocus pocus, but in reality, what it really takes is someone who knows her charges. Each witch is charged with a village to guard; care for its sick, judge its disputes, and generally keep the residents from getting in their own way.
But Tiffany’s life is soon interrupted by a familiar troop of drunken, foul mouthed, fighting pictsies. They’ve followed her down from the Chalk to protect her. For a horrible, mindless entity known as “The Hiver” has been following Tiffany. And it seems they are too late, as the Hiver pounces and takes residence in her mind. While the Hiver uses her witching abilities to cause mayhem – and even murder – Tiffany if trapped inside, fighting as best she can.
This book is an interesting second to The Wee Free Men. While aware of Tiffany’s abilities and the basics of witching, Pratchett takes us through what it really means to be an everyday Witch of the Discworld. However, the one thing I honestly disliked was the weak, almost saccharine, finale, something very un-Pratchett-like. With his usual wit and flippant prose, Pratchett has penned a decent, but slightly dissapointing, sequel.
Rating: 2 out of 5