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Book review: I Shall Wear Midnight 
25th-Sep-2011 12:44 pm
Bagpussavatar
After something as dark as Never Let Me Go I fancied something lighter to read so I went for I Shall Wear Midnight, the most recent of Terry Pratchett's sub-series for young adults within the Discworld universe, about rising young witch Tiffany Aching. And it definitely is a "YA" book rather than a kids' book - the latest story begins with Tiffany looking after a pregnant teenager whose father has beaten her into having a miscarriage. Perhaps knowing that his writing career is coming to an end has made Pratchett keen to say something important, I do get the feeling the Tiffany Aching series is of particular significance to him and this one flirts with being his version of The Crucible: With some subtle messages about the media's fondness for finding a group of people to hate, fear and suspicion of witches has risen again, as it does every few centuries, in the Discworld. And as Tiffany is the one who accidentally caused it, she's the one who has to fix it. Which makes it sound as if this is an uncharecteristically dark Pratchett but it isn't - as ever Tiffany is accompanied everywhere (whether she likes it or not) by the Nac Mac Feegle, the comically violent miniature Scotsmen who help keep things light and made me laugh out loud a number of times. Although now that Pratchett's mental health is tragically starting to fail, I do wish his editors were a bit more thorough - Tiffany's reasons for not wanting the other witches' help are explained twice within the same chapter and it does have the unfortunate result of looking like the author forgot he'd just written that bit.
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