Okay, this week I’m doing a good impression of the White Rabbit. ”Me, late, with my reputation!” This actually wasn’t my fault as I was on holiday. So, I’m playing catch up. I’ve read the book but will keep my posts separate and check everyone’s posts out in order. Below are the questions for week 2 of the Wintersmith readalong provided by the Lovely Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow. Week 3 will follow shortly! If you haven’t been joining in we are about to pick up the next book in the Tiffany Aching series anytime and if you want to join in the two hosts are:
Dab of Darkness and Over the Effing Rainbow.
Also, if you haven’t started this series right now would be a good point to stop reading as spoilers will follow:
- ”I’m not here…” At Miss Treason’s funeral, we see Tiffany get the better of the Feegles, sneaky though they are! What do you think of the way Tiffany’s ‘witching’ is getting better here? She’s really coming along isn’t she? Sometimes you could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t really much actual ‘witching’ going on. More, sixth sense and common sense and I think that’s true of this situation. Tiffany is smart enough to realise what the Feegles are up to. Such a funny part of the book though (well, every time the Feegles are involved everything turns slightly hysterical!)
- It’s decided that Annagramma gets the cottage, at the meeting of witches – but we learn that Mistress Weatherwax put Tiffany forward for it. Do you think Tiffany should have gotten the cottage? No. Or at least I didn’t really want her to. She’s just so young – I know it shouldn’t matter but I want her to carry on with her ‘witching apprenticeship’. I admit that’s she’s very sensible in some respects and has her head screwed on (in the right direction as well which is a comfort) but I suppose I want her to be allowed to be young for a little while longer.
- Nanny Ogg appears at last, to take Tiffany in while the wintersmith’s about. Next to Mistress Weatherwax, she’s my favourite of the witches! What do you think of her so far? I love Nanny Ogg. She’s a riot, not to mention seems perfectly capable of being friends with, whilst standing up to, Mistress Weatherwax.
- We learn a little more about “the dance” that Tiffany interrupted, now – and I love the summer-winter mythology that’s explained to her here. What’s your take on the effect it’s having on Tiffany (and her feet)? And do you think we’ll be seeing more of the Summer Lady as well as the Wintersmith? Both the elementals are now involved with Tiffany. The Wintersmith because of his infatuation and Summer because it feels like she’s teaching Tiffany a bit of a lesson. It will be interesting to see how both these pan out and I definitely think we will see more of Summer.
- Poor Annagramma … I’m starting to have a little more sympathy for her now, as she turns up desperately seeking skulls! Do you think she’s got what it takes to be a good witch, when it counts? Or is her case as hopeless as it seems? I think that she will probably be okay. Let’s face it she’s pretty thick skinned so failure doesn’t seem to be something that she will ever acknowledge! I’m not sure she’ll ever make a good witch – at least in the traditional sense – it feels like she thinks more of it as a ‘glamorous’ role rather than actually getting down to the nitty gritty and actually helping people but it could be that she learns her lesson and sees sense?
- Oh, dear. Rob Anybody has a Plan … With all of the seriousness surrounding what Tiffany’s gotten herself into, do you think the Feegles can help her this time? Or are even they in over their heads? I absolutely have faith in the Feegles. Frankly I would love a little band of these critters following me around! They’re the stars of the show.
Part 3 to follow soon.
The other readers joining in as follows:
This week I’ve returned to the world of little blue men, who steal, drink and tell lies (but you still can’t help loving ‘em) and witches with pointy hats who have demons in their cellars and can slit your gut with their thumb nail. Or can they??
Today commences week one of the Wintersmith read along being hosted by Dab of Darkness and then alternately by Over The Effing Rainbow. These books are such good fun so if you want to join in you’re really not too late. This is a fairly leisurely pace so you won’t struggle to catch up.
Straight to this week’s questions. (Oh, almost forgot to mention – if you haven’t read these books but want to do so then you might want to look away about now as spoilers run amok in the text below).
1) Did anyone else read the Feegle Glossary in the Introduction? What Feegle words have you incorporated into your daily speech?
I actually didn’t, or at least I very quickly skirted over it. But I recognised a lot of the words from previous books so I’ve not struggled at all. I might go back later to see if there’s a couple of choice words I want to save for future bloggery or just plain old insults!
2) Chapter 1 starts the story with a flashback. In it, Tiffany says, ‘This I choose to do. If there is a price, I choose to pay it.’ Pretty ominous, huh? How did you feel about the serious nature of this first chapter?
At first I thought I’d picked up the wrong book and had missed something! Then I realised what was going on. I liked the opening chapter although in one respect you could say it’s a bit of a spoiler for future chapters maybe – we’ll see?? I thought it seemed darker than previous stories and it makes me wonder if the Tiffany books are going to get a little more dark as she’s growing up and her talents are being honed.
3) Ms. Treason is 113 years old, and odd. What aspect of her oddness was most endearing to you? Which the most disturbing?
One-hundred and thirteenty – that deserves a party right there! She seems like a real old curmudgeonly so and so and yet I think her bark is worse than her bite. She was all ‘I don’t care about’ the kitty when it arrived but as soon as there was nobody left to see she let it right in (and lets face it she probably let it sleep on her lap as well). I think the most disturbing thing would be the way she uses other people’s eyes to see – most bizarre, a little bit creepy and also a total invasion of privacy – not to mention I don’t think I want to be used as someone’s personal mirror!
4) Miss Tick finds herself once again persecuted for being a witch, and is being held per the instructions of Witch Hunting for Dumb People (which she secretly wrote). What instructions or tidbits would you include in such a book, or in one entitled Feegle Hunting for Really Dumb People?
On Feegle Hunting – I would say be sure to write into the instructions to leave lots of liquor round the place, easily accessible and highly potent! Also, on no account lock your valuables away. And, if you ever see a Feegle be sure to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction as nobody who saw a Feegle has ever lived to tell the tale!
5) After Tiffany wakes up after the Morris Dance, she stomps off into the snow to cool off & yells for the Wintersmith. What amused you about that scene?
She was a proper stroppy little teenager wasn’t she – knowing that she’d acted in the wrong and feeling embarrassed so just stomping out with a red face! it sort of amused me that Ms Treason didn’t go after her – she has a bit of a ‘if you can get yourself into this mess then you can jolly well get yourself out of it’ approach which I found quite funny. It also made me wonder when Tiffany was yelling for the Wintersmith if she realises more than we think that she has some sort of hold over him?? It was the first point at which he realised the Wintersmith had some sort of almost romantic interest in Tiffany.
6) Boffo and little assumptions fed ticking clocks. What do you think of Ms. Treason’s little tricks?
I thought they were great to be honest – although it’s just as well there’s no witch hunt going on as she’ll be the first for flames! But, it goes to affirm that people will believe all sorts and make up and exaggerate even more as they go along because they love to be able to relate a bit of a fantastical tale.
7) We have been reintroduced to Roland, but this time we learn a little more about his family: his ill father and his controlling aunts. What do you think Roland will do about this problem?
I’m not quite sure just yet. It appears that he’s having a mini siege imposed by himself – quite the opposite of being sent to your room huh! Perhaps he will search out Tiffany or ask for her help in some way – maybe he’ll use it as an excuse to see her again?
This week we finish the final chapters of our readalong of Shadow of the Sun. If you haven’t yet picked up the book, well, it might be a tad late to join in this readalong but it’s never to late to get involved in the story. So, without further ado let’s dive right in with the Q&A and, of course, beware of spoilers.
1) These final chapters show us much more of Iminor’s character and his growing Talent. What stuck out the most for you about how he handled the various exploding aspects of his life?
I liked the change in Iminor – it felt like he’s finally coming into his own. He’s no longer sitting on Letitia’s coattails. He’s a warrior now who can hold his own and suddenly seems to have developed a certain level of confidence. I think as well that he’s finally realised what Ellion and Letitia are up to, but, rather than cause a stink he’s handling it. I liked the way he behaved in these last few chapters.
2) While Rohini is a late addition to the party, she is an interesting one. What aspect of her character or objectives would you like to see more of in forthcoming book(s)?
I like Rohini. She doesn’t take nonsense from anyone and just gets stuck in. She was so naffed off with Ellion when she realised he could reverse the badness from the Basghilae? and could have saved her fellow warrior – although, she didn’t really stop for a parley there did she – talk about off with his head!! But, yes, I would like to see more of her – she’s got attitude.
3) Amien has been managing and maneuvering Ellion quite a bit in this last section. What do you think his motivations are?
I think his motivations are now out there. He sees the potential in Ellion and wants him to stop with his vow. I suppose he’s been quietly manipulating the situation – even right at the end engineering a meeting with Ellion and Letitia. He basically wants Ellion to start with the magic again.
4) Letitia continued to learn more about her abilities, but everyone agrees she still lacks the ability to go toe to toe with Nechton. What more would you empower her with?
She needs a massive confidence boost. I think part of the way she has acted with Ellion is because it made her feel good at a time when she was feeling really low. I don’t think it would do any harm either if people started to communicate a little better!
5) Throughout this entire book, the deities have played an important, if a backseat driver, role. As a reader, how as this worked for you in the world-building/plot department?
I suppose it’s the focus really for what’s going on in more ways than one. After all, Ellion thinks he’s out of favour with the Gods and that’s what’s driven him into his current situation and also I think this whole thing with Nechton is based on a pact with some of the darker deities maybe.
6) We had yet one more assassination attempt in the hot water baths of Sucello. Now that we are at the end of the book, what are your insights into who is behind these attempts?
Well, as we all know by now I’m pretty useless at this second guessing thing. I begin to wonder now whether it’s all the same enemy. I mean it does seem as though this assassin is unable to die which is fairly similar to the Bagshilae after all. Perhaps Nechton wants Ellion out of the way because he realises that he’s a bigger threat – or perhaps it’s more that together Letitia and Ellion could pose a bigger threat?
7) Bealtan reveals much about our narrative hero, Ellion. From his reuniting with Conar, to the revelation of Amien’s intentions, to his argument with Letitia, and his own internal recriminations about himself. Here at the end, what are your lasting impressions of Ellion?
MMm, well, I’ve been a little bit outspoken about Ellion. He’s a mixed bag for me personally. I certainly wouldn’t mind having him around in a fix and I admit that he’s not shy of getting involving in the thick of things. However, at times I’ve found him exasperating and have wanted him to just, well, grow up a bit. Basically, he’s not a bad character, just conflicted, and that’s what makes him a bit frustrating. Won’t use his natural ability and then beats himself up if someone dies. Doesn’t think he’s worthy of Letitia but then when she basically says he could be her consort feels insulted! Come on mate – make up your mind. Anyway, he seems to have eventually reached a decision about his course of action so it will be interesting to see how he changes as a result. I think all the denial he has inflicted on himself has not been helpful to him personally soI look forward to seeing how this affects his character.
Finally, a massive thanks to Susan for hosting this and coming up with all the talking points and also a massive thanks to Barbara for becoming personally involved and for sharing her comments with us, not to mention putting up with a lot of b/s from me as I yammer on!
And so we reach the end of our readalong of Terry Pratchett’s A Hatful of Sky. This has been a great book for a readalong as it’s such good fun. If you didn’t join in with the readalong then I would still recommend you read this series. The Little Red Reviewer and Dab of Darkness have acted as hosts for this. Questions and answer to follow but read no further if you don’t wish to encounter spoilers and if you do – don’t say I didn’t tell you so!:
1) Mistress Weatherwax has a philosophy of her job is to make sure everyone today can get to tomorrow – such as letting people believe in water sprites and goblins if it lets them lead a better life. Do you see yourself somewhere in this philosophy?
I suppose this is similar to ‘live and let live’ which I would say I do believe in also. Absolutely let people believe in water sprites if they want – anyway, they’re real aren’t they????
2) Do you think Mr. Weavall will be successful with the Widow Tussy? Do you think Tiffany got off light concerning Mr. Weavall’s stash?
I think Mr Weavall and the Widow will be very happy and probably rack up another 100 years between them with this new lease of life! I’m not sure about Tiffany getting off lightly really – at the end of the day the Hiver was controlling her – but, she does also realise that the Hiver is just fulfilling your own wishes – so really she did covet the money?? Anyway, she did feel really bad about her actions during the possession and I loved the fact that the Feegles helped her out with this – after all they weren’t using the money, other than for serving plates and they obviously didn’t want her to feel bad for stealing from Mr Weavall.
3) What was your favorite part of Mistress Weatherwax’s and Tiffany’s bonding time in the mountains with the little picnic and the owls and such?
I loved the way that Mistress Weatherwax was always being grumpy but then kind of looking askance at Tiffany to see how she was really reacting. She tries to act like a real meanie but actually she’s not really. I enjoyed the part where she was trying to sleep and attract the owl and Tiffany woke her up and scared away the owl.
4) Petulia Gristle heard Tiffany was going to face something nasty and went out to see if she could use some help. Have you ever had an awkward situation like that?
I thought that was really good of Petulia. I knew she was a good character and I thought it was great when she finally plucked up enough courage to tell Annagramma off! I don’t know if I’ve had an awkward situation like that – don’t get me wrong I end up in plenty of situations, usually embarrassing and probably more than my full share, but not really like this one.
5) Tiffany has her first and last conversation with the Hiver/Arthur. Did you see Tiffany’s answer to the Hiver dilemma coming or were you taken by surprise?
I was taken by surprise. I never figured out the conclusion at all and I couldn’t piece together what all her talk about wishes was about. I thought the conclusion was more satisfactory than with the Fairy Queen. And, I liked that she helped Arthur instead of simply trying to destroy him.
6) The Witch Trials are almost like a county fair, a happy outing for the entire family, or so Granny Weatherwax was grumbling about. What about the affair caught your attention?
You wouldn’t think a bunch of witches at a trial would be a family occasion would you – you could be turned into a toad just for a bit of sport! I suppose the Mexican standoff with Tiffany and GW was the most stand out part of the trials for me. You could sort of cut the tension surrounding them as they shared that moment – I really liked that part and thought it was very wise of Tiffany to act as she did.
7) In the final chapter, we learn the meaning of the title of the book. Did you feel this was a good wrap up to the novel?
It was a very satisfying ending. I liked the fact that she returned to the chalk to help with the lambing and then created her own hat. I thought it was interesting to see her changed feelings for Roland and also that he seems to be growing up and basically as with the last book I felt it was quite touching – the way everything returns to Granny Aching and the fact that Tiffany now seems to be taking her place in everyone’s eyes.
Thank you ladies for hosting both these readalongs and taking the time out to come up with all the questions. It’s been very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to spending time with Tiffany again later in the year.
Hi everyone. Today is the first week in the A Hat Full of Sky readalong being hosted by Little Red Reviewer and Dab of Darkness. These books are such good fun – if you haven’t read them but fancy a really refreshing blast of humour then get onboard – it’s not too late, this is a lovely leisurely schedule so there’s lots of time to catch up! Plus, once you start reading about Tiffany you’ll get swept along (not to mention the Nac MacFeegle). If you haven’t read these books already however you might wish to stop reading from hereon-in as spoilers will be running amok like little blue men! You have been warned.
What do you think of Miss Level and her housemate Oswald? Did you guess the secret about her identity before she told Tiffany the truth?
Wow, the world of Miss Level is totally out there! I think Tiffany is in for a very strange time. And, no, I confess, I hadn’t guessed about her identity. At first, I hadn’t realised that there was a third character in the mix – I had this weird idea that Miss Level had run amok with the whole ‘see me’ thing and had created a sort of other version of herself that was running around but, not only does she have ‘another’ self (which actually is a little bit creepy if you really think about it) but she has Oswald, an ondageist, who runs around tidying up! It sounds divine – where can I get me one of those?? Although not sure I like the idea of Oswald just being able to go wherever he wants when he wants!
What kind of witchy stuff do you think Miss Level will start teaching Tiffany?
It’s a strange form of teaching really isn’t it. A bit like teaching but without being taught. The witches don’t seem to know how they do things but it just seems to be something they have a feel for. It feels like it’s going to be less about teaching, in a traditional sense, and more a sort of coming to the idea of what’s right and what’s not, with a sprinking of herbal lore thrown into the mix.
What do you think of Jeannie? Do you think she’ll get in the way of the Feegle continuing to help Tiffany?
Not quite sure to make of Jeannie yet. She seems a bit bungling (a bit in the way that Roland felt in the first novel). She doesn’t particularly feel malicious at this stage but I do wonder about her with all her beads and baubles and dancing in the woods! A bit like the kind of thing that seemed to have given witches a bad name in the first place when they were thought to be devil worshippers? I must admit I don’t like the idea very much of Tiffany in the woods at night with that weird demon thing searching for her!
Have your feelings for Roland changed any?
Okay, I admit that I was a bit of a meanie on Roland and I’m now feeling slightly sheepish! I just was a bit flabbergasted with his ‘lord to the manor’ behaviour. He seems to have developed a bit of a crush on Tiffany doesn’t he and turned into a blushing maniac now whenever she’s around – it will be interesting to see how that develops.
Which is creepier? a Hiver or a Drome?
A Hiver definitely – it’s a demon after all and just looking for a host to possess! The whole thing with sounding like a bunch of buzzing insects – just creepy.
What really grabbed my attention this time?
The way Tiffany won the battle of the wills with the goat!
“I am no’ deid! I’m trying to have a moment o’ existential dreed here, right?”
The part where the horse and cart, with the Mac Nag Feegles on board, is going faster than the coach and horses that they’re trying to catch in order to get their more speedily. Irony at all?
Good fun. Don’t forget it’s not too late to join in!
AMENDMENT to the question about Jeannie above. Okay, I admit it! I’m a raging doghead! So, now you all know. I answered that question as though I was talking about Petunia (is it Petunia?). Anyway, what can you do. (Perhaps answer the proper question – okay, Jeannie – I didn’t like that she stopped the guys in blue from sending out a bit of a rescue party when they spotted the Hiver was on Tiffany’s tail! But, she has a lot to contend with and I think she’s feeling insecure. She did the right thing as soon as she realised Rob would stay with her if she asked. So I think she’ll be okay.