"A fine fantasy tale with a social message"
Eleven-year-old Tiffany Aching leaves the Chalk and her
friends, the six-inch Nac Mac Feegle, to apprentice as a
witch in training to a professional. Saying goodbye to
Granny Aching was hard and departing from her Wee Free Men
pals (at least her buddies when the Nac Mac Feegle are not
drunk) is not easy, but service at her advanced age is
expected. So though her parents are fooled as to whom she
will work for, Tiffany leaves with Miss Tick to begin her
Unlike when she was young and immature, Tiffany as she
enters adolescence has become aware of her looks. This
attentiveness to her outer beauty makes her prone to
attack from terrible beings. The hiver, a being that
seeks out the potentially powerful by stealing control of
the host's mind until the victim dies, sees Tiffany as a
perfect lodging locale. The parasite begins the pre-
occupation and occupation with only Nac Mac Feegle to try
to rescue his young pal.
As he did with the way out THE WEE FREE MEN, Terry
Pratchett does again with the sequel that is as sharp a
satire as a reader will find. The story line makes it
clear that to find one's full self, one must accept flaws,
blemishes, and foibles; not an easy task in a youthful
beauty is best society. Tiffany and Nac Mac are terrific
characters though they be inane at times and the hiver is
as vile a villain as there is. A HAT FULL OF SKY is
amusing, but though nutty, the plot never loses sight of
the key underlying message while entertaining the author's
vast universe of fans.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted May 15, 2004
The Heroine: Tiffany Aching, incipient witch and cheese
maker extraordinaire. Once saved world from Queen of the
Elves. Is about to discover that battling evil monarchs is
child's play compared to mortal combat with a Hiver (see
below). At eleven years old, is boldest heroine ever to
have confronted the Forces of Darkness while armed with a
The Threat: A Hiver, insidious disembodied presence drawn
to powerful magic. highly dangerous, frequently lethal.
Cannot be stopped with iron or fire. Its target: Tiffany
Aching (see above).
The Nac Mac Feegle: A.k.a. the Wee Free Men. Height: six
inches. Color: blue. Famed for drinking, stealing, and
fighting. Will attack anything larger than themselves.
Members include: Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, and Awfully Wee
Billy Bigchin. Allies to Tiffany Aching (see above).
The Book: Hilarious, breathtaking, spine-tingling sequel to
the acclaimed Wee Free Men.
The Author: Terry Pratchett, celebrated creator of the
internationally best-selling Discworld series. Carnegie
Medalist and writer extraordinaire.