Wee Free Men concerns a young girl, Tiffany Aching, who lives in a sheep-farming part of the Disc known as The Chalk. He grandmother was a wise if somewhat awkward old woman who knew a lot about sheep. Tiffany stumbles upon evidence that another world is about to collide with the Disc. It’s not going to be pretty and someone needs to do something. Tiffany decides that someone will be her.
Along the way she’s aided by the Nac Mac Feegle, who are the Wee Free Men of the title. We first met these in Carpe Jugulum and they are, I suppose, entertaining though I could never quite get over the obvious stereotype they draw from.
Wee Free Men is another Discworld YA book and again I had the feeling it wasn’t aimed at me. Doubly so because the protagonist is a young girl and there’s a lot in there about not being taken seriously because you’re a) a girl, b) smart/bookish and c) not interested in being a girly girl. All of which is fair enough and a great thing for its target audience, it’s just not who I am, obviously.
That said I did like Tiffany. I also liked her grandmother, who was similar to but identical with Granny Weatherwax (who makes a brief cameo). It’s no huge spoiler to say that a large part of the book took place in a world where dreams and reality inter-mingle and I felt like I’ve seen that done a lot better, including by Mr Pratchett, before. I did however like the the scene where an over-indulgent queen gives a small child every kind of sweet he could ever want, and he freaks out because as soon as he chooses one he’s automatically not choosing any of the others – which is kind of how I feel about choosing the next book to read ;)
7/10 – a Discworld book about witches – therefore fun.