Saturday, October 30, 2010

CBRII (book 52): I shall wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett

I started the cannonball read with Terry Pratchett's latest, so it seems only appropriate that I finish it, a year later, with his new latest.

I Shall Wear Midnight is the fourth of the Tiffany Aching books, the teenage witch of the Chalk with the love of words and the will of iron. It's written for 'young adults', but like all good books in that genre, it's really just a book written about young adults.

In I Shall Wear Midnight, we are introduced to the Cunning Man. Imagine if the attitudes of every Witchhunter became a kind of incorpreal entity, capable of slipping into people's minds ('poison goes where poison's welcome'). That's the Cunning Man. That's who Tiffany has to fight.

This one gets dark, hell, this one starts dark. But it ends light. Properly light, not the 'happily ever after' variety but the 'we're making it better, and there's a lot to be grateful for' variety. Like a lot of his later books, Pratchett is moving away from the farcial satire and towards human-driven humourous satire. It's still showing us what's wrong with ourselves, but it's tempered with the notion that we have the glorious capacity to make it right.

And if you can achieve that with the help of some foul-mouthed 'friends', all the better.

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