Book Review: Sir Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men

Posted February 25, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Sir Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men

Wee Free Men


Sir Terry Pratchett

It is part of the , series and is a fantasy, satire in Hardcover edition that was published by HarperTrophy on April 29, 2003 and has 264 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Color of Magic, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, Eric, Equal Rites, Mort, The Shepherd's Crown, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, A Blink of the Screen, Reaper Man

Thirtieth in the Discworld fantasy series for kids and first in the Tiffany Aching subseries. Adults will get a kick out of this too!

In 2004, Wee Free Men won the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the ALA Notable Children’s Book for Older Readers. It was nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. In 2003, it won the Parenting Book of the Year Award, the WH Smith Teen Choice Award, and the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults.

My Take

Oh. My. God. This is too much of a treat! I am so glad Mindi pushed me into reading this! Pratchett has too much fun, poking fun at everything and everyone, and I can’t wait to go back and start with the first in the series, The Color of Magic. It will be an amusing adventure!

He certainly has fun with a number of stereotypes: the big-sister/pain-in-the-butt little brother who always has to be watched and wants to tag along; the truth about those flippin’ fairytales; Picts and pixies, and the invincibility of the small(!); lawyers; and, our idea of magic. I did appreciate the major point Pratchett pushed throughout the series: to learn to see with your own mind and not accept what others say as fact. I do hope that other lesson sticks to me… Then there are the dreams: the truth of their reality, their power.

The Wee Free language was a crack-up! Crivens, I did enjoy it! Oh, and the teachers! Omigod, omigod, yep, I allus wanted ta larn jograffy. Then there’s the lesson the pictsies provide Ratbag in not going after the wee burdies. LMAO. There’s a thought-provoking paragraph or four I enjoyed about the different sounds light would make, depending upon what it reflected off.

“The Printers knew their readership and printed the Alamanack on soft, thin paper”.

Oh, too sad, and a rather nice resolution to the problem of Miss Infant Female Robinson. It does take a village.

Hmmm, an interesting lesson for Roland at the end. Our Tiffany’s larnin’.

Ah well, I’m offski for now…

The Story

It’s just a day in the life of your average almost-youngest child, her work in the dairy making cheese, and, oh yes, watching out for her disgusting baby brother.

And Jenny Green-Teeth is only the first of the monsters to show…!

The Characters
Tiffany Aching is the second youngest in the Aching family — Oh, lordy, the pun Pratchett has with that last name! — who has lived on this land for generations, and she has the First Sight and the Second Thoughts. Wentworth is her little brother, and he’s a bit of a tick himself. Fastidia and Hannah are two of her sisters. Ratbag is the family cat.

Sarah “Granny” Aching was the local…um…talent, who looked out for the sheep. The Baron doesn’t allow witches to live…eek… Thunder and Lightning are her sheepdogs.

Nac Mac Feegles, a.k.a., pictsies, are the Wee Free Men and never shall they be “be fooled again!” Aye, they may be thieves, but they have standards. “They’re the most feared of all the fairy races,” although there is one species on this earth and any other plane of existence whom they fear — the lawyers! The kelda is their ruler. Fion is the kelda’s daughter. Rob Anybody is their leader; Big Yan; Daft Wullie, who keeps opening his mouth when he shouldn’t; William is the Feegle’s bagpiper, poet/historian, and the kelda’s brother; Not-as-big-as-Medium-Sized-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock is an aspiring bagpiper/bard; One-Eyed Archie; Big Angus; Wee Angus; Not-as-big-as-Big-Angus; and, on and on… Oh, I mustn’t forget Hamish and the help Tiffany provides him in exchange for his reconnaissance flights.

Miss Perspicacia Tick is a witch. A very practical-minded witch who is a bit perspicacious and not above taking the mickey out of ya. A talking toad is her familiar. His crime is eventually revealed…snicker… Mistress Weatherwax, a most famous witch, and Mrs. Ogg, who can’t move for cake, is another witch.

The Baron owns the Aching farm and many others. He can be reasonable. Roland is the Baron’s twelve-year-old son who went missing.

The Quin, er, I mean Queen, wants to take over our world using her grimhounds and the dream-spinning Dromes.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a colorful woodcut style with an angry-looking bunch of wee free men clambering over a rather smug-looking sheep.

The title stands for the most interesting group of people, The Wee Free Menyou’ll adore them.