Cover image for Wintersmith
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperTempest, 2006.
Physical Description:
323 p. : 24 cm.
Reading Level:
710 L Lexile
When witch-in-training Tiffany Aching accidentally interrupts the Dance of the Seasons and awakens the interest of the elemental spirit of Winter, she requires the help of the six-inch-high, sword-wielding, sheep-stealing Wee Free Men to put the seasons aright.


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At 9, Tiffany Aching defeated the cruel Queen of Fairyland. At 11, she battled an ancient body-stealing evil. At 13, Tiffany faces a new challenge: a boy. And boys can be a bit of a problem when you're thirteen. . . . But the Wintersmith isn't "exactly" a boy. He is Winter itself--snow, gales, icicles--"all of it," When he has a crush on Tiffany, he may make her roses out of ice, but his nature is blizzards and avalanches. And he wants Tiffany to stay in his gleaming, frozen world. Forever. Tiffany will need all her cunning to make it to Spring. She'll also need her friends, from junior witches to the legendary Granny Weatherwax. They-- "Crivens!" Tiffany will need the Wee Free Men too! She'll have the help of the bravest, toughest, smelliest pictsies ever to be banished from Fairyland--whether she wants it or not. It's going to be a cold, cold season, because if Tiffany doesn't survive until Spring-- --Spring won't come.

Author Notes

Terry Pratchett was on born April 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom. He left school at the age of 17 to work on his local paper, the Bucks Free Press. While with the Press, he took the National Council for the Training of Journalists proficiency class. He also worked for the Western Daily Press and the Bath Chronicle. He produced a series of cartoons for the monthly journal, Psychic Researcher, describing the goings-on at the government's fictional paranormal research establishment, Warlock Hall. In 1980, he was appointed publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board with responsibility for three nuclear power stations.

His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. His first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. He became a full-time author in 1987. He wrote more than 70 books during his lifetime including The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Truckers, Diggers, Wings, Dodger, Raising Steam, Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales, and The Shephard's Crown. He was diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007. He was knighted for services to literature in 2009 and received the World Fantasy award for life achievement in 2010. He died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's back to Discworld for a new Tiffany Aching Adventure, Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. In a starred review of The Wee Free Men, PW called the witch-in-training "funny, sassy and spirited." Here Tiffany unwittingly attracts the attention of the titular spirit of Winter when she interrupts the Dance of the Seasons-and must enlist the aid of the six-inch Wee Free Men to put Nature back in order. The publisher is simultaneously repackaging the first two paperbacks to tie into this third adventure: The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, with the same ISBNs. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate, Middle School) Pratchett's unique blend of comedy and articulate insight is at its vibrant best in this new novel about Tiffany Aching, the older-than-her-thirteen-years witch whose tenacity, fierce intelligence, and common sense lift her to almost mythic stature. It seems typical, hilariously invigorating Pratchett that when Tiffany becomes romantically involved, her suitor is the god of winter. But Tiffany, having thoughtlessly (and disastrously) joined the annual ritual dance that ushers in winter and sends summer underground, has altered the seasons in a way only she can fix. Between arranging the day-before-death funeral of her current mentor and ensuring that uppity Annagramma succeeds at her new witch's practice, Tiffany must deal with both the thrill and the anxiety of romance and set the seasons straight. Wintersmith is as full of rich humor, wisdom, and eventfulness as its outstanding predecessors, and once again Pratchett does what no other does so well: allows readers to think about how we use stories to plot the possibilities in our own lives. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Here's the third Discworld story for younger readers in a series that began with The Wee Free Men 0 (2003) and continued in A Hat Full of Sky 0 (2004). Despite a stern warning from Miss Treason, the eccentric witch from whom 13-year-old Tiffany Aching is learning her craft, the girl has gone and danced with the wrong men. Having inserted herself into a dark reverse Morris dance in which summer and winter achieve their seasonal balance, Tiffany has attracted the amorous attentions of the Wintersmith. To express his ardor, he brings his chilly powers to bear, replete with Tiffany-shaped snowflakes burying the world in the rising drifts of his infatuation. While Granny Weatherwax, Miss Perspicacia Tick, and sundry veteran witches work with Tiffany to restrain the Wintersmith's zeal, the Wee Free Men set off to fetch a Hero to assist Tiffany, along the way adopting a cantankerous blue cheese. Add an assortment of junior witches-in-training, and yet another rollicking, clever, and quite charming adventure is brought to readers, who will find themselves delighted again--or for the first time--by Pratchett's exuberant storytelling. --Holly Koelling Copyright 2006 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Winter must die, and Summer must sink into the ground; it is all part of the Story, and Tiffany Aching has danced into the middle of it. On the last day of autumn, Tiffany travels to the woods to witness the Black Morris, the traditional dance of the gods heralding the arrival of winter. In a moment of heedless excitement, her rollicking feet draw her to the music, and she crashes headlong into the Wintersmith. He is fascinated by the girl and proceeds to "court" her in his own fashion-all the snowflakes are made in her image and giant Tiffany-shaped icebergs appear in the sea. Meanwhile, Tiffany begins to show characteristics of the goddess Summer-the touch of her bare feet makes things grow. All the attention from the Wintersmith would be quite flattering were it not for the deadly winter that threatens the shepherds of the Chalk. As the situation is very dangerous and death is certain, the Nac Mac Feegles (along with an especially lively cheese named Horace) are directly in the fray protecting their "big wee hag" along with Annagramma, Granny Weatherwax, Miss Tick, and other favorites from past adventures. All are skillfully characterized; even the Wintersmith elicits sympathy as he joyfully buries the world in snow in his attempt to win Tiffany. Replete with dry and intelligent humor, this latest in the series is sure to delight.-Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Crivens! When almost-13-year-old Tiffany Aching, apprentice witch, dances into the Dark Morris, she dances into one of the oldest stories of all--the endlessly repeating cycle of the seasons--and wins the heart of the Wintersmith. As the lovestruck god piles Tiffany-shaped snowflake onto Tiffany-shaped snowflake, winter threatens to choke the world, and naturally, it's up to Tiffany and the tiny and raucous Nac Mac Feegles to put the story to rights. Pratchett once again delivers a sidesplittingly funny adventure that overlays a deeply thoughtful inquiry into the nature of narrative and identity: how the stories we tell shape our understanding of ourselves and of the world we inhabit. This is what readers will understand with their Third Thoughts; their First Thoughts will delight in the return of Tiffany, the Feegles and the not-quite-hero Roland, and their Second Thoughts will revel in the homely details of the relationships among the witches and the people they serve. As Wee Billy Bigchin says, "A metaphor is a kind o' lie to help people understand what's true." This one is verra weel done indeed. (Fiction. 10+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.



Wintersmith Chapter One The Big Snow When the storm came, it hit the hills like a hammer. No sky should hold as much snow as this, and because no sky could, the snow fell, fell in a wall of white. There was a small hill of snow where there had been, a few hours ago, a little cluster of thorn trees on an ancient mound. This time last year there had been a few early primroses; now there was just snow. Part of the snow moved. A piece about the size of an apple rose up, with smoke pouring out around it. A hand no larger than a rabbit's paw waved the smoke away. A very small but very angry blue face, with the lump of snow still balanced on top of it, looked out at the sudden white wilderness. "Ach, crivens!" it grumbled. "Will ye no' look at this? 'Tis the work o' the Wintersmith! Noo there's a scunner that willna tak' 'no' fra' an answer!" Other lumps of snow were pushed up. More heads peered out. "Oh waily, waily, waily!" said one of them. "He's found the big wee hag again!" The first head turned toward this head, and said, "Daft Wullie?" "Yes, Rob?" "Did I no' tell ye to lay off that waily business?" "Aye, Rob, ye did that," said the head addressed as Daft Wullie. "So why did ye just do it?" "Sorry, Rob. It kinda bursted out." "It's so dispiritin'." "Sorry, Rob. Rob Anybody sighed. "But I fear ye're right, Wullie. He's come for the big wee hag, right enough. Who's watchin' over her doon at the farm?" "Wee Dangerous Spike, Rob." Rob looked up at clouds so full of snow that they sagged in the middle. "Okay," he said, and sighed again. "It's time fra' the Hero." He ducked out of sight, the plug of snow dropping neatly back into place, and slid down into the heart of the Feegle mound. It was quite big inside. A human could just about stand up in the middle, but would then bend double with coughing because the middle was where there was a hole to let smoke out. All around the inner wall were tiers of galleries, and every one of them was packed with Feegles. Usually the place was awash with noise, but now it was frighteningly quiet. Rob Anybody walked across the floor to the fire, where his wife, Jeannie, was waiting. She stood straight and proud, like a kelda should, but close up it seemed to him that she had been crying. He put his arm around her. "All right, ye probably ken what's happenin'," he told the blue-and-red audience looking down on him. "This is nae common storm. The Wintersmith has found the big wee hag--noo then, settle doon!" He waited until the shouting and sword rattling had died down, then went on: "We canna fight the Wintersmith for her! That's her road! We canna walk it for her! But the hag o' hags has set us on another path! It's a dark one, and dangerous!" A cheer went up. Feegles liked the idea of this, at least. "Right!" said Rob, satisfied. "Ah'm awa' tae fetch the Hero!" There was a lot of laughter at this, and Big Yan, the tallest of the Feegles, shouted, "It's tae soon. We've only had time tae gie him a couple o' heroing lessons! He's still nae more than a big streak o' nothin'!" "He'll be a Hero for the big wee hag and that's an end o' it," said Rob sharply. "Noo, off ye go, the whole boilin' o' ye! Tae the chalk pit! Dig me a path tae the Underworld!" It had to be the Wintersmith, Tiffany Aching told herself, standing in front of her father in the freezing farmhouse. She could feel it out there. This wasn't normal weather even for midwinter, and this was springtime. It was a challenge. Or perhaps it was just a game. It was hard to tell, with the Wintersmith. Only it can't be a game because the lambs are dying. I'm only just thirteen, and my father, and a lot of other people older than me, want me to do something. And I can't. The Wintersmith has found me again. He is here now, and I'm too weak. It would be easier if they were bullying me, but no, they're begging. My father's face is gray with worry and he's begging. My father is begging me. Oh no, he's taking his hat off. He's taking off his hat to speak to me! They think magic comes free when I snap my fingers. But if I can't do this for them, now, what good am I? I can't let them see I'm afraid. Witches aren't allowed to be afraid. And this is my fault. I: I started all this. I must finish it. Mr. Aching cleared his throat. ". . . And, er, if you could . . . er, magic it away, uh, or something? For us . . .?" Everything in the room was gray, because the light from the windows was coming through snow. No one had wasted time digging the horrible stuff away from the houses. Every person who could hold a shovel was needed elsewhere, and still there were not enough of them. As it was, most people had been up all night, walking the flocks of yearlings, trying to keep the new lambs safe . . . in the dark, in the snow. . . . Her snow. It was a message to her. A challenge. A summons. "All right," she said. "I'll see what I can do." "Good girl," said her father, grinning with relief. No, not a good girl, thought Tiffany. I brought this on us. "You'll have to make a big fire, up by the sheds," she said aloud. "I mean a big fire, do you understand? Make it out of anything that will burn . . . Wintersmith . Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.