Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS Y-A list.
I think I’ll always have a soft-spot for imaginative young-adult speculative fiction and as the good people at Locus did such a grand job with picking their Sci-Fi winners, I’ll trust them to single out some special y-a books too.
I've never tried to write a review on my phone before, but my darling wife has just reinstalled Warcraft for the first time since Fin was born and has claimed the PC for the foreseeable future, so I guess I'd better practice. (iPhone autocorrect keeps trying to rename my son Gin. This tickles me.)
This is book two in the Tiffany Aching sequence. Isn't sequence the perfect word? Discworld is a series of books, but its weaved of many smaller series within that (witches, guards, Death, Rincewind, etc) - and aside from "series within the bigger series", I've never known the right way to describe them. But the back of this book describes it as book two in the Tiffany Aching sequence and that's the perfect word. It filled a little void in my vocabulary.
So - I think of A Hat Full of Sky as 'the one with the Hiver'. The Hiver is an invisible, magic beastie that possesses people and send them bonkers. Tiffany accidentally lets it into her head and has to watch as a helpless passenger as it takes her body on a rampage (which is a lot of fun - read the scene where she turns a shop assistant into a frog and a 'balloon'!) Then Tiffany has to battle the beastie out of her bonce, with a little assistance from the legendary Granny Weatherwax. The big symbolic climax with the horse carving breaking free from the chalk was... immense! I was proper choked-up.
I've never met a Pratchett story I didn't like and this one maintains that fine record. I think the Tiffany books lack a little of the depth and/or whimsy that my very favourite Discworld books have, but they're also signficantly better than the weaker Discworld books. Overall, they're excellent YA books that I'm very happy to highly recommend.
After this I read: Ship Breaker