Terry Pratchett continues to amaze. ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ contains everything I have loved about the Tiffany Aching books, and Discworld in general, and managed to mature everything in such a wonderful, sneaky way I didn’t realize it until I was so caught up in the end I could do nothing but smile with the sheer pleasure of reading.
It was brilliant to watch Tiffany go from self assured girl to confident young woman, a proper witch in her own right. It didn’t happen all at once- in unfolded slowly, perfectly, as each page was turned. The Cunning Man was a frightening opponent, and a perfect match for Tiffany’s wit, second, and third thoughts. Most importantly, it was an opponent she had to face alone- to Feegle trick or band of witches could help her through this one. The Cunning Man rang relevant and true to me, as a reader, as well. He is the quiet, dangerous voice that whispers poison in people’s ears and urges them towards intolerance, distrust and hatred.
It really was the quiet sense of maturity that impressed me the most about the book, and about Tiffany. I love that it pulled thoughts from the previous books together into a wonderful whole. I have always loved the Tiffany books for the fun and the Feegles. ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ took that winning base and made it into something that is more than amusement- something that even the oldest ‘kids’ could get something lasting out of.
I admit to tearing up a bit at the end. I caught myself reading with open mouth and wide eyes. Smiles wriggled their way across my face, and I only noticed them when someone else passed through the room and caught me reading.
Simply, it is a stunning book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.