by Terry Pratchett
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It starts with whispers.
Then someone picks up a stone.
Finally, the fires begin.
When people turn on witches, the innocents suffer. . . .
Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren t sparkly, aren t fun, don t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy.
But someone or something is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her.
Chilling drama combines with laughout-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil.
The fourth installment of the Tiffany Aching series gives a better idea of what it means for Tiffany to be THE witch of the Chalk. The previous three books gave us more details of what witches in Terry Pratchett's Discworld universe have to DO, but this one shows us how important the roles are that the witches play in their stead for their people.
Tiffany has accomplished quite a lot from her first experiences as a witch as an adolescent to now, as a young woman. She has demonstrated an ability to both wield magic and be the person in charge of her area skillfully, and in doing some of the more remarkable things, has awoken a monster that has spelt doom for many witches before her (and even for people who had nothing to do with witchcraft whatsoever). She has to try to stop this thing, all while her maybe, kind-of, but definitely not really boyfriend is getting ready to get married to someone else.
There is comedy throughout this story (which makes sense when you have cursing little blue men in kilts), as there always is in a Pratchett book. But there is also magic, and darkness, and fear, and a lesson in doing the thing that needs to be done, even when the choices are bad and worse.
Review done by a guest reviewer. Name withheld by request.