I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld #38) by Terry Pratchett
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 laugh-out-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.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Terry Pratchett was an absolute genius. He had the most wonderful talent at taking everyday themes and making them both funny and sad and above all thought-provoking. I have enjoyed every single one of his books and think life really is incredibly cruel that he was afflicted with such a horrible disease and passed away way before his time.
TP’s other strength was his characters. My favourites have always been the Witches, City Guard and Trolls and this story has two of the three with appearances from all the main figures. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have always dominated the Witches stories but this story puts Tiffany well and truly at their level.
This book is listed as Young Adult (YA) but it takes on some very heavyweight subjects. Straight out of the blocks it’s domestic violence and closely followed by the main theme of racism/xenophobia. It was published just over 10 years ago but in the modern world of Brexit and Trump politics it’s sadly more relevant than ever.
Two quotes for me stand out from this book:
It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.Terry Pratchett. Author’s Note
Poison goes where poison’s welcome.Mrs Proust. Chapter 7