This was the first Terry Pratchett book I read, introducing me to Discworld! Like many of his works, Pratchett’s satire is biting, the wordplay is clever, and the “punes” (or is that “puns”) are plentiful. I think this book makes a nice introduction for kids into Discworld!
I also highly recommend listening to this book on audio. It is read by Stephen Briggs, and he does an amazing job with all the character voices! He also reads a number of other Terry Pratchett books.
Tiffany Aching is a young farm girl living on the Chalk. She works hard, and she makes good cheese. However, she is anything but ordinary (even by Discworld standards). In a world where every girl dreams of being a fairy tale princess, Tiffany “preferred the witches to the smug handsome princes and especially to the stupid smirking princesses, who didn’t have the sense of a beetle…She couldn’t be the prince, and she’d never be a princess, and she didn’t want to be a woodcutter, so she’d be the witch and know things…”
Tiffany draws attention to actual witches living around Discworld when she confronts Jenny Green-Teeth, a water monster that…well…just shouldn’t have been in stream near the Aching farm. It wasn’t real. It came out of fairy tales and bad dreams. What was it doing there. And then her younger brother got kidnapped.
In the meantime, Tiffany earns the respect of a group of wild, red-headed, kilted, little blue men, the Nac Mac Feegle, who’s proud claim to fame includes stealing, drinking, fighting, and sometimes all three at the same time. They are absolutely fearless, except in the presence of lawyers (“Oh, waily, waily!”).
They agree to help Tiffany find her brother who has been taken by a Queen whose magical land is made up of dreams, stories, and getting everything you want until it kills you. It is here that Tiffany must prove herself as a girl who is strong enough, smart enough, and angry enough to become a true witch. Then again, she could take the advice of the witch Miss Tick:
“‘You could say this advice is priceless,’ [Miss Tick] said. ‘Are you listening’
“‘Yes,’ said Tiffany.
“‘Good. Now…if you trust in yourself…’
“‘…and believe in your dreams…’
“‘…and follow your star…’ Miss Tick went on.
“‘…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy. Good-bye.'”