A Hat Full of Sky
by Terry Pratchett
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
278 pages; ISBN: 0060586605
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
A Hat Full of Sky
HarperCollins, Jun 2004, $16.99, 278 pp.
Eleven-year-old Tiffany Aching leaves the Chalk and her friends, the six-inch Nac Mac Feegle, to apprentice as a witch in training to a professional. Saying goodbye to Granny Aching was hard and departing from her Wee Free Men pals (at least her buddies when the Nac Mac Feegle are not drunk) is not easy, but service at her advanced age is expected. So though her parents are fooled as to whom she will work for, Tiffany leaves with Miss Tick to begin her training.
Unlike when she was young and immature, Tiffany as she enters adolescence has become aware of her looks. This attentiveness to her outer beauty makes her prone to attack from terrible beings. The hiver, a being that seeks out the potentially powerful by stealing control of the host’s mind until the victim dies, sees Tiffany as a perfect lodging locale. The parasite begins the pre-occupation and occupation with only Nac Mac Feegle to try to rescue his young pal.
As he did with the way out THE WEE FREE MEN, Terry Pratchett does again with the sequel that is as sharp a satire as a reader will find. The story line makes it clear that to find one’s full self, one must accept flaws, blemishes, and foibles; not an easy task in a youthful beauty is best society. Tiffany and Nac Mac are terrific characters though they be inane at times and the hiver is as vile a villain as there is. A HAT FULL OF SKY is amusing, but though nutty, the plot never loses sight of the key underlying message while entertaining the author’s vast universe of fans.
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