This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
“Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for.”
This is the one-before-last Tiffany Aching novel. Tiffany, now around 16 years old is the witch of The Chalk. Her home country. It’s not a glamorous job, but someone’s got to do it and Tiffany’s great at it. But things start to go terribly wrong.
And I mean terribly. The beginning is super dark and for a while, things just get worse and worse. We see the rise of anti-witch sentiments and actions worthy of our own horrific history (and present in some places).
But, mercifully (for a sensitive reader in late 2020 who’s just about holding it together), things get better. I think as with every other Tiffany Aching book, at the end of the day, this is a fairy tale. Without the edges sanded off, but still.
And so the story moves along, mysteries get resolved and the whole thing finishes with an absolutely wonderful ending that brought me to tears. The good kind.
But throughout the book, with the hindsight, one can’t help but feel that the author thought this may be the last book he would write. Old characters appear, long-forgotten treads get wrapped up. Which is really lovely, but also quite sad.
Still, overall this is a wonderful book — the best one of the Tiffany Aching bunch yet and one of the top ones in the whole Discworld series.