The Hare Runs Into the Fire

This slightly cryptic title is inspired a book I have finished a short while ago. The title of the book is no less cryptic, namely “I shall wear Midnight”. It’s the latest work by Terry Pratchett. It’s a story about the young witch Tiffany Aching who’s already well known to true Pratchett readers as she used to appear in some of the previous novels before.

Being a witch on discworld is more or less defined as “smoothing out life’s humps and bumps” and “helping people when life’s on the edge”, and they take this obligation seriously.1 This clearly sounds like the job description of a streetworker rather than of a highly skilled magical person.

And yet, Tiffany2 has got a very serious problem with a magical repercussion. She is shocked to learn out that a while ago she had involuntarily summoned an evil being, appearing as a man with empty eye-sockets, that for whatever reason3 goes by the name of “the Cunning Man” that is now committed to kill her or worse4.

How can Tiffany muster the magical power to counter the monster’s attack? And no kidding, that’s precisely what she needs: a fair helping of powerful ancient magic. Of course, she makes it5 and the solution she’s coming up with is genius and earns her the respect of a group of witches who came to witness the burial of the old baron and (on the next day) the wedding of the young baron.

While this more or less concludes the main plot, it wouldn’t be a true discworld novel without at least a short visit to Ankh-Morpork, the fightin’ Nac Mac Feegles, and, of course, without Death himself given an opportunity to crack some CAPS-LOCKED wisdom.

The novel, like its predecessors in the “Tiffany series” primarily addresses younger readers but it is clearly not limited to this audience. Older readers (like me) may also find it quite enjoyable and particularly acknowledge the caring and skilled way of characterizing the cast of the book. I can’t wait go get more of this.

  1. Source: Wikipedia

  2. Who makes a point of not wearing black.

  3. Of course, the search engine of your least mistrust gives you plenty of references to “cunning men”. Only, it is that it is hard to make any sense of these references in the context of this story.

  4. You can never trust an evil being on its intentions, mostly on account of it, well, being evil.

  5. And, yes, that’s where the hare comes into play.