“Do you know what it feels like to be aware of every star, every blade of grass? Yes. You do. You call it ‘opening your eyes again.’ But you do it for a moment. We have done it for eternity. No sleep, no rest, just endless… endless experience, endless awareness. Of everything. All the time. How we envy you, envy you! Lucky humans, who can close your minds to the endless deeps of space! You have this thing you call… boredom? That is the rarest talent in the universe! We heard a song — it went ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’ What power! What wondrous power! You can take a billion trillion tons of flaming matter, a furnace of unimaginable strength, and turn it into a little song for children! You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds, and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!”
Yes, I know that quote is from around the end of the book, but I can’t help it! I love that quote from the Hiver! ^_^ This is the second Discworld book I’ve read, and yes, I know it’s the thirty-second book (according to Goodreads.com at least), but hey, this, and Wintersmith, were the first Discworld books I could get my hands on! Anyvay…. this one comes before Wintersmith (which is the thirty-fifth), and has Tiffany leaving the Chalk for the first time to go stay with a witch.
The one she ends up with is Miss Level. Or should I say ones? This is because there are two of Miss Level. No, not twins, she has two bodies (how seriously awesome is that?!) Anyway, she’s very nice. On the way to her house, we find Tiffany doesn’t like flying. Of course, Tiffany only found out about the second Miss Level the next morning, after also discovering that there was a sort of spirit in the house who kept everything clean and got really really ticked off if you prevented him from getting something clean.
But that’s not what we’re here to discuss (unfortunately). We’re here for a summary of the story. Here goes. *rolls up imaginary sleeves* Tiffany Aching (that wonderful witchy girl) leaves the Chalk (as I mentioned earlier) for the first time and stays with Miss Level. She is being followed by a hiver, a bodyless creature that inhabits the brightest people they can find (people, or animals), and take them over, making them more powerful, but ultimately destroying their mind.
Freaky. Of course, the Nac Mac Feegles know she’s being chased by one. And after Rob Anybody does quite a bit of “pining”, which he said was “thinking”, Jeannie, his wife, allowed him to go. That scene was one of my favorites. XD She makes him promise not to go, but then suddenly she’s got her stern Kelda look on (“Oh waily waily waily! Not the pursin’ o’ the lips!”) and she orders him to go help Tiffany. The poor guy gets confused and says that she just told him to stay, she says she was telling him that as his wife, but now she’s ordering him to go, as his kelda. And she lays a gease on him.
Here I interrupt the summary to tell you about a favorite scene of mine. One of the many ones I have from the book. Rob starts explaining that they are to go help Tiffany get rid of the hiver (major flaw in the plan: a hiver is indestructable), and says that Jeannie layed a gease on him. This is where the fun part comes in. Daft Wullie thinks that Rob meant geese. So he starts talking about geese. And when Rob says it’s a heavy thing to be under a gease, Wullie says “Aye, they’re mighty big birds”. XD Moving on!
When Tiffany gets the hiver in her, and starts doing weird things. Well, DUH! Of course she’d be doing weird things if she has this weird, power giving entity inside her! Anyway, the hiver kills one of Miss Level’s bodies, and the Feegles arrive (HIP HIP HOORAY!). They knock out “Tiffany”, and then do the “craw step” and get into her head. And by that I mean mind. So while Rob anybody fights against overwhelming odds (which is a Feegle’s favorite kind of fight), the others go to get things while using Miss Level’s broomsticks. This had another of my favorite things. They go around, and other than slight disturbances, all that you hear is “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhh” trailing off into the distance. 😛
So they get the hiver out of Tiffany’s head, and Granny Weatherwax comes. So she helps Miss Level get over losing one of her bodies and shows her that she can still move things as if her other body was there. That, and it will make the people she looks after respect her more. So she and Tiffany go to the witchy gathering thingy where they all show off what they’ve learned, and the hiver follows them. Tiffany sends it through the door that Death always takes people through. She talks to Death as well, and Rob Anybody, who was with her (he actually joked and said if he’d known he was going to see a Feegle, he would have worn protective clothing), attacks Death. Oysh….. sometimes those little blue men don’t think at all before they do something. Anyway, Granny Weatherwax opens the door again and pulls Tiffany through.
Tiffany is given Granny Weatherwax’s hat, and all the other girls are in awe. To go with that, Tiffany terrorizes Anagrama into being nice. And it gives Petulia enough courage to tell Anagrama not to ever dare cutting her off again.
The book was excellent, and the only other Discworld one I’ve read so far, but it is definitely a favorite. The Feegles are still my absolute favorite characters. ^_^ Anyway, this book is one that everyone should read (in my humble opinion). Of course, on Goodreads, I rated it 5 stars. 😉 It’s a pity you can’t do ten.