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A Hat Full of Sky

by

A Hat Full of Sky Cover

ISBN13: 9780060586621
ISBN10: 0060586621
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Chapter One
Leaving

It came crackling over the hills, like an invisible fog. Movement without a body tired it, and it drifted very slowly. It wasn't thinking now. It had been months since it had last thought, because the brain that was doing the thinking for it had died. They always died. So now it was naked again, and frightened.

It could hide in one of the blobby white creatures that baa'd nervously as it crawled over the turf. But they had useless brains, capable of thinking only about grass and making other things that went baa. No. They would not do. It needed, needed something better, a strong mind, a mind with power, a mind that could keep it safe.

It searched. . . .

The new boots were all wrong. They were stiff and shiny. Shiny boots! That was disgraceful. Clean boots, that was different. There was nothing wrong with putting a bit of a polish on boots to keep the wet out. But boots had to work for a living. They shouldn't shine.

Tiffany Aching, standing on the rug in her bedroom, shook her head. She'd have to scuff the things as soon as possible.

Then there was the new straw hat, with a ribbon on it. She had some doubts about that, too.

She tried to look at herself in the mirror, which wasn't easy because the mirror was not much bigger than her hand, and cracked and blotchy. She had to move it around to try and see as much of herself as possible and remember how the bits fitted together.

But today . . . well, she didn't usually do this sort of thing in the house, but it was important to look smart today, and since no one was around . . .

She put the mirror down on the rickety table by the bed, stood in the middle of the threadbare rug, shut her eyes, and said: "See me."

And away on the hills something, a thing with no body and no mind but a terrible hunger and a bottomless fear, felt the power.

It would have sniffed the air if it had a nose.

It searched.

It found.

Such a strange mind, like a lot of minds inside one another, getting smaller and smaller! So strong! So close!

It changed direction slightly and went a little faster. As it moved, it made a noise like a swarm of flies.

The sheep, nervous for a moment about something they couldn't see or smell, baa'd . . .

. . . and went back to chewing grass.

Tiffany opened her eyes. There she was, a few feet away from herself. She could see the back of her own head.

Carefully, she moved around the room, not looking down at the "her" that was moving, because she found that if she did that, then the trick was over. It was quite difficult, moving like that, but at last she was in front of herself and looking herself up and down.

Brown hair to match brown eyes . . . well, there was nothing she could do about that. At least her hair was clean and she'd washed her face.

She had a new dress on, which improved things a bit. It was so unusual to buy new clothes in the Aching family that, of course, it was bought big so that she'd "grow into it." But at least it was pale green, and it didn't actually touch the floor. With the shiny new boots and the straw hat she looked . . . like a farmer's daughter, quite respectable, going off to her first job. It'd have to do.

From here she could see the pointy hat on her head, but she had to look hard for it. It was like a glint in the air, gone as soon as you saw it. That's why she'd been worried about the new straw hat, but it had simply gone through the pointy hat as if it wasn't there.

This was because, in a way, it wasn't. It was invisible, except in the rain. Sun and wind went straight through, but rain and snow somehow saw it, and treated it as if it was real.

She'd been given it by the greatest witch in the world, a real witch with a black dress and a black hat and eyes that could go through you like turpentine goes through a sick sheep. It had been a kind of reward. Tiffany had done magic, serious magic. Before she had done it she hadn't known that she could, when she had been doing it she hadn't known that she was, and after she had done it she hadn't known how she had. Now she had to learn how.

"See me not," she said. The vision of her — or whatever it was, because she was not exactly sure about this trick — vanished.

It had been a shock, the first time she'd done this. But she'd always found it easy to see herself, at least in her head. All her memories were like little pictures of herself doing things or watching things, rather than the view from the two holes in the front of her head. There was a part of her that was always watching her.

Miss Tick — another witch, but one who was easier to talk to than the witch who'd given Tiffany the hat — had said that a witch had to know how to "stand apart," and that she'd find out more when her talent grew, so Tiffany supposed the "see me" was part of this.

Sometimes Tiffany thought she ought to talk to Miss Tick about "see me." It felt as if she was stepping out of her body but still had a sort of ghost body that could walk around. It all worked as long as her ghost eyes didn't look down and see that she was just a ghost body. If that happened, some part of her panicked and she found herself back in her solid body immediately. Tiffany had, in the end, decided to keep this to herself. You didn't have to tell a teacher everything. Anyway, it was a good trick for when you didn't have a mirror.

Copyright © 2004 by Terry Pratchett

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

nrlymrtl, April 19, 2013 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
I truly believe that these books, the Tiffany Aching saga, are Terry Pratchett’s best Discworld books. In fact, you don’t really need to know anything about Discworld in order to enjoy these books. The Feegles, or Wee Free Men, that we met in Book 1 are back in Book 2, causing mayhem, misdirection, and the occasional questionable humor. I believe the humorous and serious notes of this book are even better balanced than Book 1, The Wee Free Men. Tiffany is 11 in this book, and her grandmother has been dead and buried for some years, yet she still has a strong presence in Tiffany’s mind. Mistress Weatherwax, who showed up at the end of Book 1, has a much greater role in Book 2, and there is even bonding over pickles and voles. Indeed, Tiffany has a lot to learn and this adventure takes her up against the wall to find out how strong she is.
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aslandish_jha, January 8, 2011 (view all comments by aslandish_jha)
Terry Pratchett is right up there in my favorite authors, and he delivers well with another book in the richly-charactered Tiffany Aching series. A bit lighter on social commentary than some of his other books, but the thoughts are still there, and mixed in nicely with the action.
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emmy213, October 27, 2006 (view all comments by emmy213)
I love this book! It's a really good read. When I first bought it I thought I would never get into it, but by the second page I couldnt put it down! I recommend it to any teenager who is bored. 5 OUT OF 5!!!
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(12 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060586621
Author:
Pratchett, Terry
Publisher:
HarperTrophy
Author:
by Terry Pratchett
Subject:
Girls & Women
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Monsters
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Science Fiction
Subject:
Witches
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Fairies
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
6.72x4.28x1.18 in. .46 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

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A Hat Full of Sky Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages HarperTrophy - English 9780060586621 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This is a wonderful fantasy full of wit, witches, and suspense. Written by the well-known author of the Discworld series, A Hat Full of Sky follows the marvelous We Free Men but stands well on its own. So sit back and enjoy this great summer read.

"Review" by , "By turns hilarious and achingly beautiful, this be just right."
"Review" by , "Pratchett maintains the momentum of the first book, and fans will relish the further adventures of the 'big wee hag,' as Tiffany is known to the Feegles."
"Review" by , "Readers will curl up to read with a sigh of contentment."
"Review" by , "[I]t's the author's lyrical, playful prose and his deft touch with character and the lived-in details of Discworld that make A Hat Full of Sky so enjoyable."
"Review" by , "This book is full of irreverent humor, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and many memorable characters....Fans of the previous book are in for another treat."
"Review" by , "The ever-inventive Pratchett comes through once again with a comic delight that will engage fantasy fans and make them think, too....Exceptional book."
"Review" by , "[T]he best of the Discworld series yet....This coming-of-age story is a great adventure with plenty of magic and laughs and a journey to find one's 'soul and center.' It is highly recommended for all collections."
"Review" by , "A lovely romp for Pratchett fans of all ages."
"Review" by , "Comic interludes, hair-raising danger, and flashbacks mingle in perfect proportion."
"Synopsis" by , Something is coming after Tiffany ...

Tiffany Aching is ready to begin her apprenticeship in magic. She expects spells and magic — not chores and ill-tempered nanny goats! Surely there must be more to witchcraft than this!

What Tiffany doesn't know is that an insidious, disembodied creature is pursuing her. This time, neither Mistress Weatherwax (the greatest witch in the world) nor the fierce, six-inch-high Wee Free Men can protect her. In the end, it will take all of Tiffany's inner strength to save herself ... if it can be done at all.

A Story of Discworld

"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback--the spine-tingling sequel to "The Wee Free Men" from the Carnegie Medalist and author of the bestselling Discworld series. Tiffany Aching is off to begin her apprenticeship in magic, but she's being followed by an insidious presence.

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