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Pride, fear, and trust: weapons

These are the thoughts of a young woman whose life has already been difficult — mostly in the sense of bearing heavy responsibility and being different from others. Now she’s about to face incomprehensible evil, and may not survive:

And what are my weapons? she thought. And the answer came to her instantly: pride. Oh, you hear them say it’s a sin; you hear them say it goes before a fall. And that can’t be true. The blacksmith prides himself on a good weld; the carter is proud that his horses are well turned out, gleaming like fresh chestnuts in the sunshine; the shepherd prides himself on keeping the wolf from the flock; the cook prides herself on her cakes. We pride ourselves on making a good history of our lives, a good story to be told.

I also have fear — the fear that I will let others down — and because I fear, I will overcome that fear. I will not disgrace those who have trained me.

And I have trust, even though I am not sure what it is I am trusting.

From I Shall Wear Midnight, the fourth book of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series of young-adult Discworld books.

11 Comments

  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 6, 2010 8:58 am

    Sounds good! I really do enjoy many “young adult” books, even though I no longer am… 🙂

    Will add it to my “books to be read” pile. Oh, and if you hear a loud crash from NE Wyoming, pay no attention. It’s just my pile falling over again. LOL

  2. Claire
    Claire December 6, 2010 11:03 am

    MamaLiberty,

    If you’re not already a Terry Pratchett fan … well, I fear the toppling of your books-to-read stack may be heard from coast-to-coast once you start piling his on. He’s written dozens of books — and the Discworld books (especially the main series, which I believe is over 20 novels by now) are deliciously witty and anti-authoritarian. The Tiffany Aching books are just a side series. They’re very good; Pratchett’s never written anything not-good. But the main series … Oh, now those will knock your socks off.

    The main series. In order. Via my Amazon.com link.

    Cheers.

  3. Winston
    Winston December 6, 2010 12:38 pm

    I was about to buy a discworld book yesterday, but it sort of confused me that they weren’t numbered…are they not in any specific order to be read?

  4. Grenadier1
    Grenadier1 December 6, 2010 1:25 pm

    Start with “The Colour of Magic”. Then “The Light Fantastic”
    It just gets more fun from there.

  5. Claire
    Claire December 6, 2010 2:04 pm

    Amen, Grenadier1. Winston and anybody else who’s interested … Each book stands alone as a novel. But continuing characters, settings, and customs of the Discworld are introduced as the books go along. So the experience of reading them is richer and more fun when it’s done in order.

    The Discworld/Amazon link above in the comments section shows the publication order, which is also generally the best reading order. There are also fan sites that have the info. But since each book stands alone as a novel, there’s no numbering, as there might be in a trilogy or tetrology — though I sometimes wish there were.

    But really … any book by Terry Pratchett, in any order, is a joy.

    And relish them while you can. Pratchett was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers a few years back. He’s getting the best care in the world and is still writing. But new Pratchett books are a good thing that can’t last too much longer.

    A pity for many reasons. But one is that he’s been planning a Discworld book focusing on taxation — and in his hands, that’s sure to be a hoot.

  6. Winston
    Winston December 6, 2010 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the info guys…shame about the alzheimers.

    I have never read anything by Terry Pratchett but I keep reading great quotes by him or from his books, so I’ll certainly be on the lookout for those first books.

  7. Jim B.
    Jim B. December 6, 2010 8:30 pm

    Speaking of books. There may be those of you who don’t know that Laissez Faire Books has changed hands again. This time LFB has been brought by Agora Financial,which is run by Addison Wiggin and Bill Bonner. Yes, the same authors of the books for those in the know.

    http://www.lfb.org/

    For the next 48 hours, they’re running a 60% sale off for LFB members.
    Just use this coupon code: “LF60ISIL”

  8. Ellendra
    Ellendra December 6, 2010 8:48 pm

    “pride. Oh, you hear them say it’s a sin; you hear them say it goes before a fall. And that can’t be true. The blacksmith prides himself on a good weld; the carter is proud that his horses are well turned out, gleaming like fresh chestnuts in the sunshine; the shepherd prides himself on keeping the wolf from the flock; the cook prides herself on her cakes. We pride ourselves on making a good history of our lives, a good story to be told.”

    I think there’s a translation error in some of those old proverbs, they ignore the difference between “pride” and “arrogance”.

  9. A.G.
    A.G. December 6, 2010 10:05 pm

    Claire, is there a “home page” we can bookmark for your Amazon store front? I only shop from them about once a year, but would be happy to send a little support your way, if possible.

  10. Eric Oppen
    Eric Oppen December 7, 2010 1:08 am

    If you like YA novels, you might look into John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Begins and its six sequels, as well as the subsequent “Ellie” series. It’s about a group of Australian teens who’re on a campout in the bush when Australia’s invaded and their parents and everybody else the invaders can catch are rounded up…and how they fight back. Kind of Red Dawn as Heinlein might have written it…the narrator/protagonist, Ellie Linton, would fit right in with Heinlein’s young heroines.

  11. Claire
    Claire December 7, 2010 6:00 am

    Eric Oppen — Just put a hold on Tomorrow When the War Began (or so the local library gives the title). Thanks for the recommendation.

    A.G. — You’ve already been wonderful in your support! If you follow either of these links to Amazon.com…

    http://www.amazon.com/?tag=livifree07-20

    http://www.amazon.com/?tag=clairewolfeco-20

    … and bookmark the page, you’ll be sending me a little money every time you use that bookmark to make a purchase.

    Ellendra — Agreed. Lots of translation errors. Or just plain old misunderstandings. Words can be such subtle things; most people don’t deal too well with subtlety …

    Jim B. — Didn’t know about the LFB sale. Thanks for the tip!

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