. Immediately after discovering she is a witch, Tiffany Aching must rescue her younger brother from the Queen of the Fairies.
Nine year old Tiffany Aching is down by the river with her younger brother Wentworth when she sees a pair of men only 6 inches tall with red hair and covered in blue tattoos. They seem to be trying to warn her about something. Moments later a creature comes out of the water. Tiffany snatches up Wentworth and runs. Tiffany goes home, looks the creature up in a book, then goes back to the river with Wentworth whom she uses to lure out the creature, which she then hits with a frying pan.
All this is observed Miss Perspicacia Tick, a witch who can see things in a saucer full of ink. She identifies Tiffany as a potential witch as she can see things others cannot, like the little blue men, the Nac Mac Feegle. When Tiffany visits Miss Tick she learns that something bad is coming. It's the sort of thing her Granny Aching (who may or may not have been a witch) would have done something about.
Tiffany is visited by the Feegles and she catches them trying to steal eggs and sheep. Tiffany discovers the Feegles will do as she says because they think she is the region's witch and so are scared of her. She also learns that the Feegles will do anything to protect her when she is attacked by a headless horseman.
When Tiffany goes to see Miss Tick she finds her gone, however she has left her talking toad, which informs Tiffany that Miss Tick has gone to fetch more witches because all the monsters are coming back.
When Tiffany gets home she finds Wentworth has gone missing. She speaks to the Nac Mac Feegle and their spokesman Rob Anybody tells her that Wentworth has been kidnapped by the Queen of the Fairies. Though she has no help beyond a toad, the chaotic Nac Mac Feegle and a frying pan, Tiffany knows that saving Wentworth is up to her. At first the Feegles are not keen to help, until Tiffany tells them it will be stealing, which is right up their alley.
The Feegles take Tiffany to their underground home to meet the Kelda, who is the Feegles' queen. She tells Tiffany that she will have to go into the Queen's realm to rescue Wentworth, and in return for the Feegles, help Tiffany will take over as Kelda when the current one dies. This also means agreeing to marry Rob Anybody, but Tiffany manages to get out of this by naming a date in the distant future.
Using her ‘first sight and second thoughts' Tiffany finds the way into the Queen's domain and she and the Feegles enter. Overcoming the dream-like dangers and ever-changing landscapes of Fairyland, Tiffany finds Roland, the missing son of the local Baron and he joins them as they hunt for Wentworth.
Tiffany confronts the Queen and tries to escape with Wentworth, with the help of the Feegles. But while getting the unconscious Roland out she loses her brother and the Feegles. The Queen taunts the distraught girl, but now Tiffany draws strength from the land and the memory of Granny Aching to beat the Queen at her own game of intertwining dreams. And suddenly the Feegles and Wentworth are back! The Queen tries to defeat the Feegles with their most feared enemy; lawyers, but the toad turns out to have been a lawyer before he was a toad and defends them. As for the Queen, in the end, with her land and Granny behind her, Tiffany is stronger.
Back in the real world Tiffany gets the approval of the most powerful witch of all, Mistress Weatherwax. When she is old enough, Tiffany will be trained as a witch. For now, life goes back to normal for Tiffany. For now…
Best part of story, including ending:
I love this book because it is not Harry Potter, the magic is down to earth, practical and very hard work!
Best scene in story:
The scene in which 6 inch pictsie Rob Anybody must explain to 9 year old Tiffany that they must marry is very funny.
Opinion about the main character:
Tiffancy Aching is a down to earth girl who recognises that magic is as much about making good cheese as fancy spells.