Writers and publishers often seem to forget that women— and girls— read fantasy too. Luckily, Terry Pratchett is here to remind them. His second Discworld offering, THE WEE FREE MEN (4.5), is a small masterpiece that kids and adults of both genders will enjoy, especially girls. Tiffany is a budding 9-year-old witch, a bit dubious at her prospects since her talents are "making cheese and not running around panicking when things go wrong." Armed with a borrowed talking toad and a frying pan, she finds herself accompanying the Wee Free Men (tiny, blue, sheep-stealing, hard-drinking, sword-wielding "Pictsies") into the heart of Fairyland to rescue her kidnapped baby brother. Tiffany's common sense and resourcefulness are delightful and gratifying, and any reader with a sense of humor would be hard-pressed not to fall in love with the enchanting and somewhat manic writing. Discworld fans will find much to love— other than some minor plot simplifications and a 9-year-old heroine, this is pure, classic Pratchett. (May '03, 263 pp., $16.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum