Study Guide

The Wee Free Men Genre

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Fantasy; Fairy Tale; Quest


The Wee Free Men invites us as readers to suspend reality and dive into a world where witches are grown, tiny blue men are the most fearsome of fairies, and evil queens kidnap children into dream worlds. Add this all up, and we've got ourselves a classic recipe for a fantasy novel.

Fairy Tale

Let's start with the obvious—this is a story with fairies in it. In fact, there are a whole lot of fairies (if you count the Nac Mac Feegles), and the tale involves a trip to a place called Fairyland. Fairies are not actually a requirement for fairy tales, though, but The Wee Free Men has the kind of whimsical—and kinda dark—narrative that hearkens back to old school fairy tales. It reads like a bedtime story, albeit the kind that might give you nightmares.


In The Wee Free Men, our heroine is undoubtedly the scrappy, clever Tiffany Aching, and her quest takes her into Fairyland in order to bring her baby brother home. The whole goal of the book is to travel into uncharted territory in order to defeat a villain and bring back a prized possession—and that pretty much falls in line with a lot of historic heroes' quests.

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