Andy, I wouldn't draw too many parallels between Jack Vance and Terry Pratchett. The only explicit nod toward Vance was very early in Pratchett's books where wizards can only pack a limited number of spells into their heads at any one time, a la The Dying Earth. Even that has fallen by the wayside over the years.

The biggest parallel I can see between the two is that both writers tell their own stories in their own way, regardless of popular trends. They both produce works with definite individual styles, too, though you may not notice it at first with Pratchett. Finally, with both of them, you either love him or hate him. There isn't much room for mild like or dislike.

The Wee Free Men is the second of Pratchett's children's books, and it is a whole lot of fun. They Wee Free Men may be a back-handed reference to the Scottish church, but, like everything of Pratchett's, there are multiple references layered, tied and knotted in the story. For instance, the Wee Free Men are "pictsies", tiny aggressive little people who paint themselves blue with woad. They charge as a mass, screaming their war-cry. Of course, since they are the ultimate individualists, they don't use the same war cry; each shouts his own. One of my favorites is, "Dere can be only a thousand," a reference to the Highlander movies and TV show.

And, that's only the Wee Free Men side of the book. They're actually kind of a minor side-line. The book is actually about young Tiffany Aching, who is trying to grow up to be a witch in the decidedly non-magical Chalk country of the Diskworld. Her story is nothing like the average fantasy book about a young magic user.

I liked the book a lot. In fact, I think it's wasted on the kids. If you like The Wee Free Men, you'll want to get the sequel, A Hat Full of Sky, which continues their adventures.