Aimlessly Going Forward

blog by Tomas Sedovic

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

book, review, discworld

This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.

4/5 stars

"Being a witch is a man’s job. That’s why it needs women to do it."

This is the very last Discworld book. I came to it with a lot of apprehension, after hearing that it was not really finished. The plot is all there, but apparently it’s less polished and fleshed out. To me it felt like a full-fledged proper Discworld novel, but some people feel strongly otherwise.

Without spoiling anything, the novel starts with a really sad event. Not tragic or horrific, but a sad one indeed. I’ve spent a good portion of the beginning in tears. This may be a hindsight bias but I can’t imagine Pratchett not thinking about this being the last book he would write.

But then the story kicks in and it’s a great Tiffany Aching adventure. The barrier between the Fairy world is weak again, and Tiffany is coping with being extremely overwhelmed. As the Elves are gearing towards a new invasion, the witches must all come together and handle this once and for all.

I love the arc Tiffany has gone through in her books. Here, she is still very young, but able to hold the candle to even the most senior witches. It again highlights the much more people-centered approach to witches than most other works of fantasy do. They are community workers first, powerful magic-wielding beings a very distant second.

A lot of characters from the previous books make an appearance and you do get a satisfying final showdown. The ending, as ever is absolutely delightful, wrapping up many of the loose ends and just leaving the reader satisfied.

I’m happy that Terry Pratchett managed to give us one last book before passing on. I’m sad that it’s over forever, but also grateful and content.

28th April 1948 - 12th March 2015 May you rest in peace.

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