I've been reading Pratchett books for such a large part of my life. Knowing there will be no more Discworld, no more cheerful yet insightful adventures from the colourful inhabitents of that world on the back of four giant elephants — propelled through space by the Great A'Tuin, is a sad and sobering thought. A distinct reminder of one's own mortality.
Books by Sir Terry Pratchett have brought so more joy, thought and wonder than any other author alive or dead. I've been a fan right from the start and wish I'd had the opportunity to meet such a sharp and witty character. I recently realised that Sir Terry used to visit my home town on many occasions and was good friends with someone I knew. Knowing all this I'm sure you will understand that there is no way that this review will be in any way unbiased.
The Shepherds Crown is the final ever Discworld novel, if not the final Pratchett novel (we still have at least one more in the Long Earth series) and centers around the adventures of the teenage witch, Tiffany Aching. You can't have a Tiffany Aching story without those little loyal blue friends "the wee free men".
The young adult novels have always been my least favorite in the Discworld series however for all it's rough edges and unfinished feeling, The Shepherds Crown is a wonderful, rich and funny story. It has everything you could need from a story — a serious threat to the world, a strong heroine, bags of humour and some heart-tugging moments. It's also strangely prescient with one of the Discworlds most loved characters passing away and chatting on equal footing with DEATH, as you can imagine Sir Terry may have done. But it's bittersweet rather than sad, a tale of rebirth rather than death.
So because of all these things, because this is the last of the finest series in print, written by one of the sharpest minds of this or any other generation, because it is a rich, rewarding story with some rough edges, because its got some of the finest characters ever to have sprung from Sir Terry's mind, The Shepherds Crown is a fitting end to the Discworld, simply unmissable.
Written on 26th October 2015 by Ant.
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