So as well as writing stories, I also want to do reviews. My first review is going to be on Terry Pratchett’s last book, The Shepherd’s Crown.
— Warning, Spoilers Ahead! —
So this book is a focus on Tiffany Aching, we’ve met her before, she’s one of the witches of the Discworld and is focused in The Chalk. She has the support of the Nac Mac Feegles and has already fought against the Elves in The Wee Free Men.
Once again the Elves are coming through from Fairyland, the barriers of the world are thin through the devastating death of Granny Weatherwax. We follow Tiffany as she struggles to maintain two villages, train a new witch and fight the evil of the elves. All the while she is also dealing with her own grief and the appearance of the Queen. Although she is no longer the powerful figure we remember. Now she has been usurped and left weakened by the attack.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the no nonsense attitude of Tiffany, Pratchett always manages to create well rounded, human, characters, and I think that this is what was really needed for the book. If we had someone who was complaining and whining about the duties suddenly placed on them a lot of the humour and emotional attachment would have been lost. My favourite scene was Granny Weatherwax’s death, it might sound strange or slightly morbid but I feel like this was Pratchett’s way of giving his readers a chance to say goodbye to him. If certainly felt like it was a conversation between Pratchett and Death. Whether this was on purpose or not, I don’t know, however for me it helps to think that he was able to say goodbye to every reader in a very poignant and emotional scene. (Yes, I cried).
The only problem I actually had with this book was the ending scene between Tiffany and the King of the Elves. It made me feel like Tiffany had been building up to an especially heroic moment only for the King to come in, kill a few people and leave again. Maybe it was because I wanted to see the Elves fight for the world they wanted to conquer, maybe I missed a subtle denial, maybe it’s just me. What I expected was a fight, a Tiffany standing strong on top of a mountain, calling down the powers of Thunder and Lighting to send the Elves screaming into their land, forever afraid of the Witches of the Discworld and their new land of Iron. What we did see was a lot of other witches fighting and a magic stone that helps Tiffany to summon the King.
Perhaps it is just me, but I expected something with a bit more… fizz.
Favourite Character: You, the cat. I’m always a fan of cats, even more so of those that do what they want and leave everyone around them questioning it.
Favourite Scene: Granny Weatherwax and Death. As I’ve already said, it felt like a fitting goodbye to a wonderful character and indeed a fantastic author.
Favourite Quote: ‘One of the figures looked over and gave her a brief nod, whilst the other paused and bowed her head.’ Tiffany bowed back, solemnly, respectfully. A lovely little scene, that gives Tiffany her chance to say goodbye to Granny Aching and Granny Weatherwax, while also giving the readers a sense of closure.
Overall score: 10/10. How can I mark it any lower? Despite what I may not like about it, it certainly wasn’t anything that ruined the story.