The Shepherd's Crown

 
0.0
 
4.0 (1)
890 0
The Shepherd's Crown
Age Range
11+
Release Date
September 01, 2015
ISBN
978-0062429971
Buy This Book
      
Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, and the fifth to feature the witch Tiffany Aching. A SHIVERING OF WORLDS Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning. . . . THE FINAL DISCWORLD® NOVEL

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Farewell, Tiffany Aching
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
It is difficult to know whether the gloomy mood I felt while reading The Shepherd’s Crown was due to the book itself or to the fact that the fifth Tiffany Aching novel (and forty-first Discworld novel) was in fact the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s final work.

The Shepherd’s Crown focuses on the young witch Tiffany Aching as she comes fully to find her place both in the non-hierarchy of the witches’ world, in the land of her birth (the Chalk), and in her own life. She finds herself pulled between two steadings, the districts for which, as a witch, she is responsible for doing “what needs to be done” — whether visiting the old and sick, birthing babies, or protecting the inhabitants from supernatural invasion. And, as the book begins, a supernatural invasion does in fact loom: Nightshade, Queen of the Faeries (whom a nine-year-old Tiffany defeated in the first book in the series) finds that the boundaries between her world and Tiffany’s are weak, and she is planning large-scale revenge. Discworld faeries have much more kinship to the Celtic sidhe than to the cute winged creatures of most children’s books or than to Tolkien’s aristocratic elves: they are (literally) glamorous, pitiless creatures who take delight in mayhem ranging from spoiling beer and stealing sheep to kidnap, torture, and murder.


Much of The Shepherd’s Crown centers on Tiffany and her allies (the other witches, the six-inch-tall Nac Mac Feegle) preparing for and ultimately dealing with the elvish incursion.

The characters were always the strong suit of Pratchett’s novels — that and the wild humor. Throughout, we meet up of some of the most memorable characters from the previous forty Discworld novels, particularly the women — Eskarina Smith, Agnes Nitt, Queen Magrat, Nanny Ogg, and of course the indomitable Granny Weatherwax.

In fact, Granny Weatherwax has what I found to be the most memorable scene in the book, a somber, quiet passage that set the tone for the whole novel.

At the same time, we meet a few new characters, most notably a young pacifist named Geoffrey Swivel and his goat Mephistopheles. As Eskarina Smith wished to become the first female wizard in Equal Rites (one of the earliest Discworld books), so Geoffrey decides to become the first male witch, and turns to Tiffany for tutelage.

Most of Pratchett’s writing was notable for its biting satire and wild humor. While there is definitely humor in The Shepherd’s Crown, it feels very subdued. Nanny Ogg and the Nac Mac Feegle crack jokes, but there’s a whistling-in-the-graveyard feel to them. Even the author’s notoriously random footnotes feel more wistful than riotously funny.

There’s one other thing that sets The Shepherd’s Crown apart from Pratchett’s other books. Riotous could well describe the plotting in the earlier volumes in the Discworld series; some of them felt like improvised affairs, held together by brilliantly funny prose, wonderful characters, and fascinating explorations of social themes. In the last decade-plus of his life, the author seemed to be wrestling the chaos of his plots into submission. The plotting in the first four Tiffany Aching books, for example, is tight and well-paced while continuing to be surprising — a masterful balance of Aristotle’s formula that the perfect plot lead to an ending that is both inevitable but unexpected.

In his final novel, there’s much less of the unexpected. Events unroll in a satisfying manner, but rarely do they surprise.

This leaves me to wonder whether Pratchett’s late-found discipline with regard to narrative form might have come as a result of his struggles with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease — that as his memory became less reliable, he was forced to tame his myriad-minded genius for invention. This, however, is probably a pointless speculation, and finally irrelevant.

Pratchett was a brilliant, insightful satirist who happened to turn to fantasy as his medium, but whose novels and stories constantly pushed the reader to re-examine assumptions and prejudices. As such, The Shepherd’s Crown may not have been his crowning achievement, but it is a fitting and satisfying cap on an magnificent career.
Good Points
The characters are, as always in Terry Pratchett books, fabulous. The world he created in the Discworld books is wonderful and rich. This is a very satisfying conclusion to a fabulous YA fantasy series (the Tiffany Aching books).
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Grant Beagan: The Finder's Code
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s just an ordinary teenager who likes astronomy, video games,...
Fisher- Price Fun in the Jungle: Explore, Touch, and Feel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Children will love exploring the different textures in this playful...
Glitter Globes: The Night Before Christmas
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On the night before Christmas, all over the house, not...
Belinda Fellgate: HellCat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary teen fantasy about an inept 14-year-old girl who...
Breathless
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Jennifer Niven, the #1 New York Times bestselling author...
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer...
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A broken world. An overwhelming evil. ...
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other....
Sword of the Seven Sins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eva Marteinn never wanted to be a killer. Raised...
Things That Should Stay Buried
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must...
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy...
Horrid
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes...
Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The latest phenomenal work from New York Times Bestselling author...
The Adventures of Bubba Jones (#4): Time Traveling Through Grand Canyon National Park
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth book of this award-winning national park series,...
The Companion
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to...
Sanctuary
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens...

Latest Member Reviews

Breathless
 
4.0
"BREATHLESS is a book about change, secrets, and the aftermath. Claudine (Claude) is about to graduate high school, and she..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"SKYHUNTER is an enthralling and lush YA fantasy. Lu really paints the story with her words, and this new novel..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"I wasn't sure what to expect with The Library of Lost Things, but I know I didn't anticipate a book..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra, a teenager from the 2160s, is put into cryogenic stasis fulling expecting to wake up on another planet one..."
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
"KINGDOM OF ICE AND BONE picks up where the first book left off. Lira and Reyker are separated and each..."
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
"HOW IT ALL BLEW UP is an absolutely riveting coming-out story. Amir Azadi is an Iranian American who has always..."
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
"A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology. When her..."
The Shadow Mission (The Athena Protocol, #2)
 
4.3
"THE SHADOW MISSION is an even better sequel to THE ATHENA PROTOCOL with lots of action and spy-related danger. In..."
Horrid
 
4.3
"HORRID is an intensely creepy story that follows Jane and her mother, Ruth. Jane's father has just died and after..."
Color Outside the Lines
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: The stories vary in genre, time period, and the makeup of the couples, but many of them..."
I'll Be the One (I'll Be the One #1)
 
5.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Haneul "Skye" Shin is talented, fat, and contrary to the max. Her mom tells Skye she..."
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
 
5.0
"LEGENDBORN is absolutely thrilling YA fantasy that captivated me from the start. Bree gained early entrance into UNC-Chapel Hill and..."
Blood & Honey
 
5.0
"This is going to be a hard review to write because I have so many words that want to come..."
Don't Call the Wolf
 
5.0
"Ren is the queen of the forest, a lynx shifter, and the protector of the forest's creatures. When a dragon..."
The Companion
 
4.3
"Everyone thinks Margot is lucky. She's the sole survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her family. While at..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.0
"Thea Hope has learned alchemy as her mother's apprentice, forced into the shadows when all she wants is equal credit..."
Foul is Fair
 
3.0
"Elle is part of the glittering crowd, beautiful and untouchable, or so they believe. One night, Elle and her friends..."
Burn Our Bodies Down
 
4.0
"Audiobook review Margot is tired of not getting answers from her mother about where she came from..."
His Hideous Heart
 
4.0
"HIS HIDEOUS HEART is a powerhouse of incredible writers retelling different works of Edgar Allen Poe. From "The Raven" to..."
Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness duology)
 
4.0
"Having loved the original Fair Assassin books, I was cautiously optimistic about this new duology continuing Sybella's story and introducing..."