Thursday 7 April 2016

Book Review - The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

With this being the last book from Terry Pratchett and most likely the last Discworld novel I'd put off reading this for some time. I'm a big fan of his writing and the Discworld series in particular and while this wasn't the best of the series (Small Gods is my favourite) it is a welcome return.

The story focuses on the more recent characters with the witch, Tiffany Aching as the main protagonist and of course the attendant Mac Feegles - who add a bit of fun to every story. As well as some short appearances from old favourites, there's some new characters to meet. I liked Geoffrey, a young man with a rather spectacular goat. The quick cameos did feel a little forced though.

The story itself is a familiar blend of social commentary and humour. I didn't have many laugh out loud moments, but the humour did keep me smiling through most of it. One of my favourite scenes was the goblin facing the Queen of the Fairies. I like the goblins and would have liked to see more of them.

The faeries provide the enemy in the conflict and are well represented with their casual cruelty, but there are some twists and turns here. Although it's here that I had a few issues with the book. In his best writing there are subtleties and nuances that strike you after reading the lines and I found this aspect missing from The Shepherd's Crown. The plot was solid and well paced and as always his writing is strong, but just lacked the sparkle evident in some of his other books.

Reading a Discworld novel is like putting on well worn socks - they're lovely and comfortable. This final book felt like that, there was a comfort to it, it followed his established pattern. I enjoyed reading it a lot, but it won't be the book that his remembered for.

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…

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