Sanrock Reviews

looking at things from a literary viewpoint

The Shepherd’s Crown Review

Here it is folks, my review of the last ever Discworld book the Shepherd’s Crown. Some of you may be asking, “what took so long?” Well, I was kinda apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve been burned by the last few Discworld books and I needed some time to get over the fact that this was the last ever book. I finally read and the finished the book and my apprehensions were right.

Tiffany Aching has inherited Granny Weatherwax’s cottage and position after Weatherwax’s death. Yes, Granny Weatherwax is dead. More on that later. Tiffany is having problems filling Weatherwax’s shoes as the new head witch. Meanwhile, the elves see this as an opportunity to attack.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: Granny Weatherwax is dead. One of the greatest and most powerful characters on the disc and Pratchett decided to kill her off. Well, Pratchett has done that plenty of times before with certain characters (Cohen, anyone?) But, still, when you read that part it will be a huge shock.

As for the story itself, it isn’t all that interesting. It’s just Tiffany doing her witch’s duties and trying to be as good as Granny Weatherwax. It may be a typical coming of age story, but most of what happens just isn’t’ all that interesting . Even the whole idea of a male becoming a witch (and a good one at that” seems more like a minor plot point that just happens.

When the elves do finally arrive, there’s a battle. Yes, an actual fantasy style battle in a Discworld book, a series that for the past thirty years tried to be the OPPOSITE of what makes a fantasy book. Even how it all ends is uneventful  and feels rushed.

Someone on Amazon even said that this book reads like it wasn’t written by Pratchett. I agree. I did not laugh once, it wasn’t smart in any way, the story plodded along, the plot was dull and the characters didn’t act like they should.

Once again, I’m a huge Pratchett fan. I thought the guy was brilliant and even cried when he died. I just felt his post-Alzheimer’s books lacked the same quality as his pre-Alzheimer’s books.

Despite that, I’m kinda glad I read this book. To me, it  gives a sense of closure to the career of one of the best fantasy writers this generation. Granted, the book isn’t all that good, but still.

The Shepherd’s Crown is the final book in the Discworld and one of the weaker one. The only reason to read this book is for completionist and closure sake. If you want to honor Pratchett in any way, read the Watch books. Read The Truth, Lords and Ladies, the Death books. This one will only be remembered as the Discworld book and that’s it.


Categories: Novels

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