Tag Archives: Discworld

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.

 

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Let’s Talk About Terry Pratchett’s Later Novels.

As I said in my Eulogy to Sir. Terry Pratchett I am a huge fan of his. To me his best books are the Discworld books with their various characters that are so different, realistic and charming. Not to mention funny in a way normal humans can be funny.

However, I have run into a slight problem in recent years with his books. You see, his last few books have been mediocre at best and the humor is not there. Don’t get the wrong idea, Sir. Terry was a great writer with a ton of imagination and humor. The problem is that imagination seems to have been suppressed in his final year.

It all started with Wintersmith. Tiffany Aching is one the best YA characters to date because she does not fit into any mold. Wintersmith came along and she slowly started going into that mold. The sequel, I Shall Wear Midnight was less inspired than Wintersmith. In fact I don’t remember anything that happened in those books.

Actually, I don’t remember anything that happened in those books, Nation, Dodger, Snuff, The Long Earth and recently Raising Steam. The sad part is I’m currently reading Raising Steam. If you asked me what happened in The Color of Magic I’d tell you. Reaper Man? yup, because that book rocked. Hell, even Pyramids which is one of the weaker Discworld books.

Hell, I can tell you exactly what happened in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy and the Bromeliad Trilogy.

There may be a few reasons for this. One can be Pratchett fans expected a lot from him seeing how great his older books are. Exactly how hard did you laugh when Rincewind returned to Ankh-Morpork and started running around like a psycho? Hell, he even swallowed a bunch of Dibbler’s sausages and lived. I remember reading that scene in my college library and everyone looked at me weird because I was laughing so hard.

I hate to even bring it up, but another reason could have been his Alzheimer’s. I know Alzheimer’s is nothing to take lightly, but it does interfere with a lot of things. It’s amazing he did manage to write books with that disease. Unfortunately, it may have been a factor in the low quality of his last books. He may have had a lot on his mind and writing may have turned into a chore for him.

Don’t get mad at me, that could have been a possibility and I do respect the man for fighting through Alzheimer’s and pleasing his fans. I understand having Alzheimer’s is a struggle people have to deal with every day. I’m just theorizing that that may have played a part in it.

Now the sad part is that there will no longer be any more Discworld books. There is one more Discworld book called The Shepherd’s Crown, although how far it was before he died is a mystery. Of course, his daughter Rhianna has said she would continue to write Discworld books is a great thing. The problem lies in the fact that she may not be able to bring forth the essence of what Discworld is, though that does remain to be seen.

Sir. Terry Pratchett may have been a great novelist, but his last few books were not up to snuff. Whatever the reason for that shall remain a mystery. For now, I will try to re-read these books and maybe find something of value in them like I did with his older books. I will give my opinions on Rhianna Pratchett’s crack at the Discworld when they come out.

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