Villordsutch reviews The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett…
I’m holding in my hands quite possibly something I never wanted to see in my lifetime. The Shepherd’s Crown is the final Discworld, and I have been a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett since I first met my wife – we’ll she wasn’t my wife when I first met her you understand – some nineteen years back. For nearly two decades I’ve followed this man’s work, I’ve laughed, chuckled, smirked, become angry within and yes I have cried at moments too, and now this series comes and end and I really don’t want it to.
Before I begin, as stated near the end of this book Terry Pratchett never truly got to complete The Shepherd’s Crown and it is obvious – in places – where these moments are for which he never return to expand upon. A few examples include the final battle which seems over too quickly, also with Jeannie’s [the Kelda] children, specifically her daughter and her displeasure of having to be married off. There are other corners of the book that clearly Sir Terry wished to returned to but never got the time, however to complain about these is akin to saying you don’t like the Mona Lisa for the frame is the wrong colour, or your visit to Stonehenge was ruined for the grass around the stones was poorly maintained.
The Shepherd’s Crown will be the Terry Pratchett book which will be known for both breaking your heart and mending it at exactly the same time. As a grown man I bear uncanny resemblance to a 6ft Viking and I don’t think a book – which is technically classed as young adult fiction – has ever brought me to such an emotional state before. Just after the first fifty pages I needed to stop reading and resolve myself due to the sadness that had fallen upon the Discworld. This book of gender discrimination and equality, acceptance and humility, coping with loss, and the circle of life which has been all wrapped up in a YA fantasy setting has become a landmark in my mind; a true emotional marker that will never be forgotten.
We not only witness these themes [as mentioned above] which are running through this tale, but also the importance of kindness and tolerance is passed over to us. This is seen when we witness Tiffany taking the rejected Queen of the Fairies out with her, teaching her what it is to be human, putting others before oneself and being a more tolerant person. The themes of both acceptance and humility shines none more so when Tiffany becomes the shepherd, placing others before herself, keeping them safe and becoming Granny Aching in the end; a figure of protection and selflessness.
“Tiffany Aching is the first among shepherds, for she puts others before herself…”
If you have never attempted the Tiffany Aching books 1) Shame on you and 2) Begin now, for you need today to be reading The Shepherd’s Crown, the book that Sir Terry Pratchett left us.
GNU Sir Terry Pratchett.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.