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The Shepherd's Crown: 06/21/16

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett is the 41st and final Discworld book. Pratchett's daughter has stated many times that no one else will be given the opportunity to write books set in Discworld. After having now read the closing book I can see why she is so adamant. This book is the perfect closing for an epic series spanning 30 years.

Tiffany Aching who we first met as a plucky and determined young girl in Wee Free Men now reaches adulthood with adult responsibilities, the sorts of which some witches will never achieve in their lifetimes. And with responsibility comes the lesson that one must delegate. Of course when you're young you don't feel like can ask for help because you have to prove yourself, and you don't want to let anyone down. Tiffany falls repeatedly into that trap as so many of us do.

The Faery Queen also returns. Her part of the story is one I've read many times before, most recently in the American Fairy trilogy by Sarah Zettel, and Lilith Saintcrow's Trailer Park Fae. Except, of course, this version is grounded beautiful in the lore and environs of the Disc, and especially the Chalk.

And then they're Geoffrey who wants to be a witch. As laid out since the beginning of the series, men become wizards and women become witches. Although in Equal Rites a woman became a wizard, a man becoming a witch wasn't covered until now. I really wish in the end, Geoffrey had been given the title witch by the women he worked with. He proved himself as capable as Tiffany had at his age, and in someways, even more so, but they opt to make up a new title for him. That's my one and only quibble with this otherwise excellent concluding volume.

Five stars

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