The Shepherd's Crown: Gift Edition (Discworld, #41) (Tiffany Aching, #5)

by Terry Pratchett

Paul Kidby (Designer)

4.5 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 2 reviews • 4 shelved
Book cover for The Shepherd's Crown

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The Shepherd's Crown: Gift Edition (Discworld, #41) (Tiffany Aching, #5)

by Terry Pratchett

Paul Kidby (Designer)

4.5 of 5 stars 4 ratings • 2 reviews • 4 shelved


Deep in the chalk, something is stirring. Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots - an old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, a blurring of edges.

Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land, her land.

There will be a reckoning . . .

Daily Telegraph

  • ISBN10 0857535498
  • ISBN13 9780857535498
  • Publish Date 25 May 2017 (first published 27 August 2015)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Out of Print 8 October 2020
  • Publish Country GB
  • Publisher Penguin Random House Children's UK
  • Imprint Doubleday Children's Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 336
  • Language English


Avatar for layawaydragon

layawaydragon 5 of 5 stars
I was having a rough June. I needed a win. I've held off reading this because it's the last and just thinking about it makes me emotional.

Thank you Sir Terry, for everything. Especially this last win.

Avatar for pamela

pamela 4 of 5 stars
Terry Pratchett spoke to me as a writer as very few ever have, or ever will again. Life, the universe and everything (to paraphrase the late, great Douglas Adams), he just got it. He revelled in its beauty and its innate absurdity. He understood people and how they thought and functioned, and wrote character who embodied the best and worst of us. It seems fitting that his final novel The Shepherd's Crown should have been about Tiffany Aching, a character who represents the best of humanity.

For the most part, The Shepherd's Crown is a strong novel about finding yourself and challenging social expectations. It is a feminist novel at heart, challenging the idea of 'boy's jobs' and 'girl's jobs'. It touches on the gender politics of the workforce and domestic spheres, and even touches on personal gender identity. I would go so far as to say that in today's socio-political climate this could have been Pratchett's most important work, if it hadn't fallen so very flat in the last quarter.

After the abject disappointment that was Raising Steam it felt so refreshing to have Pratchett writing at full form again. The Shepherd's Crown started with so much strength and about 11% in (according to my kindle) I found myself weeping openly, and publicly on a train! The writing was emotive, descriptive and full of so much feeling. Everything had meaning and felt like it was heading somewhere. You could tell there the scope for development was, and definitely tell where elements were meant to mean something. We are introduced to a fascinating new character named Geoffrey, and his equally fascinating pet goat Mephistopheles, and yet ultimately their story built up and when nowhere. The Elves as antagonists were snuffed out in a few paragraphs, and eve the titular Shepherd’s Crown meant very little. Tiffany Aching's growth seemed to simply stop in the last quarter, with nothing but an unsatisfying epilogue to play her out, and everything that the book felt it was building toward just felt rushed and muted in the last few chapters.

It is difficult with a book like this, knowing the author's personal circumstances, to not be forgiving of its failings. We don't know which parts Pratchett was able to finish. I have no doubt that before his death he had plans for all the things I felt were flat or underdeveloped, but it simply doesn't change the fact that the last quarter of the book left me feeling disappointed and occasionally bored. Despite its strong beginning and initial development, it simply failed to deliver in the end. Ultimately however I do believe it proves what a unique talent Terry Pratchett was. His work will bear no imitation because his voice is inimitable. The Shepherd's Crown was not a disappointment in the same was I found Raising Steam to be. It was disappointing in its unrealised potential, but exceeded expectation in social understanding and ambitious scope.

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