The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
I wasn’t sure I really could bear to read this, Terry Pratchett’s last book. We miss him, and every word is against the background of sadness that we will never have more.
The story itself touches on death and remembrance, which was even sadder.
However, as always, Pratchett is teaching us about life and death, and how to do both of them as well as we can. As humanly as we can.
If there was any doubt about his fading skills, they were quickly dispersed. This is fine, full fledged Terry Pratchett. (This book is classified as for “young adults”. Don’t pay any attention to that. It’s for everyone, including young adults.)
The story is about the coming of age of young witch Tiffany Aching, who must take up all the responsibilities of an adult witch, and also face a dire threat from the other side. But we know Tiffany by now, and we know she is well prepared and has friends.
Life is not always pretty, nor are outcomes certain. But Tiffany draws strength from her land and her people, and we feel that she will be alright.
Alas, we will never know more about her and the others, for the master storyteller is gone for good. Everything ends, often before we are ready. But we have our memories, and the stories mattered. And we are inspired to do better and make things better.
Goodbye Tiff, goodbye Discworld, goodbye Terry.
- Terry Pratchett, The Shepherd’s Crown, New York, Harper, 2015.