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The Shepherd’s Crown; thoughts, feels and spoilers

By rights, nobody should be reading this. You certainly shouldn’t be reading this, after I upped and disappeared for the best part of a year. What the hell’s wrong with you?

I’m going to waffle for a bit if you don’t mind, as there are SPOILERS later and I’d rather I didn’t spoil anything for you too early. Plus, if you’re still reading by now there’e really no hope for you.
As is my tradition for Pratchett novels, I read the whole damn thing in one sitting. Unfortunately because I knew this was the Last One Ever I read it couldn’t read more than the first paragraph for the first 7 hours of owning the book. I tidied my room. I organised the living room. I even looked at the hoover for a bit, but then retreated back to play GTA San Andreas, because in the San Andreas universe it’s still 1992 and for all that Rodney King business there are 27 more Discworld novels to come out.
There was only one thing for it; bubble bath and a pint of tea.


Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting that in chapter two. But then it does set up the tension nicely for the rest of the novel that it makes perfect sense; without it there wouldn’t be a plot.
I never expected that I’d enjoy the death of Granny, though. It makes sense, however; after treading all round the book for 7 hours because it was the last Discworld there was no feeling of being robbed of more Witches stories. It then rang so true with Pratchett’s personal preference for his death; that on his own perfect day he’d choose to allow the broom of destiny to sweep the cobwebs of time from the corners, while the oven of eternity was scrubbed with the Mr Muscle of fate and say goodbye to all that mattered. I hope this was the case for him.

For the rest of the novel then, Granny became the physically gone yet ever-present figure of Pratchett guiding us through the grieving process. I felt like I was Tiffany, struggling all over again to come to terms with the absence of such an important figure, and crying for the second time at the short bow from Granny as a thank you from Terry for reading, and allowing him never to have a real job ever again. Should anyone care, third time was when I re-read the book’s dedication, and the fourth now. Soppy bastard.

Then, finally, to Geoffrey. A wonderfully 21st century addition to a steampunky fantasy world. As if ending the Discworld with Tiffany wasn’t enough, we get a character who comes through as far more than just a reference to Eskarina. Someone who wants a job because he’d be good at it, and gender roles be damned. A listener, peacemaker, and lover of ale & sheds. A character who makes me want further Terry novels more than Granny, at this point.

What haven’t I mentioned? The puns, the paraphrasing, the well worked cameos, the humanism of the thing.
Well, you wouldn’t need to, would you? It was Terry.



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