The Shepherd’s Crown is the last Tiffany Aching book and, published after the author’s death, it’s the last book in the entire Discworld series. It’s very short, not having been completely fleshed out by Pratchett before his death, but it tells a complete story. Tiffany, now a full-fledged witch, finds her responsibilities increasing beyond her ability to keep up. Meanwhile, the elves are getting up to mischief again.
Unlike the last Discworld book I had read, the characters didn’t feel off to me, with one possible exception from a character who was only in the book for a page or two. I also enjoyed the story pretty well. It wasn’t one of the best, but it didn’t bore me either. However, one major aspect of this story was spoiled for me months ago, so the story had much less impact than it would have had otherwise.
And so here I am, after starting the very first book one year and twenty-one days ago, at the end of the series. I started it with skepticism, not really expecting to care for it since I don’t normally do well with satirical, wink-at-the-reader type humor. I love humor in my books, but I’ve always preferred humor that feels like a natural extension of the story and its characters whereas this type of humor tends to pull me out of the story to admire the author’s cleverness and consider the real-world parallels. Maybe I was in the right frame of mind when I decided to try this series, or maybe Pratchett just did it exceptionally well. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed this series quite a bit.
I don’t think I ever rated any of the books higher than four stars, because these aren’t the type of stories that I get completely wrapped up in. And yet the fact that these books didn’t completely absorb me is one of the things I liked about them. There were some I liked more than others but, in general, they were light, fun, and usually entertaining. They were particularly excellent travel books because they didn’t demand my full attention. I’m not much of a re-reader, but I could see myself picking some of them up again someday, maybe in a few years, as reading material while traveling. It might also be fun to try them as audio books.