Friday, December 9, 2016

The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Acing #5) (Discworld #41), by Terry Pratchett (author), Stephen Briggs (narrator)

HarperAudio, ISBN 9780062430557, September 2015

I put off reading this book simply because it's the last new Pratchett novel ever. I saved it for a time when I needed something really nice.

And that was a good choice. This is a lovely book, a lovely story.

No one lives forever, not even witches, and Esmeralda Weatherwax has reached the end of her days. Being the sensible, organized woman she has always been, she has put everything in order, including a note saying that her home and all her possessions go to Tiffany Aching. Except, of course, for her cat, Yew, who is a cat, and will decide for herself.

She also told Nanny Ogg that of course Tiffany was the only person who could be her successor. Not that witches have a leader of any kind. Granny Weatherwax was the best leader the witches didn't have, and Tiffany will have big boots to fill.

 There are others among the witches who think they're far better prepared for such a challenging role than Tiffany is. Tiffany has her own doubts. Oh, and the elves have noticed that Granny is gone, and they see an opening in the human world for them, again.

Granny's death and the inheritance of her cottage and responsibilities also means that Tiffany isn't just filling big boots; she's also trying to serve the needs of two steadings, the Chalk and Granny's section of Lancre.

It's a lot for one witch to do, even if the elves weren't on the move again.

Tiffany needs help, and she meets a young man named Geoffrey, wh has the, he feels, very natural ambition to be a witch, and who has a very clever goat named Mephistopheles. She asks Miss Tick to find her some likely girls to be apprentices.

She also meets an elf named Nightshade, and some other interesting people...

This isn't Pratchett at his best, understandably, but it is good, solid Pratchett, with new characters and old, familiar ones, with Pratchett's embrace of basic human decency, and "human" rights for all the intelligent species of Discworld.

This was a very satisfying read. Recommended.

I bought this book.