Terry Pratchett’s last book. He died before he could finish it, and unfortunately for the literary world before he could finish the many other ideas floating around his head. The world is a poorer place without him in it. Now, I don’t know who stepped up to finish this novel after Sir Terry’s untimely parting, but I’m grateful that they did even if it wasn’t really up to the level I’d come to expect from a Terry Pratchett novel. A world with one more Terry Pratchett book in it is a world that’s one book better.
The Shepherd’s Crown is part of the Discworld series of books, a flat world carried through space on the back of four elephants, themselves supported by a giant turtle. Obviously, a universe very similar to our own. The books tend to cluster around groups of characters: the Ankh-Morpork city watch, the Witches, Rincewind the wizard, Death; may or may not have overlap and don’t necessarily have to be read in order. You could possibly start with The Shepherd’s Crown, it won’t leave you completely lost if you do, but there’s so much more to the universe Pratchett created and (usually) so much more depth to his books that I wouldn’t want a new reader to only read The Shepherd’s Crown and then decide whether or not they liked the Discworld and Sir Pratchett. It’d be like sampling one of those little chocolate eggs you get in a bag of 20 for $2 and deciding that you don’t like chocolate. Or candy in general, because as much as I’ve been raving about Discworld there’s more to Terry’s oeuvre than that. My first introduction to Terry Pratchett was The Carpet People. There’s the Johnny and the Bomb series. He collaborated with Neil Gaiman and Stephen Baxter. He wrote children’s books, young adult books, fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, there’s so much there to discover! Find one. Read it. Join me in alternately raving about him and weeping that he’s gone. If you like witty, tongue in cheek humour and books that always leave you looking at the world slightly differently, Terry Pratchett is the author for you.