Review by Booklist Review
In this follow-up to I Shall Wear Midnight (2010), teen witch Tiffany Aching has been named successor to most-senior witch Granny Weatherwax, and when that esteemed woman departs Discworld, Tiffany has to decide how she will do things in her own way. The grand opportunity arises sooner that she would like, when an upstart elf named Peaseblossom overthrows his fairy queen and tries to bring chaos and havoc back into the human world. Pratchett's final book, the fifth in the Tiffany Aching series and the conclusion to his prodigious Discworld series, is as rollicking as a Nac Mac Feegle reel and as endearing as a cozy fire in winter. There's some question of audience, but perhaps that's actually opportunity for intergenerational sharing. Pratchett is a bit overfond of asides and never met a pun he didn't like, but his storytelling is pure magic, and fans will grieve anew that this is the last of it. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Beloved fantasy writer Pratchett died this spring, and his dedicated and immense fan base will want his final novel. Stock up.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2015 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Pratchett's characteristic generosity is very much at the fore of this final Tiffany Aching tale, the last Discworld novel from the author, who died in March. Fans will also find plenty of other well-loved elements: exuberant wordplay, vaudevillian humor, the rambunctious blue-skinned Nac Mac Feegle, and-beneath it all-a susurrus of shivery archetype and myth. The death of a powerful witch, an event most solemn and heartfelt, reverberates throughout the world and sets the crackling adventure in motion. Sensing a new weakness in the barrier that separates their realm from the Disc, the cruel elves of Fairyland prepare for an invasion. Meanwhile, Tiffany is stretched thin in her work as witch and all-around healer when her responsibilities expand to include a second community. At the same time, peaceful Geoffrey-a character new to the series-heads toward the town of Lancre with the aim of becoming a witch, though women traditionally hold that position. As Tiffany, Geoffrey, and others gather to combat the elvish incursion, Pratchett allows some longtime characters to reveal surprising new qualities, including the delightfully insufferable Letice Earwig ("pronounced ah-wij," of course) and Nightshade, Queen of the Elves-Tiffany's foe from her earliest adventure. Rather than tie everything up with a simple happily-ever-after, the ending leaves Tiffany poised to begin a new phase of adulthood-one with the potential for adventures that are now up to readers to imagine. Pratchett's final work is a tour de force of compassion, great wit, and gleeful storytelling. He will be missed. Ages 13-up. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 6 Up-Pratchett (The Long Utopia [HarperCollins, 2015]) leaves his fans with one last glorious tale of Discworld, this one starring his youngest heroine, the witch Tiffany Aching. When Death comes for Granny Weatherwax, she leaves behind her cabin and, by default, the job of unofficial leader of the witches to Tiffany. For the teen protagonist, being a witch has always been about doing what must be done, so she shoulders the burden but goes about things in her own way. She has soon taken on the first-ever male witch apprentice, Geoffrey, a man who has a soothing way with people and animals. Work becomes the least of Tiffany's problems once word of Granny Weatherwax's death reaches the realm of the elves. A cruel usurper casts out their Queen who is viewed as weak because of her caution after her earlier defeat by Tiffany and her wariness of the human's new iron horses. Tiffany shelters the diminished Queen while facing the threat of marauding elf hordes, backed by her trusty Nac Mac Feegles and other allies. Though this title was written during Pratchett's final days, there is nothing rushed here; indeed, this final book stands among the very best of his work. In one poignant scene, Death remarks on Granny Weatherwax's passing, "And far away, in someplace unthinkable, a white horse was being unsaddled by a figure with a scythe with, it must be said, some sorrow." And so, too, will readers mourn the loss of such an irreplaceable writing talent. VERDICT Readers young and old will savor this tale that emphasizes the values of hard work and standing firm in the face of evil. An exceptionally crafted finale from one of the greats.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
The Shepherds Crown has a beginning, a middle, and an end, reads the afterword to this last Tiffany Aching book. But even so, it was, still, not quite as finished as [Terry] would have liked when he died. Readers have reason to be grateful for the beginning, middle, and end, and if at times here Pratchetts moral voice is more transparent, less nuanced, than it is in Tiffanys earlier adventures (The Wee Free Men, rev. 5/03, and sequels), still it upholds the same respect for hard work, psychological astuteness, and the benefits of a good kicking from the Nac Mac Feegle. In this adventure, Granny Weatherwax, the not-head-witch, has her final encounter with Death, leaving her cottageand statusto Tiffany. Grannys death weakens barriers between earth and fairy worlds, and renegade elves begin to wreak havoc. In the meantime, Tiffany is the witch for both Grannys steading and her own on the Chalk, and she cant cover the vicissitudes of either properly. There are some nice Pratchetty surprises here: Tiffany takes on a boy apprentice; Mrs. Earwig (pronounced Ah-wij) turns out not to be such a dope as she appears; and a baby girl becomes Tiffanys special charge. Elegiac and comforting, funny and serious, the book is not quite polished but is otherwise vintage Pratchett. deirdre f. baker (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
"Cry Crivens!' and let loose the clan Mac Feegle!" The tiny, blue-skinned, kilt-and-not-much-else-wearing warriors will be needed, as the barrier between Discworld and Fairyland has grown thin, and the fairy folk are itching to break through again. As ever, young witch Tiffany Aching is ready to square her shoulders and do what needs to be doneshe is a witch, after all, and that's what witches dobut even the young woman who banished the Queen of the Elves, faced down the hiver, survived a dance with the Wintersmith, and vanquished the Cunning Man will need help. In addition to Rob Anybody and his swarm of hard-drinking, brawling relatives, Tiffany has the support of the witcheseven Mrs. Earwig and Queen Magratand a character new to Pratchett's universe: Geoffrey, a boy who "weaves calm" and musters an army of old men who stubbornly resist obsolescence. If Pratchett explored the double-edged sword of memory in I Shall Wear Midnight (2010), here he explores the complicated notion of legacy, as Tiffany must assume her full responsibilities as a mature witch and begin to cultivate apprentices of her own. If some subplots are not as fully integrated into the story as one might wish and there are some bumpy transitions, who cares? This is the late Pratchett's last book; even not-quite-perfect Pratchett is something to treasure and can proudly take its place in one heck of a literary legacy. (Fantasy. 12 up) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.