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The Shepherd's Crown, by Terry Pratchett

The last Terry Pratchett novel, written in the full knowledge that it would be; death and its consequences are a major part of the book (with a much spoilered plot development near the beginning setting the tone). But another large part of the plot centres around the battle between Faerie and technology, the essential conflict between magic and modernity expressed in a way that I don't think we had seen Pratchett do before. It's quite a difficult feat for a fantasy novel to make the case for rationalism and tech against superstition and brainwashing magic, and I think Pratchett managed to thread the needle here with his usual humanity and compassion.

It's not one of the greatest Pratchett books, but - unless the Pratchett family indicate in public that they do not want it to be considered - it will be significantly more likely to get one of my Hugo nominations because it is the last. That said, if I do read as many as five other novels that are mindblowingly better, I will consider the options carefully.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
pennski
Sep. 6th, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed it but felt that it was missing a layer of text - one more pass through would have improved it, if only that had been possible.
glazomaniac
Sep. 6th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
i finished it yesterday, through a haze of tears. the death of [redacted] was just too much to handle.
sashajwolf
Sep. 7th, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC)
I think that the book Shepherd's Crown would have become at the end of Sir Pterry's usual rewriting process would have been Hugo-worthy. I don't think this book is; it felt patchy and uneven to me, and there's one scene in which two people seem violently out of character in a way that strikes me as inconsistent with the values expressed throughout the earlier novels. So I won't be nominating it; but I am still so, so grateful that we got to see this part of Tiffany's story.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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