Tag Archives: witch

the shepherd’s crown

The Shepherd’s Crown (Discworld #41, Tiffany Aching #5, Witches #11) by Terry Pratchett

From Goodreads:

A shivering of worlds.

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land.

There will be a reckoning…

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is not the usual Terry Pratchett story. While there are a number of asides of the usual humour there are very few laugh out loud moments. The overall atmosphere is sombre and one of impending bad news. The loss of one of the key Discworld figures as well as the understanding that this is the absolutely final TP book leaves the book and the reader with an overall feeling of sadness. As a character Tiffany finally becomes her own person, taking control of her own destiny but even her success is tinged with a level of sadness.

The quality of writing is not up to the usual standard, nor is the construction of the storyline. However, the afterword makes it clear that this was an unfinished manuscript and that TP would undoubtedly have made further changes and additions. For all of that it is a worthy read and a fitting epitaph. As the afterword states:

The Shepherd’s Crown has a beginning, a middle and an end, and all the bits in between.

I’ll leave the last word to Death….

WE ARE ALL FLOATING IN THE WINDS OF TIME. BUT YOUR CANDLE […] WILL FLICKER FOR SOME TIME BEFORE IT GOES OUT –A LITTLE REWARD FOR A LIFE WELL LIVED. FOR I CAN SEE THE BALANCE AND YOU HAVE LEFT THE WORLD MUCH BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT, AND IF YOU ASK ME, said Death, NOBODY COULD DO ANY BETTER THAN THAT . . .

Terry Pratchett 1948-2015. Rest in Peace

i shall wear midnight

I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld #38) by Terry Pratchett

From Goodreads:

It starts with whispers.

Then someone picks up a stone.

Finally, the fires begin.

When people turn on witches, the innocents suffer. . .

Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren’t sparkly, aren’t fun, don’t involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy.

But someone or something is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches. Aided by her tiny blue allies, the Wee Free Men, Tiffany must find the source of this unrest and defeat the evil at its root before it takes her life. Because if Tiffany falls, the whole Chalk falls with her.

Chilling drama combines with laugh-out-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Terry Pratchett was an absolute genius. He had the most wonderful talent at taking everyday themes and making them both funny and sad and above all thought-provoking. I have enjoyed every single one of his books and think life really is incredibly cruel that he was afflicted with such a horrible disease and passed away way before his time.

TP’s other strength was his characters. My favourites have always been the Witches, City Guard and Trolls and this story has two of the three with appearances from all the main figures. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have always dominated the Witches stories but this story puts Tiffany well and truly at their level.

This book is listed as Young Adult (YA) but it takes on some very heavyweight subjects. Straight out of the blocks it’s domestic violence and closely followed by the main theme of racism/xenophobia. It was published just over 10 years ago but in the modern world of Brexit and Trump politics it’s sadly more relevant than ever.

Two quotes for me stand out from this book:

It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.

Terry Pratchett. Author’s Note

Poison goes where poison’s welcome.

Mrs Proust. Chapter 7

Header image by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

a discovery of witches

All Souls Trilogy #1 by Deborah Harkness

From Goodreads:

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

My Rating: 🌟🌟

Came across this author while browsing around Easons looking for inspiration for some new Science Fiction or Fantasy authors to read. The story looked sufficiently interesting to add to my list but I really wish I hadn’t bothered!

It’s a sloppy romantic novel with poor plot design and character creation, trying to be a fantasy novel with a gothic twist. I can only imagine that the author is a Twilight fan or is trying to cash in on the vampire genre.

There are a few good scenes scattered through the book that did give me hope that it would improve but barely enough to keep me there to the end and definitely not enough to make me want to read another one.

Disappointing as I think the author had a good and reasonably original idea, just very poorly executed.