Terry Pratchett has long been a favorite author of mine. Once I discovered him (in my early 20’s) I couldn’t get enough of his books. Of his 41 Discworld books, I have read 41, most several times.
This, is book number 41. There will be no book 42 as Sir Terry passed away in March. I haven’t quite come to terms with that yet, so this will simply be a review of the book, not a commentary on what the man has meant to me.
Tiffany Aching, the heroine (or is it hero now?) of the story has been a favorite character of mine since she was first introduced. She continues to grow in this story as do the settings of the Chalk and Lancre. New characters are introduced and old ones have their “Exit, Stage Right” moment. I won’t tell you who or how for either, but suffice it to say, it was handled eloquently and with respect. It was both satisfying and melancholy at the same time. I was moved, perhaps not quite to tears, but certainly to the point where I had to sit in a quiet place to reflect.
The story is satisfying as well. You might not think satisfying is much to induce you to read the book but I have to disagree. I use the word because I knew, as I’m sure Sir Terry did, that this was to be his last book. He wanted to tie up some loose ends before his passing. That he did, but he also left many dangling which I appreciated. After all, what life doesn’t have loose threads?
The characters are, as usual, well-conceived, living, breathing people. The land is just as real. The story is entertaining and filled with the same wit Terry Pratchett books are renowned for.
As I write this, I think of all the dark little corners, crooks and crannies of the Discworld. I think of how Terry Pratchett breathed life into each one, making a diverse, living world that I couldn’t get enough of. This book continues that tradition. It also, if reports are to be believed, ends it.
And this book, is a good place for the written stories to end. I am given enough to remember all the good and bad. I am also given enough that I can, in my mind’s eye, see the Discworld continue its journey through space on the back of three elephants standing on a star turtle. And I can recommend to anyone this most epic of journeys that begins with the book, Colour of Magic and end here.