It is now almost a year since my blog started transmitting “GNU Terry Pratchett” in the X-Clacks-Overhead of each HTTP header of each response – to keep the name of Sir Terry in the wires. And it is only now that I found resolve to read the final Discworld book – The Shepherd’s Crown.
The Sheperd’s Crown is, just like all the Discworld books, a masterpiece. But it is much more than that. It encompasses both a parting of the author with his audience, a farewell to the beloved characters, who accompanied us for all these years, and ultimately, Sir Terry’s testament and guidance to his readers, no, to humanity at large.
Pratchett introduced a new character his final book – Geoffrey, who is a male witch and a “peace-weaver”. I felt an instant liking to this character – we need more such peace-weavers in our Roundworld gone mad, someone who can talk reason and calmness in the situations when the elves of our world are souring not just beer, but the good neighbourly relations between peoples, putting peoples at loggerheads.
I am not one, who cries when reading a book, but one chapter, where as a result of a monumental shifting event, almost each of the key characters of Discworld made a cameo appearance, made me cry. Those were the bitter-sweet tears of parting, coming out despite all the admonishing that we should not grieve the passage of those, who left the world as a slightly better place, than how it was, when they found it…
And so, the window that we had into the living, breathing, working world of Discworld has closed, after being open for just 32 years. We were privileged to be able to peek into this world! And as we leave it, we know that it will continue to live and function somewhere out there in the multiverse, unbeknownst to us, as the great narrator of Discworld, Sir Terry Pratchett, is no longer here to relay its story.