Fans queue for Pratchett's final Discworld novel

Fans queue for Pratchett's final Discworld novel

Fans - some dressed as witches and wizards - have queued up at book stores for the midnight release of Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel.

The Shepherd's Crown is the 41st and last in the popular comic fantasy series - and has been hailed by critics as a "magnificent sign-off".

Terry Pratchett died in March after battling Alzheimer's disease.

He was 66.

Pratchett sold millions of copies of his books set in his comic creation of Discworld – a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle.

The Shepherd’s Crown, which he wrote last year, is the fifth book featuring the young witch Tiffany Aching.

Kat Brown in the Telegraph gave the novel five stars, saying: “Pratchett gets his house in order beautifully”.

She wrote: “This isn’t just a great Discworld book. It’s extraordinary; a proper send-off for Pratchett and this mammoth series.

“It is entirely Pratchettian to give the reader an opportunity to mourn fiction and reality at the same time ... This last is a magnificent sign-off.”

The Independent’s David Barnett, pointed out Terry Pratchett was aware the book would be his last.

He said: “As such, it’s difficult to see The Shepherd’s Crown as anything other than Sir Terry’s farewell letter to his legion of fans – though of course, this being a Pratchett, it’s a pretty fine novel in its own right.

“The Shepherd’s Crown is a sometimes sad, often funny and eminently suitable testament to the life and career of Terry Pratchett.”

AS Byatt, writing in the Guardian, praised the novel as he described the author’s loss as a “persisting embuggerance”.

“He wrote increasingly about worlds in which real harm happens and increasingly about real efforts to prevent it. In The Shepherd’s Crown, which is part of a group of novels claiming to be for ’young adults’, evil and anger still take the form of fairy story and myth. But the reader experiences them sharply.

“Nothing in Pratchett stays still and his inventive energy, book after book after book, is astounding.”

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