Yesterday, Terry Pratchett died, only 68 years old. All of 68 years old. I’m guttered.
Once Pratchett told us about his Alzheimer, my intellect told me we would only have a few years more of him. Now that the moment has arrived, those years seem too short for a person who became a dear friend.
I never met Mr. (Sir) Pratchett. Or maybe I did. His books, his documentary and his speeches have all made my days brighter. All revealed a side I, the public, could partake of.
When Snuff and She Wears Midnight came out, and I had completed the books, I remember just sitting there needing to digest the stories. They felt like a first goodbye from Terry. Then came the public appearances when people had to read his speeches out loud for him. Writing them weren’t the problem, as long as someone else could type his dictation. As long as another person could read out loud what he had dictated. Alzheimer had taken the ability to recognize physical objects.
I miss him. Already! Hopefully, the love of the world will bring some small comfort to his near and dear ones.
“Sometimes I get nice letters from people who know they’re due to meet him (Death) soon, and hope I’ve got him right.
Those are the kind of letters that cause me to stare at the wall for some time.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Art of Discworld
I have placed Daughter of Storms somewhere between a children’s novel and a young adult novel. Children from about ten and up (maybe even younger) would probably like Daughter of Storms. The characters are “goodies” or “baddies” and the plot is straight forward. The characters we get to know best are Shar, her friend Hestor and uncle Thel. Uncle Thel is the leader of the rest of the baddies, while Shar is our young heroic girl who manages to save the day with her extraordinary powers.
In Shar’s world magic is tied together with ceremony and ritual. The gods’ purview is taking care of the non-human matters, such as creatures from the fifth plane and up invading the world. Humans have to take care of human matters. But the gods of chaos, of which Yandros is one, sometimes stretch their own rules a little. It depends of how they are feeling. There are the gods of order (who sound rather staid to me) and the gods of chaos (who I find more interesting).
Shar is the kind of girl who stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to defy her uncle’s authority when needed. On her side we find cats. For some reason cats seem to love Shar. Good thing she isn’t allergic. Along with their love comes an ability to communicate with Shar. Their shared communication is challenging as the thought-patterns of humans and cats differ. But there is communication. This is one power I have always wanted. Not just the power to communicate with cats, but the power to communicate with dogs and cats.
Thankfully Shar also has two friends to help her in her endeavours: Hestor and Kitto. Hestor is a Circle Initiate (deal with elemental magic) and Kitto (who is the child of a brigand). At one point, these two turn out to be vital to the survival of Shar.
This is the story of how one cat changed the life of a man who was a recovering heroin addict living a hand-to-mouth existence to the point where he was able to quit methadone and get his life in order. The responsibility for another life, a life that accepted him for who and what he was made all the difference to James Bowen. From busking, to selling magazines to giving out his own book has been a journey that has been neither easy nor painless.
Plus points to someone who manages to take charge of their own lives to the point where true change occurs. Minus points to co-writer Garry Jenkins and the editor for not helping James streamline the book a little more.
Having said that, a story like this is worth telling. Bob was famous long before the book came out. You’ll find references, pictures and clips in a whole lot of places – the photograph on the left is only one example.