YMMV: The Book of the Dun Cow

  • Angst Aversion: The sequels are hard reads, with the ever larger number of character deaths in each one. Chauntecleer kills himself at the end of the second book, and the third book ends with Pertelote and the other animals dying, although the blow may be softened by their implied reunion in the afterlife.
  • Base Breaker: The rewritten Book of Sorrows (renamed Lamentations), which has been criticized for altering the characters and tone of the series to make them fit events in the third book, published much later than the previous two, and causing a Continuity Snarl in the process.
  • Complete Monster: Cockatrice, who torments Senex's hens (including Pertelote), kills his own father, and tries to engineer the return of Wyrm.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: A similar case to The Last Battle - at the end of Peace At The Last, most of the named characters are dead, although they are reunited in the afterlife, along with characters who died in the previous books.
  • First Installment Wins: An interesting case. The first book, The Book of the Dun Cow, is the most well known book in the series, receiving widespread acclaim as well as an off-Broadway theater adaptation. While the second was also well-received critically, its Darker and Edgier tone (even compared to the already dark first book) made it a tough read for some fans of the original. Then the author rewrote and cut large parts of the second book to fit the third book published in 2013, leading to criticism from fans of the first two books as they already stood and making the third book, Peace at the Last, the most divisive of the three.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • While he gets a little too excited about his son, it's hard not to feel sorry for Senex when he is killed by Cockatrice.
    • Chauntecleer himself in the sequel, once he realizes how delusional his plan to raise Mundo Cani was at the end of his life and the extent of the consequences.
    • Jasper in Lamentations and Ruttus in Peace at the Last. While both of them are antagonists, Jasper suffers for her choices and Ruttus endured abuse from her mate, Eurus.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Cockatrice crosses it as soon as he grows up by murdering Senex rather callously and shoving the body aside.
    • The wolves' killing of Sweet Baby Blue and Jasper's attack on Pertinax Cobb in Lamentations, which causes the other animals to exile them. Selkirk sees his eating Ratatosk as this and leaves of his own will.
  • Squick:
    • A basilisk gets into the Coop and kills the Wee Widow Mouse by hiding inside the body of a Wild Turkey it killed.
    • At one point one of the worms that live in his head crawls out of Chauntecleer's beak in the sequel.
  • Tear Jerker / Crowning Moment of Funny: The last scene of the book, where Chauntecleer and John Wesley Weasel argue about who's going to join Mundo Cani under the Earth in fighting Wyrm somehow manages to be both simultaneously.
  • The Woobie: Mundo Cani. That is, until his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • The Bird With No Tongue and Ferric Coyote in the sequel.
  • Wangst: What Mundo Cani does for most of the book, often about his Gag Nose. ''MAROONED!''