The Color of Magic: Discworld #1
The introduction to the Discworld is nothing short of fantastic. Terry Pratchett combines humour with outright impossible fantasy to create a world where you are asked to believe in trolls, magic, a giant turtle (male or female unknown), and heroes.
Rincewind, a failed (sort of) wizard, has come into the dubious employ of a tourist, Twoflower, and keeps him alive in the face of extreme circumstances, and against all odds. Twoflower is determined to see the wonders of the world which is equally determined to kill him. And then there’s Luggage – a mysterious box with thousands of feet doggedly following its master Twoflower. And there’s also Death, who isn’t amused by Rincewind escaping him more than once. Throw in a few Gods, dragons, and Heroes… and the first Discworld novel was born.
I first read this book in 2013, and it’s a madcap intro to a world with no rules. The book ends with a cliffhanger, and would definitely push people to pick up the second.
The Light Fantastic: Discworld #2
This is my first time reading this book, which is the second in the Rincewind series. We pick up right where The Color of Magic left off. Rincewind has [SPOILER!] fallen off the edge of the Rim, but there are a lot of forces keen to keep him on the Discworld. Twoflower, the irrepressible tourist, is still around, and as optimistic (or foolish, call him what you will) as ever.
In this book, matters move ahead. The Spell that has lodged itself in Rincewind’s mind is aching to get out. Twoflower just wants to see the world, while the wizard just wants to go back to Ankh-Morpork. Will the intrepid duo (and The Luggage) make it back to safety? They are joined by a geriatric Hero Cohen, and a nubile young woman Bethan. Throw a few trolls in, and we’re all set.
The humour is something I’ll keep coming back to, again and again. The puns, one-liners, and jokes are littered across this book, as the first. When I’d read Terry Pratchett books earlier, with no order in mind, Rincewind’s character thoroughly irritated me. Having been given a chance to read the first novel followed by this one, I’ve found that I’m growing to tolerate the wizard who’s fairly useless at…being a wizard.
The book ties it up neatly at the end, leaving Pratchett to further explore other Discworld elements from the third book.
Equal Rites: Discworld #3
I first read this book in 2013 (so says Goodreads anyway), and at the time I gave it a 3/5 rating. With my second time, it bumped up to a 4. The third in the Discworld series, and the first in the Witches sub-series, it introduces Granny Weatherwax, a witch, who is thrown into a situation that was without precedent: a female wizard has been born. Everyone knows (in Discworld), that men are wizards, women are witches. But the eighth daughter of the eighth son, Esk, has arrived to shake things up a bit. Join them for a journey to The Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, and watch both characters come into their own. The book even throws in a special appearance from possibly my favourite Discworld character, Death.
By no means his best work, I bumped up this book from 3 points to 4 because I really appreciated the nuances of his world-building, and humour on the second read.
Mort: Discworld #4
The fourth Discworld book (and the first in the Death series) contains who is possibly my favourite Discworld character – Death. In this book, Death takes on an apprentice, appropriately named Mort (short for Mortimer). We get the feeling Death is a littel bored out of his skull (he he he) and needs company, needs variety, needs a bit of a shake-up before falling back in love with his job again. The book is, wonderfully, all about Death’s and Mort’s journey together. We also learn Death likes cats. And curry.
I’ve got to say, I’m probably biased giving it a 5/5 on my second read, but I genuinely love Death’s character, and he never fails to make me laugh. Yes, the book is silly, but so are many of the Discworld novels.
* * * * *
Right, four novels down. 37 to go.