Book Review: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Book 93

The colour of magicSomewhere on the frontier between thought and reality lies the Discworld, a parallel time and place which might sound and smell very much like our own, but which looks completely different.  It plays by different rules.  Certainly it refuses to succumb to the quaint notion that universes are ruled by pure logic and the harmony of numbers.  But just because the Disc is different doesn’t mean that some things don’t stay the same.  It’s very existence is about to be threatened by a strange new blight: the arrival of the first tourist, upon whose survival rests the peace and prosperity of the land.  But if the person charged with maintaining that survival in the face of robbers, mercenaries and, well, Death is a spectacularly inept wizard, a little logic might turn out to be a very good idea…

This is the first novel in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series which has sold over 20 million copies as a series since this book was published in 1983.  I had never felt inclined to read a Terry Pratchett novel before; I always thought that you needed to have a lot of imagination to get along with them.  After reading The Colour of Magic, I think I judged too harshly but it still wasn’t my cup of tea.  The book is split into 4 stories which follow Rincewald the failed wizard and Twoflower the tourist as they try to escape various dangers they encounter whilst they travel through the Discworld.  The situations they find themselves in are usually due to a combination of Twoflower’s naivety and Rincewald’s cowardice.

What I liked about this book:  I enjoyed the first story very much, it starts at the end of the story and then goes back to how it unfolded.  The second story was quite dramatic, but by the third I was quite bored.  I can’t really put my finger on it, only that the world that I was being introduced to didn’t really interest me.  However I quite liked the character of Rincewald, he was slightly more three-dimensional than some of the other characters, maybe a little more real perhaps.

What I didn’t like about this book:  It became too predictable.  When there was a situation that was impossible to get out of by themselves, some god or some weird magic would help them out.  So I knew whatever happened, they would somehow escape easily and no harm would come to them.  I know this could be said about a lot of stories, but this one was lacking the suspense required to excite me whilst I waited for the heroes to escape unharmed.

I am quite surprised that I didn’t find this book interesting.  Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series are much celebrated and Terry Pratchett is one of the most prolific authors on my Top 100 list with 5 books to his name.  There are another three Discworld books for me to read on the list, so I suppose will get plenty of chances to give this series another try.

2 Out of 5 stars

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2 comments on “Book Review: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

  1. Pingback: The Wee Free Men: A Story of Discworld, Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, 2003) {HarpurAudio, Narrator: Stephen Briggs) | The Archaeologist's Guide to the Galaxy.. by Thomas Evans

  2. Pingback: Terry Pratchett | My Seryniti

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