30 January 2011

REVIEW: THE COLOUR OF MAGIC


The Colour of Magic (The Disc World series#1)
Author: Terry Pratchett
UK Publisher: Corgi
UK Release date: 1983
Genre: Fantasy

Summary (from Goodreads): On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet...

Review: When the Disc’s first tourist, Twoflower, arrives at Ankh Morpork’s docks, failed wizard Rincewind, is ordered to look after the naive visitor. Determined to see all the local sights, Twoflower unknowingly leads the pair into pub brawls, dragon lairs and a dryad realm.

I never read The Disc World series when I was younger, because shamefully I thought the books were more for boys. Maybe that was down to their covers? But, how very wrong I was. In The Colour of Magic you are not just thrown into an extraordinary world of wizards and dragons, barbarian heroes and walking treasure chests, you are thrown into a whole universe!

Pratchett’s writing style is elaborate, describing the universal anomalies and features of magic and often going off on a tangent, but there is always an undercurrent of humour and wit. Well, more like a tidal wave. The pace is steady, with Rincewind and Twoflower being thrown from one danger to the next, amazingly unscathed.

During the book a number of scientific theorems are touched on in a more humorous than scientific way, including the time-space continuum, parallel universes, and Gods playing their cruel game with Fate. As long as I accepted them as part of the story, then I could get my head around the strange things that happen during the story. And yes, plenty of strange things happen.

There is a stark contrast between the two main characters Rincewind and Twoflower; one panicking at the slightest hint of adventure and danger, and the other enthusiastically seeking out adventure. I enjoyed the interplay between the two, and the addition of other characters including Death provided additional humour and action.

My one (tiny) bug bear is that certain background information was repeated several times throughout the course of the book. I understood that the information does have a significant bearing on what’s to come; I just found it interrupted the flow between scenes.

After their journey across the Disc world, both horizontally and vertically, the end of the story is literally left hanging. I wished I had had the next book ‘The Light Fantastic’ to hand to start reading it straight away and find out what happens.

Rating: 4

12 comments:

Vivienne said...

Wow and you have started from the beginning of the series. I have only ever read the Tiffany Aching ones and they are fabulous.Very funny and worth reading. Might have to look at starting at the beginning of this series too.

Nymeth said...

Terry Pratchett is one of my absolute favourite authors, so it's very exciting to find someone who's discovering Discworld for the first time! The series gets better and better as it progresses, so if you enjoyed this one, get ready to have your mind blown as you read on :D

Hannah Mariska said...

I'm still not sure I should be reading them in number order. As the story of different characters jumps all over the place, but I figure if I don't start at the beginning I might miss out on lots of information. The Disc world though is such an intricate big place to create - I can't even imagine what Terry Pratchett's mind must be like!

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