October 07, 2011

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I'd heard a lot about these books. The Disc World series is huge and even has a few movies to its name. I decided it had to be good right? Well, to be honest, I was very disappointed in this book. It wasn't near what I expected from all the hype that accompanied Pratchett's books.

The Colour of Magic is the first book in the series, although I've heard that they can mostly be read as stand-alones. Which is probably a good thing since I believe there are over thirty novels in the series. This one involved two main characters of Rincewood the incompetent wizard and Twoflower, a bumbling tourist. They encounter a myriad of characters along the way, including Death. Coerced into keeping Twoflower safe, Rincewood encounters all sorts of hazards and people trying to kill them. Especially since Death himself is interested in Rincewood. They travel and meet dragons, edge-worlders (Discworld is of course a disc, balanced on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand on a turtle), trolls, and other strange beasts, most of whom are not very friendly.

Rincewood and Twoflower are not very exciting characters. They don't have a lot of development and their conversations are not very intriguing. Rincewood especially I just found annoying. There is only so far you can make someone inept and he didn't really seem to have any redeeming qualities. Just a lot of luck. Twoflower is little better, but at least he has some interesting background compared to Rincewood.

The writing was very jumpy. So many characters and and places were introduced in the beginning that I never got them sorted out in my head before having to move on to the next thing in the plot. The story also jumped around a lot. I'd no sooner get to one point in the novel then it seemed that they were already on a new adventure without resolving the last. I just wasn't a big fan of the way it flowed. There were a few funny moments, but it wasn't enough to make up for the majority of the book.

I do hope these books get better. I'm going to try a few more because there's got to be a reason the series is so popular. I have heard that the writing and plots get better so I am somewhat excited to read more. Here's hoping that I can leap into Discworld with further novels.

The Colour of Magic
Copyright 1983
210 pages + extras

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