‘The Colour of Magic’

PRATCHETT, Terry. The Colour of Magic. 1983.

‘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 little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…’

Corgi Book's edition

Corgi Book’s edition

Having read and enjoyed Making Money, which was neither the first Discworld novel nor even the first of Moist von Lipwig saga; it was about time I read The Colour of Magic, the very first Discworld novel. Although the publishing order is not relevant to follow the plot of the individual books, it surely provides the background to better understand references in the books and the Discworld universe.

This novel sets the starting point for a well known collection offering the basic details on how Discworld works and the common knowledge of its inhabitants. It also introduces a style that mixes fantasy with our contemporary reality and somehow uses humorous fantasy to depict real-life issues—as I said almost four years ago.

Some argue that The Colour of Magic is not the best book by Terry Pratchett. It doesn’t need to be. After all, it’s the first of many and you’d expect him to develop and improve that particular style with time—otherwise readers would complain about a decrease of quality.

Finally, this book is divided in several shorter stories, all of them following the previous one and, nevertheless, very different from it in many aspects. And the plot is simple enough not to scare away the average reader, but not as simple as to bore hardcore geeks. This and all the aforementioned make it a great novel that could be either a nice one-off or the gate to a huge new universe.

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