Book Review: Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Magic

Posted March 14, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Terry Pratchett’s The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic


Sir Terry Pratchett

fantasy, satire on February 2, 2000 and has 210 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, Eric, Equal Rites, Mort, The Shepherd's Crown, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, A Blink of the Screen, Reaper Man

First in the Discworld series. I’ve heard it doesn’t matter where you start or go next in this series…although…there are some subseries with the Discworld. I am chronologically obsessed so as I find them, I’ll tell ya…

My Take

Crack me up! I love that Pratchett begins with the Indian belief in the world carried on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a turtle. And then he just goes crazy from there as he ties together an unconnected range of ideas: poking fun at gullible tourists with their cultural projections and dictionaries; heroes, their quests, and their true purposes; and, tossing in odd bits and chunks such as the role-playing game of the gods, Death with his scythe, the weird things magic does, other authors and their storylines, highjackings, and the classic pay-off of geniuses, scientists and old beliefs.

It rather reminds me of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series. Especially when Twoflower starts explaining inn-sewer-ants.

Pratchett’s writing makes me a bit nuts. I do wish he’d learn to use commas, so I wouldn’t have to go back over his sentences to figure out what he’s saying.

Hmmm, I wonder what Ghlen Livid is supposed to represent. I wonder what kind of scotch Pratchett drinks…

Poor Scrofula. Death has put him in a bad position, LOL.

The Story

It’s a naive, eager tourist who sets things off as he pushes to explore the world outside his own land. Ignorant and optimistic, he knows he can handle anything in his teflon-coated progress.

The Characters

Rincewind is a cowardly wizard eager, at first, to play tour guide to Twoflower, a tourist from the Golden Empire accompanied by his vicious and loyal Luggage.

In the twin city of Anky and Morpork, most people are criminals including Ymor, his lieutenant Cripple Wa, Stren Withel, and Broadman the innkeeper; the Patrician of the city; Zlorf Flannelfoot is the president of the Assassins’ Guild; and, Rerpf, who represents the newly formed tourist board.

Heroes in The Color of Magic include:
Weasel is a small swordsman partnered with Bravd the Hublander. Hrun the Barbarian—”practically considered an academic by Hub standards in that he could think without moving his lips” — and his sword Kring have the greatest role.

Liessa Wyrmbidder is a dragon rider nahhhh, no connection to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series *must pull tongue out of cheek, ngghh* and one of three contenders for her not-quite-deceased father’s throne. K!sdra rides Psepha and Lio!rt is a Dragonlord and one of the brothers/contenders.

The position of the Kingdom of Krull allows them to discover the truth of their planet. Their Arch-astronomer just can’t resist what he does to Goldeneyes Silverhand Dactylos. It’s tradition. Garhartra is the Guestmaster. Tethis is a sea troll, employed?, imprisoned? by the Krull who leaps to take advantage.

The Gods in Discworld include:
Blind Io is the chief of the gods, Offler the Crocodile God, Zephyrus is the god of slight breezes, the Lady, and Chance.

Duellae is an angry dyrad.

Great A’Tuin is the turtle crawling through the universe while Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Phon, and Jerakeen are the elephants. Death is particularly KEEN ON HIS JOB.

The Cover and Title

The cover of the edition I read was a brilliant red bordered on the left side in black with the author’s name and the book title in deep yellow. I do like the metaphor of baggage with the invisible suitcase covered in travel stickers as the stand-in for the sentient trunk.

The title is an introduction to the series and to Pratchett’s vision of the world — it’s The Color of Magic.