I recently finished The Color of Magic, the first Discworld book by Terry Pratchett. Although short, it was really a fast read. It’s satirical and irreverent without being wordy, poking fun at many fantasy cliches which have dominated the genre for years. Yet, Pratchett uses some of these himself as well as some creative techniques. I’ll admit that some things we simply cannot wrap our heads around because they are so fantastic! Often, his style reminds me of the late Douglas Adams whose series The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been a favourite of mine since I first discovered it in middle school.
The novel starts quickly with a great city afire (though Pratchett assures us it will rebuild as it always has) which as been accidentally started by one of the main characters, Twoflower who begins the novel by fleeing said city with his newfound companion Rincewind “the Wizard” who has actually flunked out of wizardry school and isn’t much of a magic handler at all.
The book flashes back to their acquaintanceship where Rincewind discovers Twoflower (and his mysterious sentient chest of Luggage), a visitor to Rincewind’s home city Ankh-Morpork (the first ever tourist on Discworld) and follows them on their coming journey which eventually leads them to the end of the world, literally.
Rincewind and Twoflower live on Discworld, literally a disc sitting on the backs of 4 elephants who themselves sit on the back of a giant turtle (gender unknown which is quite the curiosity to Discworld inhabitants). In such a world, direction is measured in relation to the rim of the disc (rimward) or hub (hubward).
Though they battle the original fire, common thieves, a soul eating monster, imagined dragons who reside in an upside down mountain with their quarreling family of royal imaginers, and eventually end up in Krull at the edge of the world, while avoiding saying the number 8 (which Pratchett also avoids saying by describing it any number of round-about ways) which is closely associated with magic, Octarine (the eighth color, that of magic) and all-things-generally-unpleasant as Rincewind repeatedly eludes the none-too-happy-about-it Death, they remain generally unscathed.
Or do they? I recommend you try this book out and see for yourself (as do countless editors, critics and journalists whose opinions of Pratchett and his works who preface this novel)!