Re-Read: The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic

The beginning of July was a busy time for me as I got my portfolio of work ready to hand in for my college course; which left me with little time and brain power left for reading. With that in mind I picked up The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, the first in his epic Discworld series, for a comforting  and easy re-read. With its blend of fantasy and humour I thought it the best medicine for my stretched mind.

In The Colour of Magic we are first introduced to Pratchett’s magic, weird and fantastical Discworld; a flat disc world which stands on the back of four elephants who themselves stand on the shell of giant turtle who swims through the universe. I never cease to be amazed and amused by Pratchett’s wonderful imagination. The story of The Colour of Magic takes us to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork that see’s the arrival of naïve and rich tourist Twoflower; a small man with four eyes from the Agatean Empire. Only thing is the citizens of Ankh-Morpork have no idea what a tourist is. Fearing trouble the city’s Patriarch charges Rincewind the wizard with escorting and keeping Twoflower from coming to harm. Sadly Rincewind is a poor excuse for a wizard. After kidnap threats, fights and a devastating fire Twoflower and Rincewind are forced to flee the city setting them on the path of an unexpected adventure.

The protagonists of The Colour of Magic are Rincewind, Twoflower and his magical walking chest; who even though it can’t speak really does seem to have its own personality and way of communicating. Rincewind is clever but is utterly lacking any bravery, confidence or magic which all in all makes for a very poor wizard. It is very funny to read about his many miss-adventures and forced moments of heroism. Then we have Twoflower the first tourist who longs to see the sights regardless of his health or his safety. Twoflower is not necessarily brave though he is just naïve and far too trusting but things have a way of working out for him. The combination of Rincewind, Twoflower and his magical walking chest makes for a hilarious read before you add any of the other characters and creatures they meet along the way.

Terry Pratchett is a well loved author of mine but scandalously I haven’t read one of his novels since 2012! To make up for that and to refresh my memory I decided to go back to where it all started. The Colour of Magic is the first instalment of Pratchett’s epic Discworld series. This is not a series you necessarily have to read in order as the stories are usually short, fun and simple which also follow many different characters/sets of characters. I felt it would be nice to read the first novel again though so I could have the chance to focus on Pratchett’s first descriptions of the actual world itself to get better sense of it before going on to reading some new adventures. I really enjoyed this re-read not just for the familiar comfort it brought but also for remembering well loved jokes and noticing extra details. It has reminded me all over again why I love Pratchett and how I should get a move on reading more of his Discworld series.

The Colour of Magic is a wonderfully fun and colourful adventure. I highly recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and comedy. Good read.

Have you read Discworld? Have a favourite instalment?

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12 thoughts on “Re-Read: The Colour of Magic

  1. Good Omens is definitely one of my favs of his. I adore the discworld books as well but admittedly like you I haven’t read one in several years. I own SO MANY but I think I’ve read (chronologically) up through Mort…no wait I read a few of the witch books that came after Mort as well. I haven’t read any Night Watch ones which I hear are the greatest.

    LOVE the chest – you are so right yes that thing totally does have a way of communication, such personality.

    1. Tabitha I have read Good Omens and I loved it which surprised me a little because I wasn’t a huge fan of my first Gaiman read Stardust. Here’s to us both reading more Discworld 🙂

  2. Discworld is always good medicine. 🙂 I regularly prescribe myself Pratchett on gloomy days. Colour of Magic isn’t one of my favorites, but all Discworld is fun–and now that you mention it, it does seem like it would be interesting to go back and see how everything was *first* described!

    1. Cheryl I love what you said “Discworld is always good medicine. 🙂 I regularly prescribe myself Pratchett on gloomy days”. That is so true and fun. I think I should prescribe myself a dose of Pratchett more often!

  3. Mort’s my favourite so far, though I’ve only read up to #8. I like them a lot but find the constant humour makes it easier to read in blocks at a time. In this one my favourite aspect has to be the wordless dialogues – “?” and so forth. So unique!

  4. I love Discworld, it’s one of my all time favourite fantasy series. One of the things I find fascinating is how much the writing has evolved over the years. My favourites are from Pyramids onwards, where Pratchett’s humanism came to the forefront but the books were still wildly funny. It felt like he’d smoothed out the wrinkles but not so much that all the edginess was gone.

      1. Excellent!
        Also, if you haven’t read it then Good Omens, Pratchett’s collaboration with Neil Gaiman, is interesting for seeing Pratchett’s distinctive voice combined with a darker influence.

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