Dropping into Discworld

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I have to admit that I hadn’t even heard of the Discworld Series before I started looking up books to read by Terry Pratchett. Kind of sad state of affairs. I feel like I should give back my fantasy fan card. But when I did start reading the summaries I knew these books would be a great place to get a taste of an author I hadn’t read a lot of in the past.

There are a lot first of all. For once in my life I decided to start with book one, The Color of Magic. Only halfway into that book did I read other fans and indeed Mister Pratchett himself state that it’s probably not the best place to start. Which turned out to be a good thing because I wound up really wanting to read, Equal Rites, otherwise known as book three.

The Color of Magic introduces us to the world through a two-bit wannabe wizard called Rincewind who’s charged to protect naïve tourist Twoflower and Twoflower’s magic luggage. Can I just add that luggage that will find you anywhere even in a magic land is an invention that should happen soon?

The book is a lot of fun but it’s more of a geographical introduction to the world. They pop from one place to another for adventures. You meet a ton of people and get a ton of the workings of the place thrown at you which did make it difficult. I couldn’t keep half the names straight and then I just stopped trying. It did get easier toward the end but I definitely felt like I was being whipped around from place to place without much meaning.

Equal Rites is better, smoother and straighter storytelling. Local witch Granny Weatherwax is delivering the eighth son of an eighth son when a dying wizard shows up to gift that kid his power. That kid turns out to be a girl which is a problem because no girls are wizards in this world! So Granny and Esk wind up traveling to the Unseen University to convince them to change that rule before the magic overtakes her.

Esk was a cute heroine. I liked both her curiosity and her can do spirit. She’s like a younger version of Hermione Granger. She’s also smart, brave and kind. Granny Weatherwax did get on my nerves a little toward the end. Right now I’m really loving empowered girls, female heroines and a little bit of fun social commentary. Although despite the smoother story-telling it did feel like I was being hit over the head by the humor in some places.

Recommend: I would recommend. I don’t think you need to read them in any particular order. Discworld is pretty big and I plan to pop in again as there should really be something for anyone in series.

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