Introducing The Colour of Magic

[This is the first of our semi-weekly posts intended to bring readers up to date with the next book on our blogging and podcasting agenda—in this case, The Colour of Magic, which we’ll be writing about on Friday, 23 October and Tuesday, 27 October, and discussing via podcast on Friday, 30 October. Come read with us!]

The Colour of Magic

First Published in 1983 • #1 in the series • #1 in the Wizards story arc

SUMMARY:

The Colour of Magic follows Rincewind, the Disc’s most cowardly wizard, and Twoflower, the Disc’s first and most naive tourist, as they embark on a journey from the Circle Sea to the Edge of the World, encountering barbarians, monsters, and all manner of classic High Fantasy danger. This book introduces Rincewind, the Luggage, and Great A’Tuin him or herself.

Rincewind

DIVING IN:

Ryan: The Colour of Magic is going to be an entirely new experience for me, and I bring the (perhaps dangerous) foreknowledge of where the series goes to my reading of this first book. Up to this point, I’ve plotted my journey hubward by circumventing Rincewind, having heard that these first books are craggier terrain than those that have come to define the Disc for me. But I cannot resist the temptation of world-building, and so I embark with The Colour of Magic eager to see how this world and mirror of worlds begins.

Anne: I read The Colour of Magic over 10 years ago when I first started reading Terry Pratchett. The part of me that needs to start at the beginning would not have been able to resist its siren’s call, so I think it was one of the first books I read. I distinctly remember feeling sort of “eh” at the time, and I guess it was enough that I never went back to reread it, a rare happenstance with me and Discworld. Now that I am old and sage, I’m glad I’m reading it again for Hubward Ho! with some fresh perspective. Here’s to second chances, Rincewind!

FAVORITE LINES:

Ryan:

“See…

Great A’Tuin the turtle comes, swimming slowly through the interstellar gulf, hydrogen frost on his ponderous limbs, his huge and ancient shell pocked with meteor craters. Through sea-sized eyes that are crusted with rheum and asteroid dust He stares fixedly at the Destination.

In a brain bigger than a city, with geological slowness, He thinks only of the Weight.”

Anne:

“‘I have a task for you,’ said Fate. His words drifted across Death’s scythe and split tidily into two ribbons of consonants and vowels.”

SUPERLATIVES:

Ryan: Most Space Animals in a Fantasy Book Prize
Anne: Winner of The Longest Expository Footnote in the Series Award

PRETENTIOUS ACADEMIC SUBTITLES:

Ryan: The Colour of Magic: Hey, There are Four Books in Here
Anne: The Colour of Magic: I Guess He Did Name Those Elephants

Want to read along? Bring your local librarian a banana and ask him/her/it if The Colour of Magic is available in your library’s catalog.

Otherwise, go to your favorite Internet Search Machine, type in “THE COLOUR OF MAGIC + PLEASE HELP BUY” and go from there.


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