Release Date: 3rd October 2008
Edition: UK paperback, movie bind-up edition
On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naïve tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…
Leaping into the world of a beloved author for their farewell tour is always a risk, but with Terry Pratchett, I felt I was pretty safe.
Pratchett is a legend, the man as well as his books, so I really wanted to be a part of the UKYA community honouring his life and his work. Id already decided that I was finally going to read one of his novels when the lovely Viv of serendipity Reviews proffered the idea of a blog tour – I was sold! At forty books, his famous Discworld series is rather intimidating and after reading countless articles on the best picks of the series and the one you should start with, I went old school and started at the beginning.
The Colour of Magic is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It did take me twenty to thirty pages to settle into the madcap world of Rincewind, but once I did, I was rather captivated. The depth and breadth of Terry Pratchett’s imagination is mind-boggling. I couldn’t even begin to guess where Rincewind and Twoflower’s misadventures would take them next, or how they’d escape with their lives. The world building is so complex and complete but ever-expanding; you can tell that this world really is where his mind was most of the time. Extraordinary.
Even though the Disc world is completely different to our own, I did spot a couple of mutilated words and objects from reality creep in and I loved deciphering them – they were rarely obvious! The connection to the reader that this gives you is important in fantasy, I think, and is probably one of the reasons why these books are so widely loved by everybody, not just hardcore fantasy readers.
With the exception of Rincewind, Twoflower and Death I do think that the characterisation suffered a little in favour of the zany plot and spectacular world building, especially when it came to female characters. Now I know that this was originally published back in 1983 but reading it in 2015 certainly shines a light on the lack of girls and women in the book. I didn’t tally them or anything while reading but I can only actually recall two in the entire novel, and though they were pretty badass, powerful women they definitely had an aura of the manic pixie dream girl about them and they were either completely naked or barely covered for the duration of their time in the story. I can only hope that there’s more of a female presence as we move through the years and the series goes on.
I really enjoyed The Colour of Magic and I’m really glad I decided to give this world a go. I’ll definitely be diving back in to catch up with the hapless wizard and his partner in near-death experiences.
Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Farewell Terry Pratchett Tour (click the image to enlarge) – spread the world and celebrate one of the world’s most treasured writers.