The Color of Magic

Terry Pratchett
The Color of Magic Cover

The Color of Magic


Back when I was in high school, before I discovered Stephen King, I read a lot of humorous fantasy. Piers Anthony was an author I read frequently, and after I joined the Science Fiction Book Club, I discovered Skeeve and Aahz in Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series. So when I stumbled across this book in the SFBC catalog about a witless wizard and his travelling luggage, I figured it sounded like my thing and ordered a copy.

To this day, I don't remember anything about reading The Colour of Magic, but I remember not liking it much at all. Having re-read it, I'm surprised I didn't remember more of it, especially the bit about the luggage. It seems like that would have stuck in my mind a bit more. Regardless, I had kind of committed myself to reading the entire Discworld series as I found the time for it, and where better to start than at the first volume?

In truth, the book still didn't really wow me, but I can't say I'm surprised. Even die-hard Pratchett fans admit that the author didn't really catch his groove until about the third book. This one isn't so much a novel as it is a collection of four novellas featuring the same characters. The stories each had a lot of neat ideas and a lot of potential, but it seemed like Pratchett was more interested in showing off Discworld through the eyes of a tourist than telling a cohesive story. There wasn't as much humor in the book as I was expecting based on the other books I've read in the series (there was only one footnote!), but parts of it did make me chuckle.

The book is a bit of an inauspicious start to an otherwise popular series, and given how much I liked the Moist von Lipwig books (mostly) and Monstrous Regiment, I'm certainly not giving up on the rest of the series. Having made my way through it, though, I look forward to getting to the heart of the series and discovering some of Pratchett's more beloved characters.