The first month of my restarted #DiscworldJourney is already over and yes, I did actually read the two first Discworld novels! Though I have read both The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic a number of times already (and watched the rather weird movie at least once more than necessary), it’s always fun to return to the beginnings …
A Trip around the Discworld with Rincewind and Twoflower
The Colour of Magic
The Unseen University Collection #1
As I said above, I’ve read this one multiple times already. But it is still so good! Yes, if you know some of the newer Discworld novels, it’s obvious that this is one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s earliest works and now well over three decades old. But it is still fun and a great way to start of reading the Discworld novels.
Accompanying the somewhat inept wizard Rincewind and the rich tourist Twoflower on their trip across the Discworld is and always will be a great fun. Thanks to Twoflower’s naive and bumbling ways, the two of them stumble from one tragical and hilarious adventure into the next and Rincewind is busy trying to keep himself and the blissfully ignorant tourist alive – and more than once they only survive thanks to the intervention of Twoflower’s sentient, walking and rather aggressive treasure chest, the Luggage (which, ironically, is also the reason for many of their troubles).
The Colour of Magic is a great first novel and introduction to this world because Twoflower really wants to hit all the tourist hotspots, all the must-sees while Rincewind is more or less happy to be along for the ride. Okay, he is decidedly less happy but determined to survive the entire thing somehow. And the gods of the Discworld, just like the readers, are highly entertained by the strange going-ons. Which end in a quite literal cliffhanger btw, because this is only the first half of the story …
The Light Fantastic
The Unseen University Collection #2
And this is the second half! Which is why I’m not sure what to write about The Light Fantastic, because it really is a direct sequel to The Colour of Magic. So, basically, everything I wrote above also applies to this novel. These are two of the very few Discworld novels you really cannot read out of order and, again, Rincewind and Twoflower’s journey across the Discworld is a great introduction to Sir Terry Pratchett’s fantastic world, so I would definitely recommend this as a starting point for your personal reading journey into the Discworld.
Yes, the books are old but they are not nearly as dated as some other works might be after several decades. The topics Pratchett tackles in his works is often quite timeless and stays relevant long after the original publication. In the case of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic I still feel like every other sentence is some perfectly spot-on observation about the world (here focussing largely on the impact of tourism) and basically everything is quotable.
So despite being not as smooth and polished as some of Pratchett’s later works, this is a quick and easy (the books are both relatively short at just about 250 pages) intro to the Discworld, fantastical and hilarious but also poignant observations about society. A clear recommendation!
And that’s it for the first #DiscworldJourney update! During October I’ll be reading Equal Rites and Mort, the third and fourth Discworld novels and the first focussing on the witches and Death respectively. As those are probably my two favourite sub-series, I am really looking forward to this!