My Discworld reading adventure: Book #1, The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic
Published 1983
294 pages

My Discworld Challenge:

As I mentioned last month, I made the big decision to finally start reading the Discworld series! Beginning August 2020, I’ll be starting a new Discworld book on the 1st of each month, going in order of publication date.

And ta-da! I’m underway!


Terry Pratchett’s profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

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 naive 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…

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My reaction:

This was… cute? Fortunately, enough people have mentioned that the first Discworld book isn’t among the best, so I wasn’t too disappointed by the experience.

The Color of Magic introduces the world of Discworld — a flat disc of a planet that’s carried through space on the shoulders of four elephants standing on the back of a huge turtle. As a concept, it’s pretty cool. The first book introduces the basics of the planet and its residents, as well as its gods and magical systems. It’s pretty intricate and also nonsensical, so I can’t swear that I managed to follow it all.

As for the plot of The Color of Magic, it’s light and silly, focusing on the failed wizard Rincewind and the tourist Twoflowers (and Twoflower’s walking Luggage, which has a tendency to devour anyone who tries to attack Twoflowers). They encounter trolls and dragons and barbarians, and find themselves literally at the end of the world, and it’s all quite fun.

This book didn’t blow me away, but I was prepared for that, so I don’t feel let down or dissuaded from continuing onward. I’ve yet to encounter a Discworld fan who says the Rincewind books are their favorite!

One book down! And plenty more to go…

Up next:

September 2020: The Light Fantastic

24 thoughts on “My Discworld reading adventure: Book #1, The Color of Magic

  1. I heard the same about The colour of magic, that’s why I started with Mort ahha!
    Glad you’re still liking it though!


  2. Looking forward to following your adventure! I might restart in a different place once you figure it out 😉 I had a similar reaction to Color of Magic.

    • I’m glad I was prepared for it. Luckily, there’s so much out there by Discworld experts that I feel like I know which books and storylines to really look forward to, so there are lots of reasons to keep going.

  3. That’s a huge project! I did read The Color of Magic a few years ago and I’ve been wondering if maybe I’d be more willing to keep reading them if I picked up Mort or Guards! Guards! as everyone recommends. It was nonsensical, that’s for sure.

  4. This is such a good idea. I read all the Discworld books in a row a few years a go. They really helped me get through Jury service. I hope you enjoy them.

  5. I’m glad you decided to discover the wonderful Discworld 🙂 And I also hope you will find many many books you love!

    Even though I adore Pratchett and his writing, there are a couple of Discworld stories I wasn’t very much into

  6. I’ve read one Terry Pratchett book and didn’t like it much (not Discworld, something else), so I have no interest in this series at all, I’m sorry to say. But I’m curious to see what you think of the other books!

    • Since I’ve heard that it takes a few books to really pick up, I’m keeping my expectations low for now, at least until I get to #4, which I hear is great. What Terry Pratchett book did you read? Before this, I’d read Good Omens (loved it) and Nation (meh).

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