The Color of Magic (Discworld Series #1)

The Color of Magic (Discworld Series #1)

by Terry Pratchett

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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 MagicM 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061796845
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Discworld Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 6,093
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
File size: 577 KB

About the Author

Sir Terry Pratchett was the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books, including his phenomenally successful Discworld series. His young adult novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal, and Where's My Cow?, his Discworld book for “readers of all ages,” was a New York Times bestseller. His novels have sold more than seventy five million (give or take a few million) copies worldwide. Named an Officer of the British Empire “for services to literature,” Pratchett lived in England. He died in 2015 at the age of sixty-six.


Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1948

Place of Birth:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England


Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Read an Excerpt


Fire roared through the bifurcated city of Ankh-Morpork. Where it licked the Wizards' Quarter it burned blue and green and was even laced with strange sparks of the eighth color, octarine; where its outriders found their way into the vats and oil stores all along Merchant Street it progressed in a series of blazing fountains and explosions; in the streets of the perfume blenders it burned with a sweetness; where it touched bundles of rare and dry herbs in the storerooms of the drugmasters it made men go mad and talk to God.

By now the whole of downtown Morpork was alight, and the richer and worthier citizens of Ankh on the far bank were bravely responding to the situation by feverishly demolishing the bridges. But already the ships in the Morpork docks-laden with grain, cotton and timber, and coated with tar-were blazing merrily and, their moorings burnt to ashes, were breasting the river Ankh on the ebb tide, igniting riverside palaces and bowers as they drifted like drowning fireflies toward the sea. In any case, sparks were riding the breeze and touching down far across the river in hidden gardens and remote rickyards.

The smoke from the merry burning rose miles high, in a wind-sculpted black column that could be seen across the whole of the Discworld.

It was certainly impressive from the cool, dark hilltop a few leagues away, where two figures were watching with considerable interest.

The taller of the pair was chewing on a chicken leg and Mugu

"Just go away, will you?" said the rider. "I just haven't got time for you, do you understand?"

He looked around and added: "That goes for your shadow-lovingfleabag partner, too, wherever he's hiding."

The Weasel stepped up to the horse and peered at the disheveled figure.

"Why, it's Rincewind the wizard, isn't it?" he said in tones of delight, meanwhile filing the wizard's description of him in his memory for leisurely vengeance. "I thought I recognized the voice."

Bravd spat and sheathed his sword. It was seldom worth tangling with wizards, they so rarely had any treasure worth speaking of.

"He talks pretty big for a gutter wizard," he muttered.

"You don't understand at all," said the wizard wearily. "I'm so scared of you my spine has turned to jelly, it's just that I'm suffering from an overdose of terror right now. I mean, when I've got over that then I'll have time to be decently frightened of you."

The Weasel pointed toward the burning city.

"You've been through that?" he asked.

The wizard rubbed a red-raw hand across his eyes. "I was there when it started. See him? Back there?" He pointed back down the road to where his traveling companion was leaning on a sword that was only marginally shorter than the average man. If it wasn't for the air of wary intelligence about him it might have been supposed that he was a barbarian from the Hubland wastes.

His partner was much shorter and wrapped from head to toe in a brown cloak. Later, when he has occasion to move, it will be seen that he moves lightly, catlike.

The two had barely exchanged a word in the last twenty minutes except for a short and inconclusive argument as to whether a particularly powerful explosion had been the oil bond store or the workshop of Kerible the Enchanter. Money hinged on the fact.

Now the big man finished gnawing at the bone and tossed it into the grass, smiling ruefully.

"There go all those little alleyways," he said. "I liked them."

"All the treasure houses," said the small man. He added thoughtfully, "Do gems bum? I wonder. 'Tis said they're kin to coal."

"All the gold, melting and running down the gutters," said the big one, ignoring him. "And all the wine, boiling in the barrels."

"There were rats," said his brown companion.

"Rats, I'll grant you."

"It was no place to be in high summer."

"That, too. One can't help feeling, though, a-well, a momentary-"

He trailed off, then brightened. "We owed old Fredor at the Crimson Leech eight silver pieces," he added. The little man nodded.

They were silent for a while as a whole new series of explosions carved a red line across a hitherto dark section of the greatest city in the world. Then the big man stirred.



"I wonder who started it."

The small swordsman known as the Weasel said nothing. He was watching the road in the ruddy light. Few had come that way since the Deosil Gate had been one of the first to collapse in a shower of white-hot embers.

But two were coming up it now. The Weasel's eyes, always at their sharpest in gloom and half-light, made out the shapes of two mounted men and some sort of low beast behind them. Doubtless a rich merchant escaping with as much treasure as he could lay frantic hands on. The Weasel said as much to his companion, who sighed.

"The status of footpad ill suits us," said the barbarian, "but, as you say, times are hard and there are no soft beds tonight. "

He shifted his grip on his sword and, as the leading rider drew near, stepped out onto the road with a hand held up and his face set in a grin nicely calculated to reassure yet threaten.

"Your pardon, sit" he began.

The rider reined in his horse and drew back his hood. The big man looked into a face blotched with superficial burns and punctuated by tufts of singed beard. Even the eyebrows had gone.

"Bugger off," said the face. "You're Bravd the Hublander,* aren't you?"

Bravd became aware that he had fumbled the initiative.

"Just go away, will you?" said the rider. "I just haven't got time for you, do you understand?"

He looked around and added: "That goes for your shadow-loving fleabag partner, too, wherever he's hiding."

The Weasel stepped up to the horse and peered at the disheveled figure.

"Why, it's Rincewind the wizard, isn't it?" he said in tones of delight, meanwhile filing the wizard's description of him in his memory for leisurely vengeance. "I thought I recognized the voice."

Bravd spat and sheathed his sword. It was seldom worth tangling with wizards, they so rarely had any treasure worth speaking of.

"He talks pretty big for a gutter wizard," he muttered.

"You don't understand at all," said the wizard wearily. "I'm so scared of you my spine has turned to jelly, it's just that I'm suffering from an overdose of terror right now. I mean, when I've got over that then I'll have time to be decently frightened of you."

The Weasel pointed toward the burning city…


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The Color of Magic (Discworld Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 316 reviews.
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
I've been collecting the Discworld books in no particular order for a few years now, mostly because my father always had an affinity for them and recommended them as hilarious and entertaining at the same time. Now that I finally got to read the first in the series I can see what the fuss is all about! There is plenty of humor, dry wit and magic, extremely complex scientific and fantastic themes and myriad of characters brighter than all the rainbows and flowers in the world combined. My head was spinning after few pages but somehow I couldn't stop reading; this incredible journey that Pratchett invites the reader on takes some time to get adjusted to, but once I let my mind go and read it slow, it all melted into a fantasy like no other. I can't really imagine kids reading it unless they are prodigies at understanding language because their little brains might pop from the amount of information given; I know mine was taken for a spin a few times!

So here we are, visiting a world that exists as a flat disc with water walling over the edges, carried by four giant elephants standing on an ancient turtle, covered in meteor holes and all sorts of space debris, swimming who knows where....In one of it's cities, Ankh-Morpork , a failed wizard by the name of Rincewind comes across Twoflower, a traveling little man with magical luggage, carved out of rare sapient pear tree that follows him everywhere on its tiny feet. Yes walking luggage, with teeth too, guarding his master and providing lots of entertainment through out the story. The two men are the only ones in the whole city who speak the same language and thus their zany adventures start. Hastily hired as a guide the magician, who sucks at magic but it awfully funny and likable, gets into all sorts of troubles with trolls, dragons, islands with lunatics chased by Death itself without trying to loose poor Twoflower who thinks the whole adventure as a great sight seeing trip, they escape all sorts of scenarios that take them form the murkiest depths of underwater caves into far away galaxies in deep space.

Seems like a lot and it is, but the novel takes all sorts of turns ad twists and one never knows what awaits our heroes on the next page. When Gods play magic dice and Fate and Death are in talks of getting them, our characters have a lot at stake and loosing such charming little fellows would certainly be horrible so the reader is constantly kept on a tight leash as the beauty of the story and its intricate pattern morphs into more fantastic scenarios. I can't even clearly say what this book is about other than being simply fantastic, albeit very complex. Folklore, mythology, fairy tales, comedy and drama, it's all here exquisitely woven for those who dare.

- Kasia S.
MatthewHooban More than 1 year ago
The book is fantastic, but there is a 10-word omission on page 130 of the file that may lead to some confusion. So while I recommend the book, I don't recommend buying it until Barnes & Noble or the publisher fixes the error.
BrettJamen More than 1 year ago
The Color of Magic is to Fantasy novels what The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is to Science Fiction. If you are too serious about either genre, you will not enjoy it. If, by chance, you enjoy the absurd, then this is the book for you.
kah9932 More than 1 year ago
The first book that I had ever read by Terry Pratchett was Hogfather and I now read it on Winter solstice every year. It was from that book that I wanted to read the first book of the Disc World series, which led me on the hunt for this book. I love the characters of Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind. But it is the chest that steals the show so to speak. Although there are only a couple of the Disc World books that feature the adventures of Twoflower and Rincewind I loved every one and will miss the characters enough to want to re-read the books. With that said although there are several books in the series the books can be read in any order. I choose to read all of the books about Twoflower and Rincewind and then all of the books about Death and Susan. If you enjoy British humor and like to poke fun at reality then Terry Pratchett is the author for you and ¿The color of magic¿ is a good place to start.
teh_bruce More than 1 year ago
Although Pratchett's style at this point was still largely undeveloped, and he seems in this book to cling perhaps too tightly to the coattails of Douglas Adams (Rincewind the wizard is still nearly a clone of poor, bungling Arthur Dent), this is still a hilarious book filled with great little bits of satire, magic,. and adventure. Perhaps it's no longer the best intro to the Discworld and its inhabitants, as the tone of the stories changed after Pratchett's initial works, but it's still a great little romp. You'll grin through most of it, and laugh out loud frequently. This is without a doubt one of the best bathtub reading books ever written. Enjoy it--that's the point!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The luggage is the best part of this book! I can't believe how he turned something so ordinary in to something so hilarious! Next time I buy luggage, I hope I can find a piece half as entertaining. I picked up this book thinking it was something easy to read, I am now officially addicted! I'm half way through the series now, and am looking forward to going back and reading them all again! These are a must read for anyone who believes there is a world out there parallel to us, it will make believers of non believers, it will turn non readers in to avid bookworms! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not a waste of time!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this series about 5 times and never get tired of it. If you enjoy funny and witty you will enjoy it too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Also check out the art of disc world, there are really neat character pictures.
Maena More than 1 year ago
loved this book. It's cute, whimsical and definitely worth reading. My only advise is buy the paperback version, it's cheaper than the electronic copy which imho shouldn't be more as it's actually saving them the cost of paper, and production.
Vedamoo More than 1 year ago
A brilliant and humorous tale in a fantasy setting that goes beyond anything that any other author has yet produced. Terry Pratchett's insightful and intelligent humor will keep any mind entranced in this most obscure world. This is a great read and will not get much time on your shelf due to rereading or lending it to someone who has yet to experience this amazing author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. It is a great introduction to the discworld series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gercmbyrne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terry Pratchett is a god who walks among men. The entire Discworld series is a joy and only a strange mad creature cursed by gods and man would refuse to read and love these books!the book that started it all...introducing the discworld,magic,and the most incompetent wizard in any and all realities...
ariebonn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have known about Terry Pratchett for a long long time (ok so who doesn't??), and although I knew that I had to read something by him one day I wasn't really in any hurry. A few months ago a new second hand bookstore opened close to me and they had the entire Discworld series at a really cheap price, but they closed down before I could decide whether to buy them or not. More recently I started going to the library after discovering that they do have quite a few books that I would like to read, and there I was faced with Terry Pratchett again. Loads of books by Terry Pratchett that is. I knew that The Colour of Magic was the first book in the Discworld series, so I went for it even though I have read that you do not need to read the series in any particular order.If you have never read any of the Discworld series before, I would say this would be a good start since it describes the concept of Discworld and includes a bit of history on it as well. It is no secret that Discworld is a flat world, supported by four elephants which are standing on a giant turtle called Great A'Tuin. This book starts in the city of Ankh-Morpork where a tourist with the name of Twoflower has just arrived accompanied his suspicious chest referred to as The Luggage. The main protagonist of the book, Rincewind the inept wizard, finds himself a guide for the tourist and from there the journey begins. Due to a series of unfortunate events, the city of Ankh-Morpork is set on fire and the two of them find themselves fleeing for safety. Unknowing to them, their journey is controlled by the Gods, who are playing a board game. On their way, the characters end up in a temple, find themselves on an upside down mountain which is home to imaginary dragons, and finally come close to going over a waterfall at the edge of the disc when they are saved by a sea troll. They are taken to Krull, where the Krullians have built a space capsule and intend to send it to space to find the gender of Great A'Tuin.When I started this book I wasn't sure where it was going, the strange names and whacky concepts were a little confusing. However once I got used to it I totally loved it! A lot of it is based on reality, just twisted in a way that is barely recognizable. The interesting take on the Big Bang theory, for instance, was the first thing that drew me to the story, but I will let you read the book and find out for yourself what that was about. This book is full of adventure, and with all the bizarre happenings it definitely doesn't get dull. I have also fallen in love with the characters in this book, especially Rincewind and Twoflower, even though they are quite silly. Death is a most interesting character and the same can be said for Hrun the barbarian who is obsessed with himself. I can't help but think that this series is like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy of fantasy. It is a very enjoyable read, and quite funny at times too. This is great for when you want a light book to immerse yourself in and forget about life's troubles. I do need one of these myself from time to time! I definitely plan to check out other books in this series.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first Discworld novel and the most logical starting point, but it did take a while for this series to develop a tone that would appeal to the mainstream. This was effectively a series of short stories all based on the fictional planet, and did a decent job of introducing Discworld with its bizarre (and yet oddly familiar) elements. My favourite of the tales by far was the last - the characters' determination to find out the sex of the turtle carrying the planet was perfectly understandable, just like our own obsession with space travel and discovering truths about the universe. The 'circumfence' was a stroke of genius.
KarenLeeField on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I heard about this series long ago, but never attempted to read the books. I¿m not really sure why, maybe it¿s because my sense of humour is different to most people¿s.Recently, I found myself in a situation where I was able to purchase the ebook at a very reasonable price. I decided to go with the flow. I purchased the book and put it at the top of my ¿to read¿ list.My only expectation from the series was built around the word `funny¿. I¿m not sure I would use that word to describe the book, but it was amusing and it did make me smile a lot. That¿s good enough for me.I was surprised to find the book actually consisted of four stories, not totally related. The two main characters were delightful and they were the reason I read the book to the end. Unfortunately, the ebook was not ideally formatted and I found it difficult to keep track of where the scenes stopped and started. This caused problems with knowing whose point of view I was reading, which was confusing and distracting.I liked reading the book but wasn¿t as impressed as I thought I¿d be. I¿m not sure I¿d be willing to purchase the second ebook to see how things go from here.
polarbear123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To be honest I always refused to read a Pratchet novel becasue of those cartoony corgi covers they were in. Seeing these new covers I thought I would give it a try - I know I am shallow. It turned out to be a great idea as I had great fun gallavanting through this exciting book full of coloUrful characters. There is a lot of humoUr here and I was reminded a lot of Douglas Adams at times. The world Pratchett creates is vivid and addictive- I want to learn more and more about it so therefore I have just orderd some more discworld novels.
Neale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I must admit I was disappointed. I expected more.I played the PC Discworld games years ago and they were great. Based on this one book I'm not sure I see why the series is so popular. The book was funny in parts, but it just jumped around so much you got frustrated. I might read the next one and see if it is better.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
've come to Terry Pratchett somewhat late, only to find I've overlooked a writer deft at the difficult art of farce. Imaginative, funny, zany and without any pretense, Pratchett's The Colour of Magic is an easy, entertaining read that demands nothing of you but your willingness to again become a child and explore a sense of wonder. The world Pratchett creates is a disc carried upon the the backs of four elephants, who in turn ride a great galactic turtle. On this disc-world magic abounds (and hence the interdit regarding the number eight), as do strange creatures (I particularly loved the luggage), strange adventures and even stranger outcomes. Just when you think you've figured out this world and this plot, Pratchett turns his story upside down to see what shakes out.For sheer escapism and entertainment, it doesn't get much better.
Reysbro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
well the good thing is that the Discworld series gets better after this one.
kalafudra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Colour of Magic is the first of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. It was also my starting point for the series. It is shocking, I know, but I¿ve never read anything of this series before.Well, that¿s not entirely true. I started reading The Colour of Magic about 10 years ago and found it immensly boring, so I didn¿t finish it (I think I got to page 15 or so). But deadra kept reading hilarious excerpts from (other) Discworld novels to me, so I figured I¿d give it another shot. And because I have to start a series with the first book, I started with The Colour of Magic again.The story goes like this: Twoflower is the first tourist ever to come to Ankh-Morpork from the Counterweight continent, his only companion a magic chest made from sapient pearwood, which follows him everywhere he goes and fiercly protects Twoflower. Twoflower is pretty naive and to protect him, Rincewind gets recruited as his tour guide. Against his will. Rincewind is a pretty crappy magician, but through an accident, one of the great eight spells got lodged into his brain. And now it wants to say itself at the most inconvenient moments. But because no one knows what it does exactly, it¿s probably not a good idea to do so. Well, Twoflower and Rincewind get entangled in a series of adventures, which are more or less unconnected.I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. It wasn¿t half as funny as I thought it would be [the TV adaptation on the other hand, is. Even though I always had to remind myself that Sean Astin is actually a normal sized man (more or less) and not hobbit sized. It surprised me every time he got up].Back to the book. It wasn¿t bad and I enjoyed reading it, but I just expected it to be laugh-out-loud funny. And it wasn¿t. Expectations can really screw you. I mean, the backstories were great, but the action itself were just average.Well. I¿m pretty sure that the other books are funnier and I do think I will continue to read them.
markbstephenson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An erudite and pagan amusement which clearly influenced J. K. Rowling's later and more Christian Hogwarts series. Lots of action, puns and surprises but not much to warm the soul.
Alan_Dawson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually read this book in stages, (i had a break inbetween reading). This was not due to the book, i had study to do. However despite this i picked the book up at where i left it and could remeber exactly what had been read before. The book was far better than the tv show and inspired me to continue to get the rest of Terry's books. Classic!
RobertDay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Our introduction to the Discworld. A little episodic in places; I understand Pratchettt was writing this in his spare time, and it occasionally feels like a fix-up novel. But laugh-out loud funny.
mearso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this since lots of people seem to like his books and I thought I'd see what all the fuss is about.

Found it reasonably entertaining, though not as funny as I expected for some reason. Took a little while to get going, and was a little irritated by mechanism for getting out of one problem or situation is to whisk the characters away by a seeming rescue, which then turns out to have them in peril once more.

So, not really my thing.