Mini Review: Discworld 1-5

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a big place, and, spanning over 40 novels, it can be daunting to try out. But fear no more, as I will be going through the entire Discworld and giving you a little taste of what there is available. Not sure where to start? I’ve got you. Not sure where to go to after Moving Pictures? I’ve got you, too.

But Eleanor, I hear you ask, why don’t you just put all this information in one easy to read post?

The answer to that, dear reader, is…I haven’t read them all yet. There is a large but finite number of Discworld books, and I am in no hurry to reach the day when there are no new adventures left to read. I am, however, going through them in something resembling order, so I present to you mini-reviews of the first five Discworld books.

The Colour of Magic ⭐⭐⭐

The premiere Discworld novel The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, against a white and black marble background.

A Rincewind novel
I won’t be the first to tell you not to start your Discworld adventure here. Full of Pratchett’s self-described ‘boffo laughs’, this baby subverts more tropes than most books contain, and is, sadly, slightly the worse for it. That being said, it is a fun adventure fantasy featuring wizards, barbarians, and the enigmatic, anthropomorphic Luggage.

Featuring: Rincewind, the Luggage, barbarians, wizards, running away from your problems

The Light Fantastic ⭐⭐

The Discworld novel The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett, against a white and black marble background.

A Rincewind novel
The Discworld’s first and only direct sequel, this novel plays to the same tune as The Colour of Magic. If that’s your jam, you’ll love this. If it isn’t your jam, you may get to the end of this book wondering if there are any other flavours available, or perhaps a nice marmalade.

Featuring: Rincewind, the Luggage, barbarians, wizards, druids

Equal Rites ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The witches Discworld novel Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett, against a white and black marble background.

A Witches novel (technically)
Now we’re talking. Pratchett starts to find his stride here with the first definably Discworld novel. Featuring an establishment of witches vs wizards and an immediate takedown of that establishment, this book is a pretty nifty little thing. It also starts Pratchett’s tendency to have a younger character chaperoned by a grumbling old miser. Aka it has the virtue of introducing the mighty, crabby Granny Weatherwax, my favourite character of all time. She isn’t fully formed here, and is missing her companion Nanny Ogg (who we’ll meet later) for her wit to bounce off, but she’s great nonetheless.

Featuring: witches, wizards, patriarchy, feminism, Weatherwax

Mort ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The brilliant Discworld novel Mort by Terry Pratchett, against a white and black marble background.

A Death novel
Introducing Death, and his apprentice, Mort. Death appears in most Discworld novels, but here he takes centre space and it is just great. Mort is also a very endearing dweeb with whom I empathise way, way too much. One of the most highly regarded Discworld books, this is the classic coming-of-age in a truly original form. I absolutely love it.

Featuring: Death, romance, coming-of-age

**This is a solid starting point**

Sourcery ⭐ ⭐

The Discworld novel Sourcery by Terry Pratchett, against a white and black marble background.

A Rincewind Novel
Widely regarded as one of the weaker novels, this follows Rincewind again as a young sourcerer (a wizard squared) is overcome by the staff containing the spirit of his deadbeat dad. Rincewind does take a break soon. I promise. Pratchett steps further into his blend of wit and humanist drama, and leaves us with a surprisingly poignant ending.

Featuring: Rincewind, wizards, sourcerers, bad parenting

And it only gets better from here.

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