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Discworld #5


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There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we'd better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son... a wizard squared... a source of magic... a Sourcerer.

276 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1988

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About the author

Terry Pratchett

657 books40.6k followers
Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987, he turned to writing full time.

There are over 40 books in the Discworld series, of which four are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal.

A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller and was reissued in hardcover by William Morrow in early 2006 (it is also available as a mass market paperback - Harper Torch, 2006 - and trade paperback - Harper Paperbacks, 2006).

In 2008, Harper Children's published Terry's standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation. Terry published Snuff in October 2011.

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Pratchett has won numerous literary awards, was named an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Warwick in 1999, the University of Portsmouth in 2001, the University of Bath in 2003, the University of Bristol in 2004, Buckinghamshire New University in 2008, the University of Dublin in 2008, Bradford University in 2009, the University of Winchester in 2009, and The Open University in 2013 for his contribution to Public Service.

In Dec. of 2007, Pratchett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. On 18 Feb, 2009, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away on 12th March 2015.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,902 reviews
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
236 reviews3,118 followers
May 21, 2022
Check out my new youtube channel where I show my instant reactions to reading fantasy books seconds after I finish the book.

The best Discworld book if read chronologically, but doesn't deliver as much as books later in the series

This book is a little difficult for me to recommend to people, as I continually find the Rincewind branch of books to be a step below the City Watch & Death branches. However, if Rincewind books are your style, this is one of the best of the bunch.

The pace is a little uneven in this book, as it goes long stretches of slower pace that randomly get slammed with action and huge flourishes of humor. But the dynamic between Rincewind and some more stereotypical fantasy characters is a high point here.

Read this book if you are a Discworld veteran and already invested in the series, otherwise start with Guards! Guards! or Mort for a more enjoyable hook into Discworld.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
797 reviews3,632 followers
June 7, 2020
Chastity, celibacy, abstinence, contraceptives, and vasectomy all don´t help if determination predicts and wants that the chosen one is born. To do the usual Discworld shattering stuff.

One knows these problems with prophecies, long awaited, much turmoil surrounding them, and as soon as they become reality it happens completely different than Cassandraded and Michel de Notredamed because of black swans, butterfly effects, or unexpected variations in anything quantum.

Evil, hate filled villains couldn´t be more fun than in this apocalyptic part of the Rincewind series and wait to see how he lurches through disaster, it´s hilarious. But seriously, Pratchett deals with the topic of power, governance, madness, revenge,… and starts using it as a driving force, often reappearing in his other works.

Tremble in awe, Discworld, as Conina, daughter of Cohen the barbarian, enters the stage to dump gender stereotypes and anything in her way. Pratchett establishes another strong female character with the difference of a fusion of iron body and kind soul, not just the brainpower and some mental, psychological, and magic powers as in the witches and others.

Pratchetts´ McGuffins and Chekhovs´ are not statically and passively awaiting and craving for the heroes but, just as many living and conscious elements and entities of the world, the magic archchancellors´ hat is something with personality, such as the pearwood chest in the first two novels of the series. What is especially amazing about these living furniture and clothes is that they express emotions and opinions without ever saying a word.

The allegory of the great mage wars that left areas of the Discworld so contaminated with magic that there is no sane life possible anymore and therefore uninhabited wastelands, is a nice potshot to cold war, MAD doctrine, general saber rattling, and the potential consequences of whatever magic or mundane weapons of mass destruction may be in use. One could further interpret that the super mighty and rare sorcerers could be ingenious devilish demagogues in our world, leading the world close to real apocalypses or that unleashed technology can´t find it´s way back to Pandoras´ box or that… As always, Pratchett offers many possible interpretations.

Benevolent dictatorships for the sake of humankind or, in this case, fairy tale creatures and Middle Age population, are always a double edged sword. In contrast to a maniac God emperor with secret police, a softened authoritarian government may seem a better alternative, but how the legitimation is explained in this case is hilarious. Sad that there have been even more ridiculous explanations in reality people bought and accepted.

So we have many fantasy tropes, especially destructive ones, mixed together, as always an extreme density of scenes and fast cuts and, best of all, Pratchett is getting better and better with each novel. One notices that the first ones, especially the ones outside the Discworld, still had elements and signs of a training genius, but we are coming closer and closer to his high period where be permanently produces masterpieces until successively becoming darker, cynical, and sadly less funny, towards the predicted end of his life and work.

Something that possibly wouldn´t have happened without the incurable disease, although he had dark tones before it too, but they might not have become so overwhelmingly depressing and intensive, a kind of having lost hope in humankind feeling.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:

This one is added to all Pratchettian reviews:
The idea of the dissected motifs rocks, highlighting the main real world inspirational elements of fiction and satire is something usually done with so called higher literature, but a much more interesting field in readable literature, as it offers the joy of reading, subtle criticism, and feeling smart all together.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,977 followers
November 4, 2018
This is going to sound rather critical despite my rating, but I feel like I ought to be rather honest. The basic over-story is pretty good, as is the action and most of the humor, but there was still swaths of text that felt like it was trying too hard.

More funny, more witty, more like Color of Magic than Color of Magic. It wasn't just Rincewind, who I always loved. Rincewind reminds me of Schmendrick from Last Unicorn, only he really doesn't have any magic at all. Ever. And yet, his whose sense of identity and action is still totally in line with being a wizard, and he even puts everything on the line for it. I like that.

I even liked Nijel the Barbarian and Conina the Hairdresser and the Sapient Pearwood Chest is always a delight, but other than a good smattering of good scenes with all of them, I kept stopping the book and wondering if it would ever get on with it.

The adventure seemed good, but it was really focused on the zingers just a tad too much and I got tired of them. Isn't that odd?

Even so, it was mostly pretty awesome as Pratchett usually is. :)

As an afterthought, I was thinking about Rincewind in relations to Pratchett, himself. I was thinking that maybe Pratchett was Rincewind. As a writer, it's always about faking it until you make it. Keep with the decision and call yourself what you will be. Believe it and move mountains, just like Rincewind. Or Pratchett. :)

And then there's also the hallmark self-depreciation, the humor. There was that really big inspiration, that one unique idea that hit Rincewind with great fanfare.... with his companions calling him an idiot right after he expressed it.

Pretty classic. :)
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 21, 2020
Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3), Terry Pratchett

Sourcery is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the fifth book in his Discworld series, published in 1988.

Death comes to collect the soul of Ipslore the Red, a wizard who was banished from Unseen University for marrying and having children, something forbidden for wizards. Bitter over this fate, Ipslore vows to take revenge upon the wizards through his eighth son, Coin.

As the eighth son of a wizard, Coin is born a sourcerer, a wizard who generates new magic rather than drawing it from the world, effectively making him the most powerful wizard on the Disc. At the moment of his death, Ipslore transfers his essential being into the infant Coin's staff, preventing Death from collecting his soul and allowing him to influence his son.

Eight years later, Virrid Wayzygoose, the next Archchancellor of Unseen University, is murdered by Coin, who then forces his way into the university's Great Hall.

After Coin bests one of the top wizards in the University, he is welcomed by the majority of the wizards. Rincewind, The Luggage and the Librarian miss Coin's arrival, having fled the University shortly beforehand.

While they are at the Mended Drum, Conina, a professional thief and a daughter of Discworld legend Cohen the Barbarian, arrives holding a box containing the Archchancellor's hat, which she has procured from the room of Wayzygoose, and possesses a kind of sentience as a result of being worn by hundreds of Archchancellors.

Under the direction of the hat, which sees Coin as a threat to wizardry and the very world, Conina forces Rincewind to come with her and take a boat to the city of Al Khali, where the hat claims there is someone fit to wear it. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هجدهم ماه می سال 2016میلادی

عنوان: مجموعه جهان صفحه - کتاب پنج - جادوی مرجع (سورسری)؛ نویسنده: تری پرتچت (پراچت)؛ مترجم: محمد حسینی مقدم؛ تهران، ویدا، 1394؛ در 404ص؛ شابک 9786002911278؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 20م

سری دیسک ورلد (جهان صفحه)، در برگیرنده ی بیش از چهل رمان، یازده داستان کوتاه، چهار کتاب علمی، و چندین کتاب مرجع و مکمل است؛ از این سری چندین رمان تصویری، بازی کامپیوتری، نمایش تئاتر، مجموعه ی تلویزیونی اقتباس شده‌ است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Adrian.
562 reviews197 followers
May 3, 2019
What can one say, it had magic, it had heroes (and heroines), it had the Librarian, it had Rincewind, it had The Luggage and it had DEATH . What more do you need for a great Discworld novel.
More tomorrow, now where’s that banana 🍌

And so continues my journey through the Discworld novels. I am purposefully restricting my self to one a month to ensure that a) they last as long as possible and b) I don't binge read them all to the detriment of all other books.

This was number 5 and I started in December so its going to plan so far. This book is another excellent example of Sir Terry's wonderful storytelling and wit. I think, in my humble opinion, that he gradually got into his stride with these novels, as they gradually get funnier and more a parody of life in this country when he wrote them.

In this novel we get the daughter of a disc world hero torn between adventuring/heroing and hairdressing, a hero that isn't, a wizzard (sic) that is the worst ever, an eighth son of an eighth son and of course the most sapient luggage ever (that gets a hangover). So if you follow any of that or even find it mildly amusing then this book is for you.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,868 reviews16.5k followers
December 30, 2019
Sourcery is Sir Terry Pratchett’s fifth installment of his brilliantly funny and inventive Discworld series.

First published in 1988, this is another Rincewind novel and centers around the Discworld phenomena of the eighth son of an eighth son – of an eighth son!! is a Sourceror, meaning a source of magic and therefore much more powerful.

Pratchett populates this entry with many familiar characters such as The Librarian, Nijel the Destroyer and Conina the Hairdresser, daughter of Cohen the Barbarian, the luggage and, of course, Death.

Not as outrageously or uproariously funny as the previous four, this is still good fun and a worthwhile visit with Sir Terry.

Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
590 reviews249 followers
April 4, 2023
Scorned wizard instills a sense of revenge into his genius baby boy, who subsequently sets out to conquer the world.

ominous lightning in a storm

First, all of you who've been giving the Rincewind subseries a wide berth (my past self, included) should know that you're missing out! This book is surprisingly good, especially the scenes featuring Rincewind himself. Yes, it once again dumps a whole lot of philosophical treatise on us, but at least there's a marked effort in making it all focus on a single topic, rather than mixing in everything but the kitchen sink.

Speaking of entertainment, there are a lot of humorous quotes to choose from, but none spoke to me so much as Rincewind's cowardly but 100% honest remarks. Yes, I'm just as likely to swoon over a handsome knight in shining armor as others, but realistically speaking getting a doctor's note to excuse me from saving universes seems like a much more sensible approach.

Sorry. I don’t know why, but the prospect of certain death in unknown lands at the claws of exotic monsters isn’t for me. I’ve tried it, and couldn’t get the hang of it. Each to their own, that’s what I say, and I was cut out for boredom.

‘Rincewind, I’ve known you for an hour and I’m astonished you’ve lived even that long!’
‘Yes, but I have, haven’t I? I’ve got a sort of talent for it. Ask anyone. I’m an addict.’
‘Addicted to what?’
‘Life. I got hooked on it at an early age and I don’t want to give it up...’

I'm hooked

That being said, the story is far from faultless. For one, the episodes revolving around the child sorcerer's ruthless killing spree of his opponents quickly got tedious. Sure, it's a worthy idea, but nowhere near original, or even originally presented. Add to that the bitter-sweet ending that the author chose for this book, and he might as well have showed a giant blinking billboard featuring Plato's philosophy, that only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it.

Score: 3.8/5 stars

Having found the two prequel novels fairly disappointing, I've approached Sourcery with rather more trepidation than usual. I'd started reading it several times before, but kept abandoning it only a few pages in. But hey, 56748th time's the charm, right?

In the end, I can say that it's a clear improvement over the two prequels, but there's still a bit of awkwardness left with "serious business" and comical action-adventure sequences neatly divided for most of the story.


Other stories featuring Rincewind the Wizard:
book 1: The Colour of Magic
book 2: The Light Fantastic
book 4: Eric
book 5: Interesting Times
Profile Image for Gary .
200 reviews184 followers
May 11, 2014
Maybe I am tiring of this series. Maybe this book really was slow. Whatever the case is, I had a difficult time getting into it. The humour was sometimes engaging and sometimes forced. It almost felt like the author was following the formula that had worked in previous books and reproducing it mechanically rather than spontaneously. It reminded me of a musical band that has had a couple of hit songs and decided that since they want to make money, they better reproduce the next song with the exact formula. Yet the next one is never as good as the original.
As I said, it could just be me. I may be tiring of this series. It could also be that this author had periods where he lacked inspiration, or his mind wasn't completely in his writing, but he pushed through and wrote anyway. That's what this book felt like to me.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,264 reviews222 followers
September 3, 2017
Back to the Pratchett reread after skipping Mort. (I love Mort, but I can just about recite it at this point; I didn't need to reread it).

On the Discworld the eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard and that would normally be the end of that. But if that wizard also has sons then his eighth son is a sourcerer, a source of magic of Disc-shattering power. Our hero from the first two books in the Discworld series, Rincewind, returns with a young sourcerer arriving at Unseen University. Events after that see the Discworld facing the Apocralypse with only Rincewind and his companions to stand in the way.

This book is widely acknowledged to be a lesser work in the series, and just from the point of view of reading them one after the other, it's probably seen worse because of how great the previous three books are. It's probably still better than The Colour of Magic, but lacks that book's feature of introducing the reader to the Discworld.

For me this is largely because I don't find Rincewind to be a particularly interesting character, but there's a problem with a lack of care around just about every character in this book for me. Although that being said, I liked that the Luggage gets a character arc. The Luggage. As for the character of Conina, I see where he was going here, but I really have to direct people to Tansy Rayner Roberts excellent essay series on Pratchett's Women.
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
576 reviews214 followers
July 26, 2017
2.5 stars.

I hate rating this low, but I have to be honest. I spent more time counting off pages to completion than I did on reading it.

There were some really funny parts and snippets of awesome. But in the end, it just wasn't connecting with me. It took me a month to finish. Ugh...

Still, I certainly didn't dislike it. I'm just hoping to get more hooked on the series before too much longer....
Profile Image for Toby.
832 reviews329 followers
March 30, 2013
“Not much call for a barbarian hairdresser, I expect,' said Rincewind. 'I mean, no-one wants a shampoo-and-beheading.”

For some reason this, the fifth instalment of the Discworld series, feels the most derivitive and the most puerile in terms of humour.

The premise, as much as you can call it that, is the story of an eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. A wizard squared...a source of magic...a Sourcerer. Sourcery died out on the Disc thousands of years ago. Magic has become old and lazy and life is calm. With a new source of sourcery the very Disc itself is in danger of being ripped apart. Step forward Rincewind, prize coward and once more the Disc's unlikely saviour, with the help of the hairdressing daughter of Cohen the Barbarian, The Luggage and Nigel, first son of a Greengrocer but barbarian in training.
“There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, he was nothing more than a comma on the page of History. It's sad, but that's all you can say about some people.”

It's easy to see why Pratchett kept returning to the cowardly wizard in the early books, his character traits allows for the explanation of magic without the need for obvious exposition and also drives the narrative when it falls in to dangerous territory that you can't easily write your way out of, just by having him do something cowardly. But after five books that almost all feature him in some way I'm pretty much fed up with him and the recycled jokes that go along with him.

I remembered the boy wizard Coin as the reason why I disliked this book on first read but this time it became apparent that it wasn't his fault at all, it was Conina and Nigel and Creosote, the pointless threesome that seemed to exist solely as a running joke without driving the narrative. Another point of annoyance is that Pratchett only acknowledges the previous instalments when it suits him, the reintroduction of Twoflower's luggage for example whereas he completely ignores the fact that Rincewind has met Death several times previously for the sake of reusing a lame joke. Frustrating!
“It's vital to remember who you really are. It's very important. It isn't a good idea to rely on other people or things to do it for you, you see. They always get it wrong.”

There's a lot of good to be found amongst the rubble of this Disc disaster, the developing of the Librarian as a character for example, the great Pratchett critical eye reflecting humanity like a fun house mirror, the best part for me though is the destruction of the wizard hierarchy whilst restoring the partially destroyed world with the Big Red Button trope, allowing Pratchett to actually develop real characters with his replacement wizards in later novels. Oh how I long to read about Ridcully and the Bursar and Stibbons and Hex once more.

In case you haven't been following my rereading of the Discworld, this time through I am using the audiobooks to exercise with to surprisingly good effect. Until now. Exercising to this is hard work, it's just not interesting enough, or funny enough, my mind certainly isn't distracted from the tedium of exercise that's for sure. I always marked this as my least favourite Discworld and nothing has changed in the past 10 years. Bring on Wyrd Sisters!
Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
August 6, 2021
Once upon a time on the Disc, the eight son of an eight son (eighth sons all become wizards, because magic on the Disc follows the rule of eights) had seven sons. And then he had another son, who was destined to be the most powerful wizard of his time: a source of magic. A sourceror, if you will. He was guided by his magic staff, which, naturally, was possessed by the spirit of his dead father.

This book is not about the sourcerer. Terry Prachett only bothers to keep us updated on the movements of the sourcerer (a boy called Coin) when there's no other way around it. This is a book about Rincewind the wizard, which means that our protagonist spends the majority of his time hiding, if not actively running away, from the plot of his own book. For anyone reading this book with no prior knowledge of Discworld, this will make him a confusing and frustrating protagonist. If, however, you're like me and adore him with all your heart, you will be delighted.

Honestly though, how can you not be delighted by a hero who's faced with a blatant Call To Adventure and reacts like this:

"A thing with a goblin's face, harpy's body and hen's legs turned its head in a series of little jerks and spoke in a voice like the peristalsis of mountains (although the deep resonant effect was rather spoiled because, of course, it couldn't close its mouth).
It said: 'A Ourceror is umming! Eee orr ife!'
Rincewind said "Pardon?" But the thing had gone past and was lurching awkwardly across the ancient lawn.
So Rincewind sat and stared blankly at nothing much for fully ten seconds before giving a little scream and running as fast as he could."

The whole book is endlessly quotable, honestly, and also I'm kind of at a loss to describe the plot in any more detail, so here are some more quotes I bookmarked while I was reading:

"This happens to everyone sooner or later.
For example, in a tavern someone jogs your elbow and you turn around quickly and give a mouthful of abuse to, you become slowly aware, the belt buckle of a man who, it turns out, was probably hewn rather than born.
...In other words, it's the familiar hot sinking feeling experienced by everyone who has let the waves of their own anger throw them far up on the beach of retribution, leaving them, in the poetic language of the everyday, up shit creek."

"'I can't hear anything,' said Nijel loudlly. Nijel was one of those people who, if you say 'don't look now,' would immediately swivel his head like an owl on a turntable. These are the same people who, when you point out, say, an unusual crocus just beside them, turn around aimlessly and put their foot down with a sad little squashy noise. If they were lost in a trackless desert you could find them by putting down, somewhere on the sand, something small and fragile like a valuable old mug that had been in your family for generations, and then hurrying back as soon as you heard the crash.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,885 reviews31.2k followers
May 9, 2022
I am loving this series. The absurdity is just what I need at this moment.

This is book 5 in the Discworld series and the 5th book I have read. I have heard many booktube opinions that seem most people don't like the Rincewind books so much but I enjoy them immensely. I adore the Luggage and Rincewind is a great character.

This story, Terry takes a few beats from the 1001 Arabian Knights tale, mixes in some Conan the Barbarian and the Apocalypse. It turns out that to be a wizard, one must be born the 7th son of a 7th son. Wizard aren't supposed to have children. If a wizard has 8 kids, that 8th kid will be a Sorcerer. They are so powerful, they can change all of reality and even banish the gods, if they choose.

I simply love Terry's writing and how quick he is with a joke. I love the humor and just how absurd it all is. He is truly a gift to our world. I'm glad I'm making headway into these books and I look forward to reading more. This book sort of ends on a cliff hanger and I look forward to finding out what happens next. I also enjoyed the character of Conina, the Barbarian, who wants to be a hairdresser. She is amazing.

Profile Image for Julian Worker.
Author 35 books353 followers
April 10, 2022
Wonderful imagination and terrific humour as usual from this excellent fantasy author.

Although I really don't like Rincewind, I admire the writing that makes me not like him. To me, he comes across as a bit of a failure and lacking in courage and things happen despite his presence. But again, credit to Terry Pratchett for the strong character definition.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,030 reviews164 followers
July 31, 2018
Here we have the third book featuring Rincewind (and the Luggage). The plot of this story is secondary to the quirkiness of the characters and the settings. There’s Sourcery vs. Magic and some spoofing off the Arabian Nights. I was getting a little tired of it by the end. But it was still funny, and I found some favorite bits to quote:

“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

“It’s vital to remember who you really are. It’s very important. It isn’t a good idea to rely on other people or things to do it for you, you see. They always get it wrong.”

“If failure had no penalty success would not be a prize.”

“I’m not going to ride on a magic carpet!” he hissed.
“I’m afraid of grounds!”
“You mean heights,” said Conina. “And stop being silly.”
“I know what I mean! It’s the grounds that kill you!”
Profile Image for Lena.
184 reviews75 followers
April 17, 2021
Rincewind - the most unfortunate wizard of the Discworld is saving everybody from evil sourserer and Aprocalypse. Again. In a company of Luggage and other parody misfits. It's funny but feels a lot like previous Rincewind's story.
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,549 reviews1,824 followers
July 23, 2019
In common with Equal Rites the resolution in this book focuses on the need for self-restraint, the best use of power is not to use it at all . This principle allows for the presence of the wizards as a whole in the Pratchett universe to be non-disruptive, but more broadly is a common theme in the Discworld novels and is true also of the Witches stories in which magical interventions are never without consequences and perhaps also in the politics of Lord Vetinari for whom self restraint is the nature of the exercise of power.

Suggestion and assumption have a greater and more successful effect than direct action in these stories.

Some nice moments in this tale include Rincewind attempting to save the Discworld with a half brick in a sock, the comic-poignancy of the unconscious Rincewind attempting to build himself a proper Wizard tower as atavistic response to the Sourcerer was a nice moment, and the triumph of self seclusion in a garden, bringing back memories of the conclusion to Candide.
Profile Image for Kerri.
980 reviews351 followers
August 15, 2021
After the emotional pummeling that was Ken Liu's incredible, harrowing (incredibly harrowing?) short story, The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary, I found cheerful solace in the next book in my Discworld journey. Terry Pratchett's mix of humour, adventure and brilliant insights was much needed. This seems to be a less popular installment in the series, but I loved it. I was so pleased to be back with Rincewind, and of course, The Luggage. Rincewind blunders around, running away from things, collecting a new team of sorts along the way. The Luggage and a Sourcerer wreaks entertaining havoc. I enjoyed every moment.

Next up, Wyrd Sisters, the 6th Discworld book and the second of the Witches series!
Profile Image for Exitgirl05.
148 reviews66 followers
December 6, 2018
Mislim da mi je do sada ovo ubedljivo najduhovitija Pračetova knjiga o Disksvetu. Fenomenalan i dalje oduševljava!
Profile Image for Trish.
1,947 reviews3,405 followers
September 12, 2017
This is the 5th Discworld book and the 3rd with Rincewind. He's not exactly a main character though, or at least not the only one.

You see, we already know from the 3rd novel that the eighth son of an eighth son is predestined to become a wizard, but here we discover what happens if that eighth son of an eighth son then goes on and has an eighth son as well - the boy becomes a wizard squared, a sourcerer.
There is a reason why wizards aren't allowed to have families/children. However, as you will find here, the boy isn't REALLY the problem.

Thus we are thrown into a turmoil, a quest to a number of corners of the Discworld with Rincewind, Luggage, Conina and, later, Nijel.
Because though their adventure starts out more or less as a way of running away from the upcoming war, they will have to find a solution or the entire Discworld will be destroyed (not to mention the trouble about the Gods).

I don't know what it is, but for some reason Rincewind isn't really all that funny. In general, but especially here. There is only so many times I can sympathize with the old bloke who wants to be a wizard more than anything even without the faintest talent. Luggage only had one sort-of funny scene here, too (when it got drunk). And although the sexism about Conina has got to have been deliberate (probably why ), it couldn't make me laugh either.

In fact, I'm sad to say that I didn't laugh while reading this book. Not once! *is utterly shocked*
There are a few lines that are pure gold (look at the quotes I added) and the overall storyline isn't bad either, but for some reason the execution didn't work for me. There were a lot of topics thrown in for good measure (like Norse mythology, tales from 1001 Nights, as well as a tip of the hat, pun fully intended, to Frank Herbert's Dune). Maybe a bit too much in fact. So I can see why many say that this is one of the weakest in the entire series.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,864 reviews370 followers
January 27, 2023
My least favourite Discworld book to date. I'm not sure why, as a couple of my preferred characters are here, namely the Librarian and Death. Unfortunately they don't get pivotal roles. I can't say that I like Rincewind very much, but I could get quite fond of the Luggage. An angry magical suitcase is an interesting concept.

I also appreciate Pratchett's word play. Sourcery vs. Sorcery in this particular instance. I was amused by the theft of three of the four horses of the Apocalypse (oh, excuse me, the Apocraplyse). War, Pestilence, and Famine decide to have another drink after they watch Death ride away. One thing leads to another and soon they are too sozzled to participate in the end of the world.

Who would have thought that one could blunder one's way to preventing world destruction. Rather a hopeful concept really.
Profile Image for Cynnamon.
548 reviews99 followers
April 17, 2023
English version below


Terry Pratchett lässt hier kreative Magie auf die Scheibenwelt los. Das Ergebnis ist krachend bunt und unwahrscheinlich unterhaltsam.


Terry Pratchett unleashes creative magic on the Discworld here. The result is dazzlingly colorful and incredibly entertaining.
Profile Image for Tony Z .
102 reviews
August 15, 2015

3.5 Me reí bastante con esta historia del Mundodisco, es hasta ahora la que mejor describe a Rincewind este "hechicero" que no hace magia, y que intenta huir de todos los peligros que se le presenten, que son insistentes en su vida, pero que en el fondo tiene un gran corazón, cada vez siento mas cariño por este personaje, me hace reír, con su manera, por ejemplo, de querer salvar al mundo del peligroso Rechicero (que posee mas poderes que los dioses) agitando una media con un ladrillo adentro ¿entonces porque no le doy mas estrellas? porque aun estoy tratando de acostumbrarme a los condenados finales de Pratchett, que te mueven el piso. Aun así es una historia bastante entretenida y me hace querer seguir leyendo sobre las peripecias de Rincewind

Hay ochenta niveles de hechicería en el Disco; tras dieciséis años de práctica, Rincewind no había llegado ni al primero. De hecho, si tenemos en cuenta la opinión de algunos de sus tutores, es incapaz hasta de llegar al nivel cero, que es con el que nace la mayor parte de la gente. Por decirlo de otra manera, alguien llegó a sugerir que, cuando Rincewind muriera, el potencial mágico de la raza humana subiría un poquito.

Profile Image for Elena.
124 reviews990 followers
March 14, 2019
La siguiente entrega de las aventuras del mago Rincewind no ha sido de mis preferidas hasta la fecha. En general el argumento no me ha llamado mucho la atención e incluso se me ha hecho algo lento. Una pena que el "Apocrilipsis" no haya conseguido atraparme...
El final, eso si, me ha gustado mucho.
En este caso opino tal y como dicen las 2 estrellas de Goodreads "It was ok".
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
783 reviews133 followers
February 18, 2020
More than 25 years after Sourcery was published, the final discworld book was posthumously released, called The Shepherd's Crown. It was woefully unfinished, but at least it gave us an example-in-print of Sir Terry's writing process, also described in the book's afterword by Pratchett's long-term assistant Rob Wilkins. To paraphrase, he (Pratchett) would write the whole bones of a book, then zip all around polishing up scenes, improving linkages, and basically revising the whole thing repeatedly. Because this process was cut short by, you know, Death, The Shepherd's Crown is a terrible book, excepting in particular one scene that if it did not leave you in tears you are either a heartless bastard or did not spend nearly enough time in the Discworld.

Go on, read it, then come back here. I'll wait.



Oh, you're back! Now you see what I mean about The Shepherd's Crown being woefully unfinished?

Sourcery is also unfinished.

It's the only explanation for what a disappointing book this is. It is in dire need of rewrites, additions, fleshing out, better scene connections, smoother plotting, and more character development.

There are some good bones. The strongest element is Rincewind's dependence on his identity as a wizard and his reactions when this is challenged. This helped endear a character to me that I have previously had a hard time connecting with. This occurs in the setting of a discal struggle to define the role of magic and wizards overall.

Some new characters were welcome additions. Conina wants to be a hairdresser but is compelled to engage in barbarianism because of, as explained to her by an unnamed old witch, "herrydeterry" (and if you can't figure out who that old witch was for yourself, then you seriously need to read more Discworld). Nijel "the Destroyer", a barbarian for all of three days when we meet him, is a gas.

Other new characters left a lot to be desired. Spelter and Carding are wizards who are devoid of personalities and fulfill such weak roles that I don't know why Pratchett bothered. Creosote is okay, I guess. A certain three horsemen could have been vastly entertaining but were reduced to uninteresting drunken sots. Coin was, plot-wise, a central figure, but apparently forgot to be written into the book for most of it.

And some old characters received mixed treatment. The Librarian received his largest role to date in this book and shined. After being called a "monkey" in a prior book without proceeding to rip the offender's limbs off, he finally builds his ape cred. Terry Pratchett grew to advocate for orangutan preservation (in the round world) and you can see the beginnings of his appreciation for these creatures here. The Luggage... should have had a triumphant return, but it behaved so out of character and was removed from the action, it ended up as merely a disappointing side plot.

The plot overall was a mess. The arch-chancellor's hat... a mess. The towers... a mess. The love triangle (quadrangle when taken as a whole, really)... a mess. The whole armageddon thing... well you get the idea. It's just a bunch of scenes that, if you squint really hard kind of go together, but the overall effect is one of great randomness and poorly-executed ideas.

Sourcery desperately needed more pass-throughs to make it an intelligible book, so what happened? This was Pratchett's first book written after he quit his day job. Did he just not know what to do with himself at this point? Did he struggle to get on track with the two-books-per-year schedule that ran for several years? Was it a deadline from the publisher and/or did Pratchett simply write himself into a corner and was unable to fix this mess in the time available?

It is what it is, and, hey, we still have over three dozen terrific Discworld novels to go back to, so this aberration can be forgiven.

Profile Image for Simcha York.
180 reviews17 followers
February 6, 2013
Sourcery, the fifth book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, marks his first real triumph. Like the previous book in the series, Mort, Sourcery builds on the humor of the first several books in the series and adds to it a depth of empathy and narrative prowess. The humor in particular is no longer derivative of Douglas Adams but has morphed into a style that is much more incisive and distinctive to Pratchett.

The story is similar in many ways to both The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites, but unlike those two earlier entries, this book wraps up its narrative in a tight and very satisfying manner. Like the first two Discworld books, this is a Rincewind book. But for the first time, Rincewind takes a much more active role the plot. He is still the coward and inveterate schlimazel of the earlier books, but he now carries the plot rather than simply floating along with it like a jellyfish.

Pratchett's skills as a satirist are still not yet fully evident this early in the series. The humor and plot to some degree both still rely on an appreciation of fantasy tropes - like both The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites, nothing less than the fate of the world is at stake - but his appeal is already become broader. Like Mort, this is an early Discworld novel that will probably have some appeal to an audience beyond fantasy fandom.
Profile Image for Olethros.
2,617 reviews429 followers
November 14, 2014
-Magia, fin del mundo y humor.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. El octavo hijo de un octavo hijo de un octavo hijo es un rechicero, un caso muy poco común y de magia extremadamente poderosa. Uno de ellos, Coin, de diez años y acompañado del cayado en el que está encerrada el alma de su padre, trata de hacerse con el puesto de Archicanciller de la Universidad Invisible. Pero el sombrero del Archicanciller, otra entidad de magia pura, con la ayuda del mago Rincewind y de la hija de Cohen el bárbaro, tratará de evitar el fin de todo. Quinto libro de la saga Mundodisco.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

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