This is part 2 of my 40 part review of the entire Discworld series, in chronological order of release.
Today’s book is The Light Fantastic, by Terry Pratchett.
Mini-Review Better than Color of Magic, but should be read after for full understanding of certain sections of the plot. Introduces great characters and sets things up that later books will use to great effect.
Spoiler Free Review The Light Fantastic picks up immediately after the last one, and reading them only a week apart really brings some things to light. One is how much a book benefits from a single coherent plot as opposed to four, another is how little the first book changed the characters.
This book has great characterization, each person feels distinct and has an arc that changes them as the book goes on. In The Color of Magic, even through all the fantastical things that happened, the characters came out acting the same as they did going in.
Once again, this book has some inconsistencies compared to the later books, which get much more consistant in world building and have a continuity of character development that is a joy to read. It’s just getting started in this book, and there are some teething issues, but the things I love about Discworld are almost fully formed and it really shows. I’d read this over the previous book nine times out of ten.
Below the cut is another spoiler filled dissection of the major plot points and world/character building.
Next week on #ReviewsdayTuesday is “Equal Rites”, about the Disc’s first female Wizard. That should be interesting (and slightly frustrating), given how prevalent some sexist attitudes turn out to be among the magical community.
Today I begin my 40 part series, reviewing the entire Discworld series in chronological order!
Up first is The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett.
Mini-Review Good read, witty dialogue, interesting world building, great characters. Maybe not the best book to start reading the series? Worth reading eventually, though.
Spoiler Free Review The Color of Magic is the first book in the Discworld series. It stars Rincewind, a failed wizard who, while being an tremendous coward, is easily one of my favorite characters in the entire series. This is saying a LOT, given Terry Pratchett’s long list of amazing characters. The book is interesting to re-read after so long. Mr. Pratchett’s style has changed greatly since his first book, for the better I might add. Not to say that this book is bad, it just seems rough around the edges compared to what I’m used to.
It’s also unusual in that unlike almost every other Discworld novel, this book reads like an anthology of sorts. There are four distinct stories, each a direct sequel to the one previous one, but the only consistant feature of the stories is the main 3 characters. All the stories are good, but the first and last are stronger in terms of story. The middle ones almost exist simply to get the characters from A to B with a healthy dose of world-building thrown in. Again, not a problem, but interesting to note when looking back. As good as this book is, even given that this is the first book in the series, it might not be the best jumping on point. Not only does the book seem overly enthralled with the world as opposed to the characters at some points, some themes and characters are inconsistant with the rest of the series. This shouldn’t dissuade you from reading the book, it’s just something to keep in mind
Long story short, read this book. Below the cut is a spoiler filled discussion of plot and characters, if you’re interested.
Next up on #ReviewsdayTuesday, I’ll be taking a look at “The Light Fantastic”, the direct sequel to this book. I remember liking it slightly more than this one, lets see if my memory proves true!
“This is my shield.
I bear it before me into battle,
but it is not mine alone.
It protects my brother on my left.
It protects my city.
I will never let my brother
out of its shadow
nor my city out of its shelter.
I will die with my shield before me
facing the enemy.”—Alexandros - “Gates of Fire”
Hypothetical: You've been cast as Caboose for RvB the musical. As is the nature of halo armor, you can't speak, but you will act out the script that the cast is dubbing over you. They will need you to arrive a weeks before RTX (the most unrealistic part of this lol) to practice for the live performance at RTX. How do you react?
Yes. I’ll do it, if it’s an official part of RTX that Rooster Teeth productions is putting on, and I’m getting dubbed by the real cast. I’ve got like 90 hours of vacation time at work. I would do it in a heart beat if was official. If it was like a “Fan” Production at RTX, I would be less enthusiastic. But it were for realisies. Changing my hotel reservations and booking an earlier flight right away.
it’s officially illegal to kill off female characters just to generate manpain and motivate the hero sorry i don’t make the rules
But, what if the entire story the Hero thinks a female character was killed off just “To get at them” by the Villain, but then at the end you find out that the Villain killed her for some completely unrelated reason, like she owed the Villain money or something, and the whole time the Hero thought it was because of him, and then he gets the rug pulled out from under him? Like he’s all, “You killed the woman I love!’ and the Villain is like, “Wait, who, her? Oh, she knew you? Ain’t it a small world? Well, that’s a happy bonus, ain’t it?” And then what the Hero thought was his motivation turns out to have been wrong the whole time?
This one's been bugging me for a while. Considering the...unique content of your comics, how many angry letters do you get from self-important mothers saying you've "ruined [their] child's innocence!" or "twisted [their] mind with your sick artwork!"?
To date, since starting out with comics, through my time on ZIM and since, I can’t recall any kind of communication like what you’re describing. As parents who know about my work go, most, thankfully, have better things to do and far greater things to worry about than to write angry letters at me.
The only “parent letters” I’ve ever received on the subject of their children have been overwhelmingly positive, whether it’s about how some of my work inspired their kid to start making comics or made them want to get into animation, or some such thing. I’ve gotten mail from teachers describing students who opened up a bit because they were into my comics and, through comics, they were able to deal with some issue or another.
Now and then I hear about parents who were themselves fans of my comics from back when I was first doing them, and, despite being fans of my comics, managed to get someone to sexilize with them and they procreated! These parents tell me about how they sit with their kids to watch ZIM, they’ll tell me what parts the kids laugh at and it’s pretty awesome.
Was any of this my intent when I was making all that stuff? Not at all. Hell, I was too busy giggling while writing something or drawing, the exact same way I do now when I’m working on something, to even think of a surreal future where people are digging my work with their kids, or, in some cases, waiting until the kid is old enough to show them the more intense stuff. Either way, it’s cool to hear about.
Hi there! Just wanted to let you know your Caboose makes me laugh. Youre funny. I also was wondering if you went to Dragoncon in 2013? Because I was watching a Tested video and I swear that was your Caboose looking into a needler. Mainly the ribbon was a clue.
You are correct, that was my Caboose in Tested’s video from Dragon Con 2013. I believe it’s even the thumbnail, right?